June 24, 2024

Baguio residents were urged to report incidents of overpricing of commodities to the following hotlines: 0917-861-7197 (Department of Agriculture-Cordillera); 665-3526 and 0917-529-6612 (Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera); or 300-6555 or report directly to the Baguio City market office.

Baguio City Market superintendent Fernando Ragma Jr. on April 1 held an emergency meeting with DA-CAR representative Oliver Dulay, DTI-CAR representative Richard Limpin, and the market vendors to tackle concerns on the prices of agricultural, fishery, poultry, meat, and rice, among others; sufficiency of supplies; and barangay market caravan.

The two agencies agreed to continue conducting daily monitoring with the market office and tighten watch over vendors taking advantage of the coronavirus problem to engage in profiteering.

Consumers should identify specific stalls that engage in such to aid the investigation.

As to the supply, Ragma said it was determined that the city’s supplies are still on a normal level except for vegetables affected by the total lockdown of the La Trinidad trading post.

A memorandum circular of the DA, DTI and the Department of Health imposed a price freeze for agriculture products covering all persons including those who sell through the Internet or other media.

 As per the memorandum, implementing agencies can also recommend a price ceiling for basic commodities “should the existence or effects of the Covid-19 continue to persist beyond the 60-day period.”

The agencies warned that any person or entity found violating the Price Act will be fined between P5,000 and P2 million and face imprisonment between five and 15 years.  – Aileen P. Refuerzo