Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has formed a price monitoring team to protect the public from predatory pricing as he warned profiteers of severe sanctions if caught selling Noche Buena products and other basic needs higher than imposed by the government.
The Manila chief executive has instructed Market Administration Office Chief Annie Balboa to conduct regular inspections in the public market to monitor the prices of goods and report unscrupulous vendors and stallholders.
The order was made after the mayor observed that prices of Noche Buena products usually start to go up, in most instances much higher than the suggested retail price (SRP) during the start of “ber” months.
Balboa assured the public that city hall inspectors will remain extra-vigilant against erring vendors and stallholders taking advantage of the strong demand for Noche Buena commodities.
These items include pasta, cheese balls, canned fruit cocktails, hams, macaroni, spaghetti and tomato sauces, as well as fresh fruits.
Estrada said the City Hall Monitoring team will constantly monitor the price movements not just of Noche Buena products, but also the prices of rice to make sure that the prices will not go far beyond the suggested SRP.
The former president now Manila mayor warned traders of possible charges if caught selling goods at very high price.
“Don’t take advantage of earning too much at the expense of our kababayan. The prices of petroleum products went down and even the prices of rice is back to its old price,” Estrada said.
The intensified monitoring is meant to ensure stable prices and supplies of basic goods this Christmas season and protect consumers from unscrupulous traders taking advantage of the spike in shopping activities.
Mayor Estrada also appealed to all traders, vendors and business establishments to be good Christians as Christmas is meant for giving and sharing.