Consumers assured of protection vs profiteering amid El Niño
Thu | March 07, 2024

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President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s task force on El Niño is assuring Filipino consumers that efforts against manipulation of basic goods and commodities are in place in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Defense Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr., chairperson of Task Force El Niño, has urged the DTI to intensify price and supply monitoring efforts in markets to protect consumers from profiteering amid the weather phenomenon.

In line with the President's directive for government intervention, Secretary Teodoro stressed "we must continue and intensify our close watch over possible fluctuation of prices and supply of basic goods."

"Let us ensure that adequate supply of basic necessities and goods are available to the general public, especially those in areas hardest affected by El Niño," the Defense Secretary said.

“There may be those who will attempt to take advantage of the prevailing abnormal weather phenomenon,” he warned.

Under President Marcos’ Executive Order No. 53, which directs the government to streamline, reactivate, and reconstitute the old El Niño task forces under EO No. 16 (s. 2001) and Memorandum Order No. 38 (s. 2019), Secretary Teodoro was appointed chairperson of the task force, with Science and Technology Secretary Renato U. Solidum designated as co-chairperson.

Signed on January 19, 2024, President Marcos’ executive order directs the task force to develop a comprehensive disaster preparedness and rehabilitation plan for El Niño and La Niña to provide “systematic, holistic, and results-driven interventions” to help the public cope and minimize their devastating effects.

The President also designated the following officials as task force members: Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, Secretary of Agriculture Francis Tiu Laurel Jr., Secretary of Health Teodoro J. Herbosa, and Secretary of National Economic and Development Authority Arsenio M. Balisacan.

The DTI regularly publishes the latest suggested retail price (SRP) bulletin of basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs) to inform and guide producers, manufacturers, traders, dealers, sellers, retailers, and consumers.

Earlier, the DTI assured the public that price adjustments were carefully studied and kept to a minimum to ensure that affordable goods are still available in the market.

The DTI encourages consumers to consult and use the SRP bulletin as a guide in making informed purchasing decisions. The public may refer to the most recent SRP list of basic and prime goods before going to supermarkets and grocery stores. The price guide is accessible via the DTI website.

Consumers are requested to report retailers, distributors, and manufacturers that sell basic necessities and prime commodities above their SRPs via One-DTI (1-384) Hotline or email, [email protected].