MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Commerce and Industry (DTI) will press charges against 12 medical supply stores in Manila that sell expensive facial masks.
“In the special market supervision carried out yesterday by the DTI in Bambang, Manila, 12 of 17 commercial establishments received notices of violations for alleged gains,” DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said at a press conference.
“And then, after the violation notice, we will issue formal charges against them. Bahala silang magdipensa nung kaso nila during the hearing, ”he added.
Castelo said that retailers selling overpriced face masks and other medical supplies will face speculation charges punishable by imprisonment and a fine of P5,000 to P2 million.
“Those who have committed profit or any other illegal act of price manipulation will be treated to the fullest extent of the law. We will file administrative and criminal charges against commercial establishments that violated the Consumer Law and other relevant laws,” Castelo said.
The health department previously ordered the freezing of prices of basic and essential medicines and supplies, including N95 masks, which should be sold for only P45 to P105 each.
This was after, according to reports, the prices of N95 face masks began to skyrocket as much as P200 per piece, as residents of the areas affected by the Taal eruption experienced an ash fall.
Inquirer asks support from the victims of the Taal volcano eruption
In response to requests for help, the Inquirer is extending its relief to families affected by the recent eruption of the Taal volcano.
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