DA strengthens task force to monitor prices
The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it is intensifying its monitoring of the implementation of suggested retail price (SRP) on select agriculture products, adding that those who violate the Price Act “will be dealt with accordingly”.
“We therefore warn traders, retailers and hoarders that the government is serious to apprehend and file cases against them if they continue to take advantage of our countrymen particularly during this state of national emergency,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.
Hence, he said the DA is strengthening its Bantay Presyo Task Force (BPTF) to monitor prices of basic agricultural commodities, enforce the SRP policy, and go against cartels, hoarders and profiteers.
“Sadly, despite our repeated appeal, many retailers still do not follow the SRP and price freeze on agri-fishery products, taking advantage of consumers in this time of crisis,” he said.
“With a stronger Bantay-Presyo task force, we hope to apprehend erring retailers, unscrupulous traders and hoarders, and file appropriate charges against them for violating the Price Act or R.A. 7581,” he added.
The price freeze covers all persons, including those who sell through the internet or other media. It sets a price ceiling for basic commodities “should the existence or effects of COVID-19 continue to persist beyond the 60-day period.”
Violators of the Price Act will be fined between P5,000 and P2 million and face imprisonment between five and 15 years.