Imee: Curb Shortages Of Essential Goods By Catching Hoarders, Profiteers

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Senator Imee Marcos has warned of looming shortages not only of basic goods but also of medical equipment if panic buyers who can afford to hoard them are not stopped.

Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, called on the Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine National Police to step up monitoring and even filing charges against shoppers who are hogging limited product supplies in groceries, supermarkets, and specialty stores, to the disadvantage of other consumers.

Marcos cited reports in Cebu and Aklan where oxygen tanks and their accessories were running out even as their prices have increased amid rising cases of Covid-19 infection.

To prevent sellers from jacking up prices, Marcos called for another 60-day price freeze on essential goods and medical supplies and equipment as soon as possible.

Hoarders and profiteers face imprisonment and fines under the Consumer Act or Republic Act 7394 and the Price Act or Republic Act 7581.

“Under the Consumer Act, if found to have committed an unfair and unconscionable sales act or practice, an administrative sanction of up to P300,000.00 may be imposed and/or imprisonment of up to one (1) year. For profiteering, the Price Act provides for the imposition of a fine of up to P2,000,000.00 and/or imprisonment of up to 15 years,” Marcos specified.