Price Act

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ANG PAGSASAMANTALA SA PAGBENTA NG MATAAS NA PRESYO NG BASIC GOODS AT PRIME COMMODITIES SA PANAHON NG SAKUNA O DISASTER TULAD NG BAGYO, LINDOL AT IBA PA AY PINAGBABAWAL NG BATAS AT MAY PARUSANG KULONG UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7581 AS AMENDED BY R.A. 10623 OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “PRICE ACT”.

ANG “NO PRICE TAG” NG ISANG BASIC GOODS SA ISANG TINDAHAN KUNG SAAN NANGYARI ANG SAKUNA O DISASTER AY ISANG MATIBAY NA EBIDENSIYA NG VIOLATION NG R.A. 7581, AS AMENDED.

Ang Bagyong “Yolanda” na tumama sa Pilipinas ay ang isa sa pinakamalakas na bagyo na dinanas natin. Tuwing may sakuna, may mga negosyante na nagsasamantala sa mga naapektuhan nito sa pamamagitan ng pagbebenta ng mahal na presyo ng mga paninda, pag hoard o pagkukutsabahan ng mga negosyante upang makontrol ang daloy at presyo ng mga paninda sa panahon ng sakuna o disaster.

Bilang panlaban sa ganitong pagsasamantala ng iilan na negosyante, kailangan ay alam ng mamamayan ang karapatan nila sa batas upang magkaroon ng takot ang mga gagawa ng anumang pagsasamantala.

Ang Republic Act No. 7581 as amended by R.A. 10623 otherwise known as “The Price Act” ay isang batas kung saan nireregulate ang presyo ng mga basic goods at prime commodities sa mga lugar na naapektuhan ng kalamidad tulad ng bagyo, lindol at iba pa.

Ayon sa R.A. 10623, ang “(1) ‘Basic necessities’ are goods vital to the needs of consumers for their sustenance and existence in times of any of the cases provided under Section 6 or 7 of this Act such as, but not limited to, rice, corn, root crops, bread; fresh, dried or canned fish and other marine products; fresh pork, beef and poultry meat; fresh eggs; potable water in bottles and containers; fresh and processed milk; fresh vegetables and fruits; locally manufactured instant noodles; coffee; sugar; cooking oil; salt; laundry soap and detergents; firewood; charcoal; household liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene; candles; drugs classified as essential by the Department of Health and such other goods as may be included under Section 4 of this Act;”

‘Prime Commodities’ are goods not considered as basic necessities but are essential to consumers in times of any of the cases provided under Section 7 of this Act such as, but not limited to, flour; dried, processed or canned pork, beef and poultry meat; dairy products not falling under basic necessities; onions, garlic, vinegar, patis, soy sauce; toilet soap; fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides; poultry, livestock and fishery feeds and veterinary products; paper; school supplies; nipa shingles; sawali; cement; clinker; GI sheets; hollow blocks; plywood; plyboard; construction nails; batteries; electrical supplies; light bulbs; steel wire; all drugs not classified as essential drugs by the Department of Health and such other goods as may be included under Section 4 of this Act.”

Ang sinumang tao na nagsamantala sa pamamagitan ng “hoarding” o pagkakaroon ng more than 50% ng kanyang paninda na hindi binibenta sa publiko. Ganun din, ang batas na ito ay nagpaparusa sa “profiteering” o pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin o basic goods and prime commodities sa mga lugar ng sakuna. May prima facie evidence of profiteering whenever a basic necessity or prime commodity ay binebenta: (a) No price tag; (b) Under Weight or is misrepresented as to its weight or measurement; (c) is adulterated or dilluted; or (d) Mataas ang presyo ng by more than ten percent (10%) of its price in the immediately preceding month. Ang “cartel” naman ay pinaparusahan din kung may pagkutsabahan ang mga nagtitinda ng bilihin para makontrol ang presyo nito na may pagsasamantala.

Ang sinumang tao na gumawa ng “hoarding”, “profiteering” o “cartel” sa panahon at lugar ng sakuna ay may parusang kulong under Section 15 and 16 ng R.A. 7581, as amended. Any act of illegal price manipulation of any basic necessity or prime commodity ay may kulong na 5-15 years and
shall be imposed a fine of not less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000) nor more than Two million pesos (P2,000,000).

Kung nagviolate naman Price Ceiling o ang tinakdang presyo ng gobyerno, ito ay may kulong na 1-10 years at fine of note less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000) nor more than One million pesos (P1,000,000), or both, at the discretion of the court.

Kung gusto nyo magtanong ukol sa Price Act o RA 7581, as amended, register at my website at www.e-lawyersonline.com.

Visit and also like my FB page E-Lawyers Online. Ito ang link http://www.facebook.com/E.Lawyers.Online.

All copyright of this post is reserved by Atty. Marlon P. Valderama and E-Lawyers Online. Sharing is allowed provided the author is acknowledged and clearly indicated.


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