CITY OF SAN FERNANDO- -- The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered heads of local government units across the country to monitor the prices of Noche Buena goods and Christmas commodities through their Local Price Coordinating Councils (LPCCs).
DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr. said on Wednesday that the measure aims to protect consumers against overpricing and profiteering by unscrupulous traders.
"As early as now, you must go around markets, supermarkets, and other stores to make sure that the supply is stable and that the Noche Buena products they sell are compliant with the suggested retail price (SRP). Let us keep a close watch on excessive and unreasonable price increases,” Abalos said.
He also urged traders and entrepreneurs to comply with the SRP set by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship chair Senator Mark Villar urged the public to report traders and merchants who do not follow the DTI's SRP.
Villar said this after he accompanied DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual in conducting price inspections and monitoring of Noche Buena items in several markets in Metro Manila.
"Now that the holiday season is approaching, it is necessary that we monitor product prices more strictly to ensure that our fellow Filipinos will have a happy Christmas," he said.
Villar said shoppers and consumers may report merchants or vendors who are non-compliant with DTI’s SRP and quality standards to DTI Hotline 1384 or any of the department’s social media accounts.
House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Deputy Majority Leader Erwin Tulfo earlier warned traders and vendors against overpricing of staple goods during the holiday season.
The two House representatives said the prices of basic commodities should remain within the limits of suggested retail prices or SRP as mandated by the Department of Trade and Industry.
"As Filipinos prepare for the holidays, we want to make sure that traders do not take advantage of the holiday season to jack up prices of basic commodities. The Christmas season is meant to be a time of giving and compassion, and we want to make sure that prices of goods are affordable to a great majority of our people,” said Romualdez.
He added that the House of Representatives has oversight functions to fight inflation, and protect the public from hoarding, price manipulation and unreasonable price increases.
For his part, Tulfo said the House and its representatives will regularly check prices in markets, including the availability of affordable Christmas food products and goods..
"We will continue the all-out war against profiteers preying on hapless consumers," Tulfo said.