In the bid to further ensure the welfare of the consumers especially amid the pressing concerns over coronavirus disease and the increasing prices of some basic commodities in the province such as fish, rice, vegetables and other commodities, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has urged local government units (LGUs) to reactivate their respective Local Price Coordinating Councils.
“There is really a need to reactivate the local price council in the local government units, specifically at the municipal level,” DTI Provincial Director Maria Belma Q. Escueta, said during “Negosyo at Konsyumerismo sa Radyo” at DWDF Radyo Pilipinas Station, Virac, Catanduanes.
In Paragraph 1, Section 12 of Republic Act 7581, otherwise known as “An Act providing Protection to Consumers by Stabilizing the Prices of Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities and by Prescribing Measurers Against Undue Price Increases During Emergency Situations and Like Occasions,” one of primary functions of the LPCC is to “coordinate the productivity, distribution and price stabilization programs, project and measures of the government and develop strategies to effect a general stabilization of prices of basic necessities and prime commodities as affordable levels.”
Escueta noticed the absence of such local special body in some LGUs in Catanduanes.
She stated that her office will help the LGUs in the reactivation of the council and perform its functions to help address the concern on unreasonable price increases of some commodities.
DTI also conducted a Reorientation on Powers and Functions of LPCC Members and discussed about the Price Act province-wide.
During the reorientation, Consumer Protection Division Head Celeste B. Tribiana reiterated that the LGUs are advised to perform regular inspections of public and private markets; to conduct regular monitoring of supply and prices of basic food items; and to direct barangay officials to watch abnormal price increases.
LPCCs will also conduct analysis on reasons behind price fluctuations and recommend measures that fix price increases and supply shortages.
An informed and a vigilant consumer is a well-protected consumer, she reminded the council members.