The provincial office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Davao del Sur has started monitoring the prices of basic commodities following the closure of 15 malls and department stores in the aftermath of the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck on October 16.
Marivic Placer, DTI provincial consumer protection division chief, said they have received reports that some business establishments here are jacking up retail prices of prime commodities just days after the city government ordered the closure of all shopping malls and department stores for safety reasons.
Placer said after a meeting with Mayor Josef Cagas, the price monitoring team immediately scoured all major stores in the entire province to verify the reported price increases.
“We are acting on it and we will not hesitate to initiate legal actions against business establishments who will take advantage of the situation which will be detrimental to the consumers,” Placer said.
She said suspected violators will be given three days to respond, warning that any violation of the pricing rules will lead to cancellation of business license.
According to Placer, retailers may not hike the prices of basic commodities beyond the allowable 10 percent margin.
“Bring official receipts from the said store to the DTI provincial office as your proof of purchase and rest assured it will be acted upon by our office,” Placer said, adding that there are 22 major stores all over Davao del Sur.
DTI has also urged consumers to browse the online list of suggested retail prices of prime commodities through www.dti.gov.ph.
“We are constantly posting it (the suggested retail price) on a monthly basis. There’s no reason that they could get away with it,” she said. (PNA)