DTI taps local governments in campaign vs profiteering
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Trade and Industry has sought the help of local government units to ensure that no entity will abuse the current escalation in commodity prices and engage in profiteering.
In a letter dated February 24, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo asked all city and municipal mayors to order the regular updating of price billboards in wet markets. This will prevent vendors from jacking up prices on a whim.
Where there were no price billboards, he requested LGUs to set one up.
Price tags in retail outlets and wet market stalls should also be regularly checked if these were compliant with government-mandated suggested retail prices or at least within the current average prevailing prices for certain goods.
Also, LGUs should conduct regular inspections of weighing scales and should set up so-called Timbangan ng Bayan scales in wet markets.
Domingo sent the same letter of request to 122 city mayors and 1,511 municipal mayors all over the country, as they also served as heads of their respective Local Price Coordinating Council.
To help ensure proper pricing of basic necessities and prime commodities in wet markets and retail outlets nationwide, he also directed all DTI regional and provincial directors to coordinate with the local officials in their price monitoring efforts.
“We are mobilizing the department and coordinating with local government units to ensure that prices remain affordable and to prevent unscrupulous businessmen from taking advantage of the spikes in oil prices as a reason to jack up prices,” he said in a statement issued Tuesday.
He said in a Senate hearing Monday that the government was looking at imposing price controls only as a last resort.
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