DTI to file charges vs 12 stores selling overpriced masks
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will file charges against 12 medical supply stores in Manila found to be selling overpriced face masks.
“In the special market monitoring conducted yesterday by the DTI in Bambang, Manila, 12 out of 17 business establishments were issued notices of violations for alleged profiteering,” DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said in a press briefing.
“And then, after the notice of violation, we will issue formal charges against them. Bahala silang magdipensa nung kaso nila during the hearing,” she added.
Castelo said retailers selling overpriced face masks and other medical supplies will face profiteering charges punishable with imprisonment and a fine of P5,000 up to P2 million.
“Those found to have committed profiteering or any other illegal act of price manipulation will be dealt with to the highest extent of the law. We will file administrative and criminal charges against business establishments violated the Consumer Act and other pertinent laws,” Castelo said.
The Health department earlier ordered the price freeze of basic and essential medicines and supplies including the N95 masks which should be sold for only P45 to P105 each.
This was after prices of N95 face masks reportedly began to soar as much as P200 per piece as residents of areas affected by the Taal eruption experience ashfall.
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