DTI eyes removing purchase limit on essential goods

DTI eyes removing purchase limit on essential goods

MANILA – As supplies and prices of essential goods stabilize, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is looking into lifting the memorandum circular (MC) that sets limits in buying food and non-food products.

“We have been receiving requests from manufacturers and retailers to lift the anti-hoarding and anti-panic buying memorandum circular,” DTI Undersecretary for Consumer Protection Group Ruth Castelo said during the Laging Handa press briefing Tuesday.

To recall, the DTI issued in March MC 20-07 ordering retailers to limit the selling of essential products as panic buying and hoarding were observed at the start of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon.

Products included in the MC are alcohol, hand sanitizer, disinfectant, bath soap, toilet paper, and face mask for non-food products, and instant noodles, canned sardines, canned milk, powdered milk, instant coffee and mineral water for food products.

“We’re still studying to remove the purchase limit. [DTI] Secretary [Ramon] Lopez is still looking into it,” Castelo said.

The trade official added that prices of manufactured products are reverted to their suggested retail prices (SRPs) dated September 2019 after the 60-day price freeze expired last May 15.

Moreover, with the expected increase in demand for bicycles as alternative transportation and electronic gadgets, such as laptops and mobile phones for online learning, the DTI asks retailers not to take advantage of the consumers and only impose reasonable price increments.

“We understand that they have to recover from their losses for the past two and a half months, but not to take advantage of our consumers,” Castelo said in Filipino.

She urged consumers to report to DTI if they see unreasonable price increases on bicycles and gadgets.

“We will see. Before Covid (coronavirus disease 2019), we do not consider it as basic and prime commodities,” she said. Kris Crismundo /PNA – northboundasia.com