According to DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez on Tuesday, 1,070 letters of inquiry was sent asking the business owners to explain the price of the products being sold.
The department has already issued 31 show-cause orders for those found to have committed major violations, while 274 have been proven not to comply with the correct price.
Of this number, 16 have already been charged.
But according to Lopez, once the traders change the wrong price, the filing of the case will not be continued.
“Ongoing ‘yung review natin dito sa mga buying and selling nila. ‘Yung review ng kanilang resibo, ‘yung mga pagpatong nila sa pagbenta nila ng mga produkto, ongoing po ang ating investigation at makakarinig po kayo ng resulta in the near future,” said Lopez.
(We have an ongoing review on their buying and selling. The review of their receipt, the steps they put in selling their products, our investigation is ongoing and you will hear the results in the near future.)
DTI asks over 1,000 businesses to explain over violation of set SRP
Under the Price Act, those found guilty of manipulating the price of prime commodities or basic necessities will face a penalty of 5 years to 15 years imprisonment or a fine of P5,000 to P2 million.
A year to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of P5,000 to P1 million is the penalty for violating the set price ceiling.
The DTI chief also explained the importance of having a Task Force on Economic Intelligence to find out why farm gate prices are so different from the prices in the markets. He stressed that it is necessary to look at which part of the supply chain or product transfer occurs the high price increase.
He also said that the Task Force on Economic Intelligence is also important to find out if someone is storing supply to have an artificial shortage of the product resulting in a price increase. This includes inspecting warehouses.