DTI: Most sellers compliant, but 11 price freeze violators caught | Inquirer News
IN AREAS UNDER STATE OF CALAMITY

DTI: Most sellers compliant, but 11 price freeze violators caught

/ 05:30 AM November 11, 2022

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it has issued notices of violation to two supermarkets in Rizal province for not complying with the prevailing price freeze in the province bordering Metro Manila.

Lawyer Ann Claire Cabochan, officer in charge of DTI’s consumer protection group, led the monitoring teams in checking the price and supply of basic necessities in 10 unidentified supermarkets in Taytay, Rizal.

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The DTI said that out of the 10 supermarkets, eight were found compliant, but two were issued notices of violation for selling basic necessities priced above the frozen price and for selling items without proper price tags.

“The DTI’s relentless price and supply monitoring operations is a strong warning against possible profiteers and hoarders and an assurance to our countrymen that we will continue to uphold consumer protection amidst the damages caused by Severe Tropical Storm ‘Paeng’ (international name: Nalgae),” Cabochan said in a statement.

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The DTI said that the stores were given 48 hours to provide an explanation regarding their noncompliance.

Big fines, jail time

Rizal province was among the areas placed under a state of calamity due to Paeng earlier this month.

Under the Price Act, prices of basic necessities are automatically frozen at their prevailing prices for 60 days once a state of calamity is declared in an area.Under the law, penalties for price manipulation include imprisonment of five to 15 years, with fines ranging from P5,000 to P2 million.

Meanwhile, those found violating the price ceiling face prison time of one year to 10 years, as well as fines ranging from P5,000 to P1 million

The DTI also conducted inspections among 32 retail firms in the province, issuing notices of violations to nine of them for selling uncertified products, including ceramic plumbing fixtures, low carbon steel wires, snap switches and socket-outlets, among others.

The trade department sealed more than P368,000 worth of these products, preventing their sale in the market. INQ

RELATED STORY:

Christmas staples not under price freeze 

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