DTI clears 10 Bukidnon stores of overpricing during price freeze
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has cleared 10 grocery stores in Bukidnon province that were accused of overpricing amid the price freeze in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette.
Junar Merla, officer in charge of DTI-Bukidnon’s consumer protection division, told the Inquirer that they found the price increase implemented by the 10 grocery stores justifiable.
The store owners were earlier asked to explain their actions.
Merla said that based on their explanation, the stores got their supply of goods from large local stores such as wholesalers, which offer prices that are more expensive compared to their usual suppliers.
This was so because of the tightening supply of goods at that time.
“Because they bought it at a high cost, they can’t follow the SRP [suggested retail price of the DTI],” Merla explained.
Merla added that the price differences varied by just several centavos compared to the SRP.
Still, Merla said, the grocery stores were asked to submit documents supporting their claims so the DTI can validate.
On Dec. 21 last year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 1267 declaring a state of calamity in areas battered by Typhoon Odette, particularly Mimaropa (Region 4-B), Western Visayas (Region 6), Central Visayas (Region 7), Eastern Visayas (Region 8), Northern Mindanao (Region 10), and Caraga (Region 13).
The proclamation was lifted on Feb. 19 this year.