The 23 business counselors of Negosyo Centers based in the 22 towns and cities in Negros Occidental are helping the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in monitoring the prices and supply of basic goods and medical supplies.
Rachel Nufable, provincial director of DTI-Negros Occidental, said on Wednesday the agency staff that regularly monitors the prices of goods and supplies is augmented by the business counselors amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis.
They are assigned in the 23 Negosyo Centers operating in the cities of Bacolod, Kabankalan, Sagay, San Carlos, Victorias, La Carlota, Himamaylan, Bago, Sipalay, Cadiz, Escalante, Talisay and Silay, and municipalities of Hinigaran, Isabela, Hinoba-an, La Castellana, Cauayan, E.B. Magalona, Binalbagan, San Enrique and Pontevedra.
Nufable reiterated that 60-day automatic price control is in effect in Negros Occidental after the declaration of a state of public health emergency by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We continue to urge our retail stores to comply with the price freeze which is mandated under Republic Act 7581 or Price Act,” she said.
Earlier, the DTI-Negros Occidental held an emergency meeting with representatives of various retailers, most supermarkets, in the province to discuss the prevailing market situation, particularly the prices and supply of basic necessities and medical products like masks and alcohol covered by the price freeze.
During the meeting, retailers assured the agency that there is no manipulation of prices and supply of these goods in the local market.
The DTI-Negros Occidental has issued automatic price control (APC) reference for Bacolod and other key cities like Cadiz, Sagay, San Carlos and Kabankalan.
The APC reference contains the “ceiling” or price range stores should follow in selling basic goods such as canned sardines, milk, coffee, detergent or laundry soap, bread, and instant noodles. (Erwin Nicavera pna)