DTI puts quantity limit on sale of 13 products

Published March 20, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Department of Trade and Industry has placed 13 products for sale under limited quantity as part of efforts to stop hoarding and panic buying by consumers, who have been scared they run out of supply during this month-long lockdown.

Memorandum Circular No. 20-07 Anti-Hoarding and Anti-Panic Buying signed by DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez has limited the purchase of 13 new products – 70% solution antiseptic or disinfectant alcohol (2 pieces regardless of volume); hand sanitizer (2 pcs regardless of size); disinfecting liquids (2 pcs regardless of size); bath soap (5 bars if individually sold and 1 pack if sold as a pack); toilet paper (10 pcs if sold per roll and 1 pack if sold as a pack); face mask (5 pcs N88 for surgical any type or brand and 5 pcs N95 industrial any type or brand); locally produced instant noodles (mami, pancit canton 5 pcs per type per brand); canned regular milk (5 cans per type per brand small size and 2 cans per type per brand other than small size); powdered milk in sachet (2 bundles per brand); instant coffee in sachet (2 bundles per brand); mineral water (10 bottles any brand small, 8 bottles any brand medium, 2 bottled any brand extra large); and loaf bread (loaf packs any kind, any brand half loaf, 2 packs any kind any brand whole loaf).

The DTI has determined the quantities as reasonable limit for each consumer to ensure availability of vital and essential commodities, especially during periods of calamity or emergency.

To meet the objectives of the MC, retailers are enjoined to sell and consumers to buy products referred under the circular in such quantity sufficient as to meet needs only for a maximum of seven days.

Retailers are also required to post notices in conspicuous places within their outlets advising consumers of the quantity of basic necessities that they are allowed to purchase.

In releasing this MC, the DTI noted that consumers have resorted to hoarding and panic buying, and that retailers have allowed the happening of the same in retail stores.

If the current consumer behavior is allowed to continue, DTI it will not only cause more fear and prevent other consumers from purchasing what they need, but will also cause artificial shortage and cause prices to soar.

Since the declaration of Public Health Emergency, prices of basic necessities are automatically frozen at their prevailing price. No price increase on basic necessities may take place for the entire duration of the Public Health Emergency.

As such, all retailers are mandated to abide by the provisions of the Price Act and ensure that basic necessities are sold at their prevailing prices.

The DTI also said that without prejudice to the penalties prescribed under relevant ordinances issued by local government units, any person or entity found violation the provisions of the circular shall 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 million and imprisonment of not less than 5 years, but not more than 15 years.