Report price hike exploiters: DTI-Davao

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Davao City urged the public Monday to report overpricing of basic goods by unscrupulous merchants.

This came after the agency received reports of retailers exploiting the price hike by going beyond their Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs).

DTI-Davao City Field Director Rachel Remitio warned retailers taking advantage of the soaring prices at this time, saying DTI personnel are intensifying their price-monitoring activities to ward off exploiters.

"All retailers and business establishments in Davao City that carry 80 percent of all 218 items listed as basic necessities and prime commodities are monitored by the DTI-Davao three times a week," Remitio said in a statement posted on the city’s official website.

Based on recent monitoring, Remitio said Price Act violations are rampant.

Republic Act 7394 or the Price Act aims to protect the interests of the consumer, promote his general welfare, and establish standards of conduct for business and industry.

If a violation occurs, DTI will issue a notice to the offending establishment, which must respond within three to five days before authorities can file necessary charges.

The law states that violators, upon conviction, are subject to a fine of not less than PHP1,000 but not more than PHP10,000 or imprisonment of not less than two months but not more than one year, or both upon the discretion of the court.

Remetio said the public plays a big role in helping the government establish price stability by reporting violators, keeping updates on DTI's SRPs for basic goods through its e-presyo website, and reporting cases of non-compliance.

DTI-Davao has launched the Negosyo Center Calinan, Negosyo Center Toril, Negosyo Center Davao City, and DTI Davao City Facebook accounts as platforms for consumers who wish to send in reports.

On January 27 and May 11 this year, the DTI allowed certain price hikes to make up for the price freeze in 2021 due to the pandemic, and to cope with the global rise in production and transportation costs brought about by the Russo-Ukraine conflict.

Remetio said some basic goods prices increased by 2-5 percent but others, like table salt, increased by 7-10 percent, resulting in an average of seven percent price increase on all basic goods.

Basic goods include canned goods, bread, instant noodles, coffee, soap, salt, and other condiments.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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