THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it issued 69 show-cause orders to sellers of construction materials who violated price freeze orders in provinces affected by Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai).
The DTI said in a statement on Sunday that it also confiscated overpriced supplies from hard-hit areas like Surigao del Norte.
Items covered by the DTI’s price controls include consumer goods, power generator sets, construction materials, and fuel products.
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez warned alleged profiteers: “Our DTI regional teams and the Consumer Protection Group, in collaboration with the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), have been relentless in this drive to catch… hoarders who are taking advantage of our countrymen who are already suffering from the damage caused by Typhoon Odette.”
The DTI said it recently started distributing livelihood kits to microentrepreneurs affected by Typhoon Odette.
The first recipients were 1,036 beneficiaries, including micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from Siargao, the Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Bohol, Cebu, Southern Leyte, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Guimaras, and Iloilo.
“With an initial fund of P8 million readily available for distribution, the program immediately heeded the call of the President to bring government services to the typhoon victims as soon as possible,” DTI said.
“This is part of the estimated P150-million fund to bring livelihood kits to around 2,000 beneficiaries per typhoon-affected province, with around P8,000-10,000 per beneficiary, or around P20 million per province,” it added.
Mr. Lopez also announced earlier that the DTI’s financing arm, the Small Business Corp., will also provide P500 million for lending to MSMEs.
“The fund will be offered at zero interest, with no collateral requirement, and with a grace period that will not require immediate principal payment to allow the affected MSMEs some time to recover from the damages of Typhoon Odette,” the DTI said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave