DTI caps commodity purchases

March 20, 2020

The Department of Trade and Industry has issued a Memorandum Circular (setting a limit in buying food and non-food products to avoid hoarding and panic buying amid the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

The MC 20-07 also aims to prevent unreasonable price increases in basic goods as well as products intended for health protection such as face masks, medical devices, alcohol, sanitizers, and disinfectants.

Retailers shall limit the selling of the following food products per transaction:

5 pieces per type per brand for locally produced instant noodles;

5 cans per type per brand for regular size and 3 cans per type per brand for big size for locally produced canned sardines;

5 cans per type per brand for small size and 2 cans per type per brand other than small size for canned regular milk;

2 bundles per brand for powdered milk in sachet;

2 bundles per brand of instant coffee in sachet; and

10 small bottles, 8 medium bottles, 5 large bottles, and 2 extra-large bottles of any brand of mineral water
 
For non-food products, consumers can only buy the following per transaction:

2 pieces for 70 percent solution antiseptic or disinfectant alcohol, regardless of volume;

2 pieces for hand sanitizer, regardless of size;

2 pieces for disinfecting liquids, regardless of size;

5 bars for bath soap if individually sold and 1 pack if sold as pack;

10 pieces for toilet paper if sold per roll and 1 pack if sold as pack; and

5 pieces for any type of surgical and N95 face masks

Retailers are directed to post notices about the allowed quantity of goods to be sold to customers per transaction.

According to the MC, violators may face penalties “prescribed under relevant ordinances issued by local government units, and if circumstances warrant, charges and penalties under the Price Act and Consumer Act will be applied”.

Under the Price Act, hoarding is punishable with a fine ranging from P5,000 to P2 million and imprisonment not less than five years but not more than 15 years.