DTI asks supermarkets to set up bulk selling centers | Inquirer News

DTI asks supermarkets to set up bulk selling centers

MANILA, Philippines–The government has asked supermarkets and distributors to put up bulk purchasing centers in times of calamity to serve relief goods buyers and allay fears of supply shortage among retail buyers, Department of Trade and Industry officials said Friday on the sidelines of the National Price Coordinating Council meeting.

DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo said price monitoring activities on Thursday bared that regular consumers may have mistaken bulk buying of goods for relief operations for hoarding and caused them to be concerned about “panic buying.”

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The presence of bulk purchasing centers in supermarkets will help ease consumers’ concerns and will make in-store traffic more manageable, Domingo told reporters.

There will also be a website listing distributors and manufacturers’ information to aid bulk buyers of relief goods, Domingo said.

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Domingo also said prices and supply of goods have remained generally stable, except for fish and vegetable products, amid the implementation of price control in areas under the state of calamity. During a prize freeze, prices of goods remained at prevailing prices until the state of calamity is lifted.

DTI Usec. Zenaida Maglaya said the web site may be ready in two weeks and a command center may be prepared in anticipation of future natural disasters.

Francisco Buencamino, executive director of the Tuna Canners Association of the Philippines and of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors of the Philippines Inc., told reporters that he hopes parties going to centers set up for relief goods buyers are really buying for donation purposes and not for reselling.

Supermarkets with wholesale sections can implement the recommendation to have bulk purchasing centers, Steven T. Cua, Philippine Amalgamated Supermarket Association Inc. president, said via text message.

“In fact, we (PAGASA members) are doing that already. Even SM with its size, even without a wholesale section, can do that,” Cua said. Ordering straight from manufacturers and/or distributors would not be possible for parties without credit history unless they are buying in cash, he added.

“We are working with the LGUs (logal government units) in monitoring the prices of goods to ensure that retailers do not violate price control,” Domingo said.

Domingo warned that retailers caught violating the price freeze will be fined from P1,000 up to P1 million and their goods may be confiscated.

DTI earlier said in a statement that areas declared under State of calamity are in NCR (Marikina, Malabon, Manila, Navotas, Valenzuela, Muntinlupa, San Juan, Pasig, Pasay, Caloocan and Pateros); Central Luzon (Bataan, Pampanga, Zambales and Bulacan); Calabarzon (Laguna, Rizal – San Mateo, Tanay, Cainta, Rodriguez, and Jala-Jala), and Mimaropa (Palawan-Culion, El Nido, and Linacapan, Occidental Mindoro – Abra de Ilog) and Ilocos Region (Pangasinan).

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TAGS: Business, Calamity, DTI, News, Retail, supermarket, wholesale
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