Cebu News

Labella to DTI: Ensure price freeze is followed

Alicia Chua - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has mandated the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to ensure that the price freeze is implemented in this time of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

Labella said those guilty of profiteering shall be reported for cancellation of business permit and padlocked for indefinite closure.

The information on the prices of basic commodities must be made available to the public everyday through all information channels.

City Legal Officer Rey Gealon warned the businesses taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis.

Gealon said that the concern regarding the revocation of business permits is already being handled by the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO).

He said that the mayor has instructed the market personnel with the coordination of the other staffs of related offices to conduct monitoring.

“As soon as there will be price surge in various commodities this will be reported to the office of the mayor and with that it will be take over sa BPLO on the complaints especially and we will conduct our own investigation on the matter,” said Gealon.

As to the reported hoarding and selling of double or triple the prices of commodities online, Gealon said that it is already being monitored by the online personnel of the City Administrator’s Office also with the coordination of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

He said that this is not allowed since the fact that these sellers don’t have a specific store, they also don’t have a business permit and do not pay taxes so that itself is a violation.

Gealon said that so far no one has been apprehended but there are reported names which are being verified together with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to track them and to establish the IP address.

“Pursuant to the order of the mayor of the City of Cebu our office the City Attorney will not hesitate to revoke business permits after observance of due process after complains will reach our office and after verification,” said Gealon.

He added that the office of the mayor and the CLO will eventually close down businesses who take this opportunity considering that there is already a health crisis and that these people are prejudicing the public in terms of price surge and the mayor cannot allow that to happen.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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