The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reminded business establishments to comply with the suggested retail prices (SRPs) for bottled water after it found several stalls in a bus terminal in Quezon City guilty of overpricing.
In a statement released on Thursday, May 11, the DTI said Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Teodoro C. Pascua, who led the monitoring and enforcement activities in April, learned that 11 of 13 stalls at the Araneta Bus Terminal in Cubao either sold bottled water at prices “grossly excessive of their true worth or without a price tag”.
With Pascua was the DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB).
The DTI said the owners of these stalls were asked explain before the FTEB’s Enforcement Division.
It said that charges would be filed before the FTEB’s Adjudication Division against those with prima facie evidence of profiteering.
Pascua cited Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act, which said that “selling a basic necessity like bottled water and prime commodity at a grossly excessive price is profiteering”.
“There shall also be prima facie evidence of profiteering when a basic necessity or prime commodity is sold without a price tag, misrepresented as to its weight and measurement, and raised by more than 10 percent of its price in the immediately preceding month.”
Wilkins Pure Purified Water, Nature Spring Purified Water, and Summit Mineral Water were the brands that were commonly overpriced by one of the stalls in the bus terminal.
The price of a 500-ml Wilkins Pure Purified Water was sold at P30 while 1L of Wilkins Pure Purified Water was priced at P50 — 173 percent and 127 percent higher than their prevailing
prices in April respectively.
Meanwhile, 500ml of Nature Spring Purified Water was sold at P20 while 1L of Nature Spring Purified Water was priced at P35 — 102 percent and 130 percent higher than their prevailing prices for the same month.