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In Region 7, the DTI has issued a “strong warning” against overpricing.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Region 7 issued a “stern warning” on Friday to dishonest traders who are discovered breaking the agency’s price freeze order, as it ramps up its monitoring of non-compliant businesses.

Following Proclamation No. 1267 proclaiming a state of calamity in the Visayas and Mindanao territories hit by Typhoon Odette, DTI-7 regional director Maria Elena Arbon stated that a 60-day price freeze on essential goods is in effect.

Price and supply monitoring is being carried out by the trade agency in the hardest-hit districts as well as other towns and cities in the region.

No violations have yet been discovered in big enterprises in Central Visayas, according to Arbon, who added that the agency has only recently produced a list of basic requirements that are subject to price freezes.

Vendors in Bohol, on the other hand, were forced to justify why they were selling things above the price limit.

Due to complaints, the DTI-Bohol has placed 104 institutions under close scrutiny, while 42 supermarkets and retailers have already received show-cause orders.

“Because data is being verified and transmitted to the DTI, these (reports) are just partial… “Any infractions should be reported,” the DTI-Bohol said in a statement.

The DTI will issue a notice of violation to traders if an unreasonable increase in the price of basic requirements is confirmed, according to Arbon.

The agency is working with local government entities to ensure that businesses adhere to the price freeze that was imposed on Thursday.

If an establishment is accused of violating the law, the local government unit (LGU) can suspend, revoke, or cancel the business permit that allows them to operate.

Unverified reports and social media posts have also been received by the DTI of unscrupulous sellers selling water and construction materials at relatively high costs.

In the aftermath of the storm that hit all four provinces in Region 7, the department has called for increased public attention.

Acts that violate the price freeze order can be reported to 09178188419 or the DTI Cebu Facebook page; (038) 5018260 or the DTI Bohol Facebook page; (035) 4809065 or the DTI Siquijor Facebook page; and 0917-300-5811 or the DTI Negros Oriental Facebook page.

“The public may also contact their respective LGUs with corresponding proof and recognizable location so that the agency can act on it immediately,” according to the statement.

For violations of the Price Act and existing rules and regulations, violators can be punished and fined with criminal and/or administrative penalties.

For violations of the automatic price control or mandatory price ceiling, fines shall not be less than PHP1,000.00 or more than PHP1 million.

A fine of not less than PHP5,000 nor more than PHP2,000,000 will be imposed on the perpetrator for illegal price manipulation.

The public can verify the price ceiling of basic goods in Central Visayas under the price freeze order.

Bread, canned fish and marine products, potable water in bottles and containers, processed milk, locally manufactured instant noodles, coffee, salt, laundry soap, detergent, candles, flour, processed and canned pork, processed and canned beef and poultry meat, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet soap, paper, school supplies, cement, clinker, G.I. Sheets, hollow blocks, construction materials are among the commodities categorized as basic necessities and monitored by the DTI.

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