October 7, 2011

Price gouging in Ifugao by business establishments, to be controlled by DTI

(07Oct2011 by: ifugao posts)
The Department of Trade and Industry will make available list of prices of basic goods for proper guidance of calamity victims in Ifugao and other provinces under state of calamity.
DTI to slap price freeze in some calamity-hit towns
October 7, 2011, 3:44am
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI ) will come up with a list of prevailing prices of basic goods covered by the price freeze in areas declared under a state of calamity.
Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said the list of prevailing prices would be made available on Saturday. Except for marked increases in fish and vegetables other commodities have remained stable.
The areas covered by the price freeze order are Ifugao, Nueva Ecija, Cavite and Bulacan but only specific municipalities have been put under a state of calamity.
Domingo said the price freeze covers only these flood stricken and isolated areas due to typhoons Pedring and Quiel.
According to DTI Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya the basis of the freeze would be October 5 prices when the price freeze took effect.
Maglaya, however, said that if there are commodities whose prices are higher compared to other areas, the DTI can order the lowering of their prices.
Violators can face up to P1 million in fines and 10 years in imprisonment for violation of the Price Act. Under the Price Act, a price freeze automatically takes effect in areas under state of calamity.
Maglaya reported that prices of salt water fish have increased between P20 to P30 a kilo while vegetables by P30 to P50 a kilo. The price hike in vegetables followed after the devastation of vegetable farms in Benguet, Nueva Ecija, and Viscaya.
Earlier, Domingo told reporters they were still checking on prices of ex-farm prices of distributors, dealers and retailers if they remain reasonable.
Domingo said they were reviewing their procedure to make it automatic the next time calamities happen.
He, however, refused to impose price control saying this would only disrupt the law of supply and demand.
“So, we have to use it (price control) sparingly,” he said.
Price of rice, however, has remained stable. The Department of Agriculture is still conducting an assessment on the supply side but since harvest of rice has been ongoing supply may not be of a problem.
Prices and supply of noodles and canned goods have remained stable except for the isolated areas of Ifugao, Isabela and some areas of Bulacan.
The DTI is also closely watching prices of sugar as this is already off season.

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