COTABATO CITY—Ministry of Trade, Investments and Tourism (MTIT) urged the business sectors to be socially responsible and implement fair pricing, especially during this difficult times of pandemic while observing the month of Ramadhan.
The call was made by MTIT Minister Abuamri Taddik on the first day of fasting, April 13, aimed to suppress the usual abuse of some local businessmen who take advantage of the occasion by increasing their basic commodity prices during this month of sacrifice.
“As we face the challenges brought about by the pandemic during this auspicious occasion, we call upon the business sectors to help our local businesses and services to remain viable in terms of maintaining their reasonable and fair pricing of basic goods,” Minister Taddik said.
The Minister added that this call for reasonable and fair pricing is “guided by the Islamic principles of justice and compassion and the symbiosis between consumers and producers that may help keep the wheels of our economy turning”.
As an immediate response, MTIT Lanao del Sur (LDS) technical team started its intensified weekly Special Price Monitoring in the public markets in Marawi City yesterday, April 15, particularly on basic goods such as eggs, cooking oil, Liquified Petroleum Gas tanks, and dressed chicken.
The LDS team is also set to monitor other municipalities with numerous public markets on a weekly basis, purposely to stop the opportunist businessmen in increasing the price of prime commodities in the area.
Other special price monitoring team across the Bangsamoro region is expected to follow suit [monitoring activities] in their respective area of responsibilities during this month of Ramadhan to ensure that the price in the public market would be fair and stable.
Under the Consumer Act or Republic Act (RA) No. 7394, overpricing may be considered as an unfair and unconscionable sales act or practice, since it involves taking advantage of consumers in this time of need. The Price Act or RA No. 7581 also considers this as an act of profiteering.
Both of these laws provide criminal and administrative penalties and sanctions. Anyone found to have committed an unfair and unconscionable sales act or practice, an administrative sanction of up to P300,000 may be imposed and/or imprisonment of up to one year. (Bangsamoro Information Office)
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