DTI vows to go after overpricing businesses

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has vowed to step up its price monitoring of commercial establishments in the province to curtail profiteering in the wake of the rising prices of goods.

Welson Paz, DTI Palawan’s media officer, told Palawan News their office will increase the frequency of their monitoring activities of establishments to ensure their compliance to relevant laws, including the Consumer Act and the Price Act.

Paz said their main office on Wednesday issued a memorandum directing provincial offices to conduct monitoring, specifically in supermarkets at least twice a month.

Before the directive, he said they regularly conduct the monitoring only once a month.

Paz warned wholesalers and retailers not to take advantage of the tax reform law and engage in profiteering.

“To all establishments that consider selling basic and prime commodities way beyond the suggested retail price, think it over. Don’t ever do that because we will really implement the law,” Paz told Palawan News.

Under the Price Act alone, he said erring establishments may be penalized P300 to P5 million, or even face closure for repeating violations.

Paz said suspected violators will be asked to justify the increase they imposed on the goods they sell to the public, and may be fined accordingly if proven guilty.

“There will be establishments who might impose a price increase but they will not be automatically charged for violating the law. During the price hearing, they will be required to submit documents, including receipts, to justify their markup pricing,” he said.

He said the monitoring will be conducted simultaneously by the DTI staff and municipal government representatives stationed in 11 Negosyo Centers located in the towns of Roxas, Taytay, El Nido, San Vicente, Coron, Aborlan, Narra, Rizal, Bataraza and Brooke’s Point.

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