As demand for laptops, bikes surges, DTI seeks 'reasonable' price hikes

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 02 2020 01:11 PM | Updated as of Jun 02 2020 01:36 PM

Traffic cones dot the road to separate cyclists from motorists as the MMDA Bike Lanes Office together with different cycling organizations led by the Firefly Brigade hold a bike lane pilot test on EDSA from White Plains to Santolan Road, May 24, 2020. Jire Carreon, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Sellers should be "reasonable" in raising prices of laptops and bicycles that have seen a surge in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry said Tuesday.

An 11-week lockdown shut public transport, forcing people to work from home on laptops and run essential errands on bicycles. The shift to a general community quarantine on Monday allowed limited train, bus and car services.

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"Kung magtataas po ng presyo ang negosyo para sa bike o laptop eh kung pwede po yung reasonable increases lang at yung hindi masyadong malaki sa consumer," DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said in a virtual press briefing.

(If there will be price increases for bicycles and laptops, please limit it to reasonable increases so as not to burden consumers too much.)

"We understand na kailangan po nilang makabawi for their losses for the past 2 and a half months pero hindi po para pagsamantalahan na natin ang consumers," she added.

(We understand that they have to make up for the losses they acquired but it shouldn't be at the expense of taking advantage of consumers.)

Consumers who have doubts about the prices of such products can check with the DTI, Castelo said.

"Report po nila sa atin and we will see kung unreasonable po ba yung naging increase nila," Castelo said.

(Report to us and we will check if the increase is unreasonable.)