The Philippine Trade department has begun bolstering efforts to rein in cement prices, yesterday naming establishments which could be sanctioned for selling above suggested levels.
The firms have been ordered to surrender delivery receipts from their dealers, which a Trade official said would held identify which wholesalers were jacking up prices.
The department announced last week that it would crack down on retailers, dealers, and manufacturers that unduly hike cement prices or hoard supply as consumers seek to repair storm-damaged houses.
Reference prices were issued over the weekend and the department said it would monitor market compliance for a week before deciding whether to resort to price controls.
Yesterday’s list featured 65 hardware stores strewn across Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Pampanga. They were cited for allegedly carrying no stocks, refusing to sell, or pricing cement beyond the prescribed price of P205-210 per 40-kilo bag.
"We check receipts they issue [to buyers] and their dealers’ receipts for deliveries," Trade Assistant Secretary Angel L. Pelayo told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview.