600 establishments await Safety Seal Certificate — DTI

Marje Pelayo   •   June 11, 2021   •   742

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said there are still some 600 business establishments awaiting issuance of a Safety Seal certificate to be able to resume operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over 150 establishments have been approved (for safety seal certificate), and there are 600 pending for inspection. The process is ongoing as we speak,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said Friday (June 11) during the regular Laging Handa briefing.

Establishments deemed compliant with the minimum health standards for the prevention of COVID-19, are given a Safety Seal certificate.

“Kailangan magpa-safety seal sila para lang masigurado that they are complying with the minimum health protocols. Especially kung indoors, very important kasi ngayon iyong ventilation,” Lopez said.

The official said among establishments that the DTI inspected, around 105 have been denied the safety seal.

“Pero hindi naman ibig sabihin na forever na hindi sila makakakuha. Pinapa-comply lang sila sa minimum health standards,” Lopez said.

Under the Joint Memorandum Circular 21-01 Series 2021 signed by the DTI, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government , and the Department of Tourism (DOT), a Safety Seal shall apply to selected public places and government offices as well as private business establishments.

It shall be displayed on strategic spots at the entrance of establishments.

Establishments that are covered by DTI are supermarkets, groceries, membership shopping and convenience stores, construction supply or hardware stores, barbershops and salons, and service shops.


QC lawmaker calls for arrest of hoarders, price manipulators of flu medicines

Maris Federez   •   January 6, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City 2nd District Representative Precious Hipolito Castelo has called on the authorities to go after and arrest those who overstock and manipulate the prices of essential medicines such as paracetamol and flu medicines, resulting in pharmacies running short of supplies.

Castelo said there are existing laws and local ordinances that prohibit hoarding and price manipulation.

Castelo called on authorities to ensure that these laws and ordinances are strictly implemented to protect the interest and welfare of the public, especially the poor.

“The concerned authorities should enforce these to protect the interest and welfare of our people, especially the poor. Hoarding denies the poor access to essential products like medicines and increases the prices of these commodities,” Castelo said.

The Department of Health had earlier said that there is no shortage of paracetamol or other flu medicines.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), however, confirmed that two popular brands of pharmaceutical company, Unilab, have run out of stock in other areas in the country.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez ensured that new stocks of these medicines will be delivered the soonest time possible. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Drug firms working to replenish supply of paracetamol in pharmacies – DTI

Robie de Guzman   •   January 5, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Pharmaceutical companies are now working to speed up the delivery of stocks of popular brands of paracetamol following reports on its lack of supply in drugstores, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Wednesday.

In an advisory, the DTI said the popular brands of paracetamol went out of stock in some pharmacies “due to the sudden increase in demand.”

Paracetamol is a medication used to treat common pains and fevers.

The DTI reiterated that there was no shortage of paracetamol and other medicines used to manage flu-like symptoms.

“Rest assured that there is enough supply, and deliveries are being expedited to replenish retail stock inventories,” the department said.

In a radio interview, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said manufacturers did not expect the rise in demand for paracetamol and other medicines, and the pharmacies’ normal inventory was not prepared.

He urged the public not to panic buy and to only purchase the necessary quantity.

“The Department of Trade and Industry is also in touch with drugstores and pharmacies to limit purchase quantity and prevent panic buying,” the DTI said.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said that paracetamol has many generic alternatives in the market, which are available in many drug stores nationwide. Other medicines for cough and colds are also available.

The department also appealed to consumers “to refrain from hoarding, panic-buying or unnecessary purchases of such medications when not clinically warranted.”



Duterte warns profiteers in typhoon-hit areas

Robie de Guzman   •   December 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a stern warning against traders and businesses unreasonably jacking up prices of basic goods and construction materials in areas devastated by Typhoon Odette.

Duterte issued the warning after Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez reported on complaints about price increases in areas badly hit by the typhoon.

“I am just giving you the warning na ‘pag nahuli kayo ng DTI or nahuli kayo ng pulis — ang pulis because the jurisdiction dito sa putting a cap on the prices of goods belongs to — and even building materials, nasa sa iyo,” the president said in his pre-taped weekly Talk to the People aired on Monday night.

“So nandito ka man, tell us if there has been a violation or violations during this time because we can identify them and the Philippine National Police, we will ask them to arrest the hoarders and people who are taking advantage of the situation,” Duterte told Lopez.

In his report to the president, Lopez said many profiteers were apprehended in Bohol and Cebu, and they also received complaints against some traders that raised the price of power generator sets.

Consequently, all the reported profiteers were immediately referred to the authorities, he added.

“Base sa mga ni-report sa atin, mga 50 na explanation letters, 50 na inquiry letters, at iyong kasunod noon ay kaso pagka ito po ay hindi talaga sa atin in-explain ‘yung pagtaas nung presyo na ‘yun,” he said.

“But after po na-apprehend sila, actually ho, Mr. President, kino-correct ho nila ‘no. So tayo ho talaga nakatutok doon sa mga nabalitaan natin na mayroong mga pag-increase ng presyo,” he added.

There were also reported increases in fuel prices in several areas, with some doubling or tripling the price to between P120 to P180 per liter.

But after the traders were reprimanded, Lopez said the fuel price in Maasin City; Macrohon, Southern Leyte; and even in the Caraga region now ranges below P50 to P56 per liter.

“Ibig sabihin, ito ho ay after nagkaroon tayo nang pagsupil doon sa mga nag-violate ng mga presyo,” he said.

Lopez said the prices of commodities should remain the same as there is an existing price freeze in areas hit by the typhoon.

Duterte declared on December 21 a state of calamity in six areas hit by Odette; namely, Regions 4B (Mimaropa–Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), 6 (Western Visayas), 7 (Central Visayas), 8 (Eastern Visayas), 10 (Northern Mindanao) and 13 (Caraga).


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