MANILA — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has urged consumers to avoid hoarding groceries as super typhoon Mawar continues to approach the Philippines and is expected to bring rains and trigger floods.
The agency found that some buy large amounts of products to benefit from future price rises, especially when there is a calamity.
“Hindi natin maiiwasan na may mga unscrupulous na bibili ng marami tapos ibebenta ng mahal kapag tapos na nag kalamidad. Kaya ang payo sa mga consumer ay dun tayo sa mga stores na hindi magvviolate na ganun.” DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said.
But the DTI assured the public that manufacturers are ready to fill the shelves in time for super typhoon Mawar.
Based on the agency’s market monitoring, the supplies of basic goods in the groceries are enough.
“Sa pag-iikot natin sa stores, makikta natin lahat ng supermarket may sariling warehouse. Ang warehouse would keep an inventory of fifteen days so meron silang pampasok sa shelves ng fifteen days. Sa manufacturing days thirty to thirty five days days (ang stocks) so hindi magkakaubusan. Yung manufacturing kapag nakikita nilang nagddwindle ang supplies, tuloy ang pagmanufacture nila,” Castelo said.
The stores are preparing for many purchases of goods for donations from local and national governments.
The DTI asked the public to report if they noticed hoarding of goods, intending to sell them at a higher price.
Meanwhile, DTI says it is ready to impose a price freeze on basic necessities once an LGU declares a state of calamity.
Under Republic Act No. 7581, or the Price Act, as amended, prices of basic necessities are automatically frozen at their prevailing prices for sixty days once the State of Calamity is declared in an area.
Some of the basic necessities are canned fish, locally manufactured instant noodles, bottled water, bread, processed milk, coffee, candles, laundry soap, detergent, and salt.
"Ready naman tayo sa price freeze kahit walang bagyo o kalamidad. Alam natin kung ano ang prevailing price, and the price will have to be frozen at the prevailing price.' Castelo said.
According to the Price Act, business establishments that violate the price freeze will face a penalty of imprisonment for a period of one to ten (10) years, or a fine ranging from P5,000 to P1,000,000 or both, at the discretion of the court. The price freeze will be automatically lifted on their end date unless sooner lifted by the President.