DTI limits number of food, non-food items for purchase

Published March 20, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Noreen Jazul

The Department of Trade and Industry has issued a memorandum limiting the number of specific goods which can be purchased per transaction.

A woman scans the selection of canned goods at a grocery store in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines, September 19, 2018. (REUTERS / ELOISA LOPEZ / MANILA BULLETIN)
A woman scans the selection of canned goods at a grocery store in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines, September 19, 2018. (REUTERS / ELOISA LOPEZ / MANILA BULLETIN)

DTI said it has observed that “customers have resorted to panic buying, and that retailers have allowed the happening of the same in retail stores.”

“This consumer behavior, if allowed to continue, not only will cause more fear and prevent other consumers from purchasing what they need but will also cause artificial shortage and cause prices to soar,” the DTI added.

In order to ensure the availability of vital and essential commodities amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis, DTI issued Memorandum Circular 20-07 which prevents hoarding and panic buying.

“Retailers are hereby enjoined to sell and customers to buy products referred to herein in such quantity sufficient as to meet their needs only for a maximum of seven days,” DTI said.

Under the memorandum, DTI has imposed a “reasonable limit in the sale or purchase” of the following goods:

Non-food items:

  1. 70 percent solution antiseptic or disinfectant alcohol
    Limit: Two (2) pieces regardless of volume
  2. Hand sanitizer
    Limit: Two (2) pieces regardless of size
  3. Disinfecting liquids
    Limit: Two (2) pieces regardless of size
  4. Bath soap
    Limit: Five (5) bars if sold individually; One (1) pack if sold as pack
  5. Toilet paper
    Limit: 10 pieces, if sold per roll; One (1) pack if sold as pack
  6. Face mask
    – N88 (Surgical)
    Limit: Five (5) pieces, any type or brand
    – N95 (Industrial)
    Limit: Five (5) pieces, any type or brand

Food items:

  1. Locally produced instant noodles (mami, pancit canton)
    Limit: Five (5) pieces per type, per brand
  2. Locally produced canned sardines
    Limit: Five (5) cans per type, per brand (regular size);
    Three (3) cans per type, per brand (big size)
  3. Canned regular milk
    Limit: Five (5) cans per type, per brand (small)
    Two (2) cans per type, per brand (other than small)
  4. Powdered milk sachet
    Limit: Two (2) bundles per brand
  5. Instant coffee sachet
    Limit: Two (2) bundles per brand
  6. Mineral water
    Limit:
    10 bottles, any brand (small)
    Eight (8) bottles, any brand (medium)
    Five (5) bottles, any brand (large)
    Two (2) bottles, any brand (extra large)
  7. Loaf bread
    Limit:
    Four (4) packs any kind, any brand (Half loaf)
    Two (2) packs any kind, any brand (Whole loaf)

DTI has also ordered retailers to “post notices in conspicuous places within their outlets advising consumers of the quantity of basic necessities that they are allowed to purchase.”

A prize freeze also remains in place while the country is under a state of public health emergency, DTI said.

Meanwhile, DTI warned the public that those found violating the memorandum will be penalized.

“Any person or entity found violating provisions of this circular shall, if circumstances warrant, be further charged with appropriate violations of the said laws such as illegal acts of price manipulation, particularly hoarding, punishable under the Price Act with a fine ranging between P5,000 and P2,000,000 and imprisonment of not less than 5 years but not more than 15 years,” DTI said.

The memorandum took effect on March 19, after it was signed by DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

 
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