DTI: Only 2 bottles of rubbing alcohol per customer

Published March 12, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Marjaleen Ramos

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced Thursday that it has ordered retailers to limit the selling of alcohols to two bottles per consumer amid reports of panic buying due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

“They cannot go beyond that. To prevent them from hoarding and reselling at a higher price. Dalawa lang ang pwede nilang bilhin,” DTI Undesecretary Ruth Castelo in an interview with CNN Philippines.

She said that people can only buy two bottles regardless of size. “If you choose the 60 ml, dalawa lang bote. Kung gusto mo yung 500 ml dalawa lang rin ang pwedeng bilihin ng isang tao.”

“We’re under a price freeze, lahat ng basic necessities ng limang ahensya under the price act, hinde puwedeng magtaas. Pwede ibaba ng retailers if they wish to, pero hindi pwedeng lumampas sa prevailing price that we have,” she added.

Castelo noted that any person who will be caught profiteering will be punished. “Merong penalty yan of 5-15 years and a fine of P5,000 to 2 million pesos.”

“We’re being very strict now because we’re now under a state of emergency. We cannot allow people to take advantage of the current situation ng customers natin,” she said.

“Wala silang magagawa kasi DTI na ang nagsabi. We met with retailers and the information has been cascaded. We started implementing yesterday.”

The DTI, meanwhile, assured the public that there is a sufficient supply and prices are stable.

“Although, okay lang na bibili ng for a few days, maybe seven days para din ma-minimize ang paglabas nila ng bahay, pero hindi po necessarily na pag-hoard,” Castelo said.

“Rest assured you have the supply and prices are very stable. Naka-price freeze, hindi gagalaw ang presyo until the 60-day period,” she added.

On Tuesday, the DTI had already issued a price freeze on all basic necessities amid the COVID-19 threat.