By Erma Edera
As the holiday season nears, the Manila city government formed a price monitoring team to protect the consumers from the predatory pricing of basic commodities.
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada instructed Annie Balboa, chief of the market administration office, to conduct regular inspections in the public market to monitor the prices of goods and report unscrupulous vendors and stallholders.
The order was made after Estrada observed that prices of noche buena products usually start to go up, in most instances much higher than the suggested retail price (SRP) during the start of “ber” months.
Estrada also warned traders, vendors, business establishments of severe sanctions if caught selling goods at higher prices.
“Don’t take advantage of earning too much at the expense of our kababayan. The prices of petroleum products went down and even rice is back to its old price,” he said.
Balboa assured the public that city hall inspectors will remain extra vigilant against erring vendors and stallholders taking advantage of the strong demand for noche buena commodities.
These items include pasta, cheese balls, canned fruit cocktails, hams, macaroni, spaghetti and tomato sauces, as well as fresh fruits.