DTI warns alcohol, facemask hoarders

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Office 1 warns traders, hoarders and panic buyers to back off or suffer the penalty of law.

In an interview Thursday, DTI Region 1 Director Grace Baluyan said a report will be submitted to their head office for direct information and prompt action.

DTI is currently coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) in monitoring medical supplies, along with alcohol and face masks for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the Proclamation No. 922, or the declaration of public health emergency, a price freeze for 60 days will be in place or until it is lifted.

“The price freeze includes prime commodities, while face masks and alcohol are considered medical supplies. However, due to the COVID-19, the DTI will coordinate with the DOH to ensure that the supply is steady and the price is right”, Baluyan said.

She added that price monitoring is being done on a daily basis.

Hoarders seen buying critical items in bulk, or business establishments selling beyond the suggested retail price, DTI will issue a show cause order, and charge the violators.

“Penalties for violation of price freeze include a P5,000 up to P1,000,000 fine and/or imprisonment of one (1) year up to ten (10) years”, said Baluyan.

Meanwhile, Baluyan urged the public to continue coordinating with her office if they notice irregularities or violations of the price freeze rule among business establishments in their area. (Ahikam Pasion)

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