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DTI monitors markets to ensure fair prices

Stormy weather not an excuse to hike prices
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If you are thinking of doing unscrupulous methods to earn the extra buck this week, this is not the time to do it. Even with the threats of the incoming storm, make sure that your weighing scales are tuned properly and the prices of your products are right.

 The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Local Government of Quezon City is jointly monitoring supermarkets and wet markets to check on the stability of prices and supply of basic necessities and prime commodities.

“We are closely working with DA and the LGUs to tightly monitor the market situation and ensure consumers of stable prices and adequate supplies of basic goods,” says DTI Consumer Welfare Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya. “Prevailing prices of basic and prime goods monitored by DTI remain stable.”

Under the Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, the DTI has jurisdiction over the basic necessities such as canned fish, processed milk, coffee, laundry soap, detergent, candles, bread, salt, while DA is in charge of fresh fish and meat, rice, corn, cooking oil, fresh eggs, fresh vegetables, fresh milk, sugar, and root crops.  

On the other hand, DTI is responsible for prime commodities such as flour, processed and canned pork, processed and canned beef and poultry meat, noodles, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet soap, paper, school supplies, cement, clinker, G. I. sheets, hollow blocks, construction nails, batteries, electrical supplies, and light bulbs. Conversely, DA look after commodities such as fresh fruits, dried pork, dried beef and poultry meat, fresh dairy products, onion, garlic, fertilizer (chemical and organic) pesticides, herbicides, poultry, swine and cattle feeds, and veterinary products for poultry, swine and cattle.

“Once again, we remind consumers to be vigilant and report profiteering activities and other illegal acts of price manipulation in the market,” reminds Maglaya.

Traders and retailers found violating the Price Act shall face an administrative fine of up to P1 million subject to the circumstances provided after due notice and hearing. Criminal liability for illegal price manipulation may result to imprisonment of not more than 15 years and a maximum fine of P2 million. Consumers can report any complaint on prices to DTI Direct 751.3330 or to the nearest DTI office in their area.

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