MAMBAJAO, CAMIGUIN, November 24 (PIA)- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Camiguin Provincial Office intensifies its market monitoring activities particularly for Noche Buena products during the months of October, November and December to ensure stable prices and supplies this Christmas season and protect consumers from unscrupulous traders taking advantage of the spike in shopping activities.
Those retailers found selling above the suggested retail prices (SRPs) shall be asked to explain the price hike and show cost of acquisition. If it turns out that the manufacturer or distributor was the one selling goods higher than the SRP, then DTI shall issue summons to these manufacturers or distributors to explain the increase in price.
An administrative fine of up to P1M shall be imposed for violation of the Price Act subject to the circumstances provided after due notice and hearing.
Criminal liability for illegal price manipulation may result to imprisonment of not more than 15 years and a maximum fine of P2M.
The DTI issued the 2015 Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs) of Noche Buena products to guide consumers in their purchases during the holiday festivities at the same time to warn retailers nationwide to sell within the SRPs.
The SRPs are provided by manufacturers to set retail prices of products and with the published SRPs, consumers are guided on whether the goods sold are over-priced or above the profit margin.
The Filipinos’ commonly called “Noche Buena” products include ham, fruit cocktail, cheese, sandwich spread, mayonnaise, keso de bola, pasta spaghetti, elbow and salad macaroni, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and cream.
For the DTI, a list of SRPs serves as the widely published prices of certain products to inform consumers and retailers and also to assist consumers and retailers in managing and budgeting their finances when they are aware how much they need in buying goods.
DTI said that the prices are considerably higher compared to the SRPs considering the transportation cost and other costs encountered in the delivery of goods within the island, adding further that in the totality of the business environment, prices are competitive among local business traders here.
Meanwhile, DTI urges consumers to be vigilant and carefully check and compare the weights of competing brands, and more importantly, the expiration dates of food items prior to purchase.
The Department urged consumers to report any complaints on prices to DTI-Camiguin Direct (088) 3870036. (Zita M. Abellare, DTI-Camiguin, PIACam-iNet)