CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 28 - No hoarding. No panic buying, says Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-10.
The DTI has issued its guidelines limiting the sale of basic goods to avoid hoarding and panic buying while ensuring that quantity of items purchased by consumers are sufficient to meet their needs for a maximum of seven days.
The Memorandum Circular comes after hoarding and panic buying has been observed and retailers have allowed the activities in their retail stores.
This after President Rodrigo Duterte issued the Proclamation No. 922 declaring a "State of Public Health Emergency" throughout the Philippines.
According to the Circular released on March 20, 2020, the "consumer behavior if allowed to continue, will cause more fear and prevent other consumers from purchasing what they need, and will also cause artificial shortage and cause prices to soar."
Non-food items that will have limited quantity per transaction are the following:
* 70% solution antiseptic or disinfectant alcohol: 2 pieces, regardless of volume;
* Hand sanitizers: 2 pieces, regardless of size;
* Disinfecting liquids: 2 pieces, regardless of size;
* Bath soap: 5 bars, if individually sold, or 1 pack if sold per pack;
* Toilet paper: 10 pieces if sold per roll, or 1 pack if sold per pack;
* N88 surgical face mask: 5 pieces, regardless of brand; and
* N95 industrial face mask: 5 pieces, regardless of brand.
Meanwhile, food items with limited quantity per transaction include the following:
* Locally produced instant noodles, such as mami or pancit canton: 5 pieces, per type per brand;
* Locally produced canned sardines: 5 pieces per type of brand, if regular-sized, and 3 cans, per type per brand, if big;
* Canned regular milk: 5 pieces per type of brand, if small, and 2 cans, per type per brand, for other sizes;
* Powdered milk in sachet: 2 bundles per brand;
* Instant coffee in sachet: 2 bundles per brand;
* Mineral water: 10 bottles, any brand (small); 8 bottles, any brand (medium); 5 bottles, any brand (large) and 2 bottles, any brand (extra large); and
* Loaf bread: 4 packs, any kind, any brand (half loaf) or 2 packs, any kind, any brand (whole loaf).
Retailers are enjoined to sell and consumers to buy the products at a limited quantity only. Likewise, retailers are also directed to post the notices in visible areas of their outlets to inform the consumers of the quantity of basic necessities they are allowed to purchase.
Individuals found to be violating the provisions of the Circular will be "charged with appropriate violations of the said laws such as Illegal Act of Price Manipulation, particularly hoarding, punishable under the Price Act with a fine ranging between P5 thousand and P2 thousand and imprisonment of not less than five years, but not more than 15 years. (DTI-10)