23 November 2022—Trade Secretary Fred Pascual steered the pilot run of “Ikot Palengke,” to ensure that the Marikina City public market and supermarkets in the vicinity uphold fair trading and consumer protection amidst inflation and other unprecedented economic factors.Tagged with the theme, “Tamang Timbang, Tamang Presyo Para sa Mamimiling Pilipino,” Secretary Pascual heads the monitoring task force of the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) in inspecting the: prices and supply of processed and agricultural basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs); accuracy of weights and measures; and appropriate price tags.
The “Ikot Palengke” also includes checking the prices and supply of Christmas staples in time with the release of the Noche Buena Price Guide, on the same day. The Price Guide is intended to boost consumer awareness and assist consuming public in making informed purchases.
“Today’s launch of the “Ikot Palengke” reminds everyone that we at DTI will always make sure to protect our consumers. Let this be a warning to unscrupulous traders and those who do abusive practices such as hoarding, profiteering and cartels. We will not tolerate such," Trade and Industry Secretary said. He continued “Huwag natin lalong pahirapan ang ating mga kababayan!"
Strategic market monitoring seeks to address the issues of profiteering and hoarding. It also seeks to ensure the availability of other alternative products to BNPCs in case of supply shortage. Regular market monitoring guarantees that there will be no artificial shortages that will affect prices.
The Republic Act No. 7581 or The Price Act, as amended, mandates implementing agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure stable prices and supply of BNPCs.
Furthermore, the DTI as part of the implementing agencies of the Price Act (Republic Act No. 7581, as amended by RA No. 10623, is mandated to coordinate and rationalize government programs aimed to stabilizing prices and supplies of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs).
The DTI-FTEB conducts weekly monitoring of the price and supply of basic necessities such as, but not limited to, canned sardines, processed milk, powdered milk, coffee, bread, instant noodles, salt, detergent soap, bottled water, and candles; and prime commodities such as, but not limited to, canned meat, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet soap, batteries, flour, cement, hollow blocks, construction nails, light bulbs, electrical supplies, and steel wires.
The DTI urges consumers to report retailers, distributors, and manufacturers that sell basic necessities above their SRPs or uncertified items, through the Consumer Care Hotline at DTI (1-384) or firstname.lastname@example.org.