DTI, companies sell goods at lower price

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Monday, December 2, 2013

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) brought its Diskwento Caravan to Daanbantayan over the weekend to give residents

a chance to buy goods from manufacturers at 10 percent to 30 percent lower than the retail price.

The Diskwento Caravan was held in the Daanbantayan sports complex on Saturday and Sunday. Eleven companies, composed of manufacturers, distributors and retailers, participated in the caravan.

About P700,000 worth of goods were sold during the two-day caravan.

“The people in Daan Bantayan, though affected by the calamity (typhoon), have the purchasing power,” said DTI provincial director Nelia Navarro.

Navarro said they chose Daanbantayan because it was the last town in northern Cebu to have businesses resume operations after typhoon Yolanda ravaged the area. She said the immediate response of the municipal government also helped them organize the caravan.

Construction materials like galvanized iron sheets, nails and lumber worth P300,000 from Federal North Hardware, Inc. were sold out on the first day.

Navarro said that with Daanbantayan now in rehabilitation and no longer in the relief phase, people are starting to rebuild their homes.

Construction materials

Marlyn Yasi, 50, a fish vendor and a resident in Poblacion, Daan Bantayan said her house, estimated to cost P20,000, was destroyed by the typhoon. Last Saturday afternoon, she attended the caravan and bought P5,000 worth of construction materials.

She said her family stays under a shelter made of waterproof canvas in the meantime.

She said she is still looking for money to pay a carpenter to rebuild her house.

Other items sold in the caravan were canned goods, coffee, milk, noodles, rice, biscuits, bread, condiments, RTWs and personal care products.

Navarro said DTI partnered with several companies to sell basic goods and prime commodities at a lower price. She squelched talks that they were selling relief goods saying DTI does not receive donations. She said it is the Department of Social Welfare and Development that oversees relief operations.

Nevertheless, she said DTI staff personally gathered relief goods and distributed these themselves to the northern municipalities of Cebu.

The issue on Diskwento Caravan was also raised in CNN’s iReport, the network’s citizen journalism initiative where people criticized the move of DTI to sell goods in disaster-stricken areas instead of distributing them for free.

DTI, through Secretary Gregory L. Domingo, issued an official statement in gov.ph expressing that Diskwento Caravan is a form of public service.

“It is a public service conducted by DTI in partnership with big manufacturer and/or distributors. It is also an act of public service by the manufacturers and distributors as most of them do not make money on their Diskwento Caravan activities,” he said.

DTI already conducted Diskwento Caravan in Ormoc City, Maasin City and Baybay City in Leyte and in Calbayog City and Catbalogan City in Samar. The caravan was also active in Bohol following the October earthquake.

For northern Cebu, DTI Cebu Consumer Welfare and Business Regulation Division chief Zaide Bation said they will still have to monitor and coordinate with other towns if another diskwento caravan will be conducted.

Participating companies for last week’s diskwento caravan were Artifact Innovation in Motion Inc, Unitop General Merchandise Inc, Virginia Food Inc, Ever Consumer Sales Inc, Ever Link, Ever Dynamic Distribution Network Inc, National Food Authority, Federal North Hardware, Inc, Liwayway Marketing, Dranix Distributors Inc, and Vismin Advent Traders Center.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 03, 2013.


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