DTI files administrative complaints vs 12 establishments for profiteering
The Department of Trade and Industry ( DTI) has filed administrative complaints against 12 business establishments for alleged profiteering due to overpriced and substandard medical masks during the height of the ashfall coming from the eruption of Taal Volcano.
Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said upon receipts of public reports about rampant selling of overpriced N95 surgical and other similar masks in the market, the DTI immediately mobilized monitoring teams in the affected areas of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, and Metro Manila to monitor the prices and supply of these medical masks, including those goods classified as basic necessities and prime commodities.
"In the special market monitoring conducted yesterday by the DTI in Bambang, Manila, 12 out of 17 business establishments were issued notices of violations for alleged profiteering," she said.
In a later phone interview, she told reporters that administrative complaints were filed before an office of the DTI against the 12.
She reminded the retailers to refrain from unreasonable increasing their prices of basic essential medicines or other basic necessities and prime commodities enumerated in the Price Act including N95 masks and other medical supplies.
The official also said prices of manufactured goods should also remain unchanged as of the published Sept. 30, 2019 DTI suggested retail price bulleting.
"Those found to have committed profiteering or any other illegal act of price manipulation will be dealt with to the highest extent of the law. We will file administrative and criminal charges against business establishments violating the Consumer Act and other pertinent laws," Castelo said.
She urged the public to report any overpricing and any other illegal act of price manipulation to DTI.
Shortly after the eruption of Taal Volcano on Sunday, resulting in ashfall reaching to as far as Metro Manila and Region 3, reports said that the prices of medical masks, including N95, surged to as high as P200 per piece. Celerina Monte/DMS