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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) advised the public to be wise in buying goods and products as Christmas season nears and ensure that these are compliant with the suggested retail price (SRP), according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

In an interview, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez urged consumers to report irregular pricing of items not just on physical stores but in businesses engaged in online selling or e-commerce.

“Padating ang kapaskuhan. Remind lang po natin yung ating mga consumers na maging mas smart at mas mapanuri sa ating mga binibili. Tingnan po natin lalo na kung basic necessities at prime commodities. Make sure na SRP-compliant (The holiday season is approaching. We just want to remind our consumers to be smarter and more discerning of what they buy, especially when it comes to basic necessities and prime commodities. Make sure they are SRP-compliant),” he said during the Network Briefing News with host Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar.

October is Consumer Welfare Month with this year's theme "Sustainable Consumer in the New Normal” and Lopez invited the public to join programs initiated by the agency, which can be found on their website.

“Kung maaari as consumers, bilhin natin yung mga sustainable products, yung bang hindi nakakapag-palala sa ating environment (If possible, as consumers, let us buy sustainable products, those with no harmful effects on our environment),” he said.

He reiterated DTI’s call for Filipinos to patronize local businesses and products while the country gradually increases economic activities and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“Kapag bumili po tayo lokal, local employment po ang ating naki-create (When we buy local, we create local employment),” he said.

He also reported some discussions that transpired during the Cabinet meeting with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Oct. 13, 2020.

He said with more than seven months of battling against Covid-19, the country should have already equipped itself on preventing the transmission, as the government shifts its strategies from risk avoidance to risk management.

“Tayo ay magre-reopen ng economy. Subalit tayo ay magre-reopen ng maingat and we have learned to really take care of ourselves and prevent yung transmission (We will reopen the economy but we will reopen safely. We have learned to really take care of ourselves and prevent the transmission),” he said.

They also discussed other matters such as the easing of curfew hours in some areas, and the reopening of some sectors and industries that have been temporarily closed due to threats of infections since March.

Meanwhile, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is eyeing to allow people aged 16 to 65 to go outside their homes in efforts to increase generated income of businesses, and further revive economic activities.

“Iba pa po yung nag-open tayo ng economy, pero kung marami naman tayong hindi pinapalabas ay mahinang-mahina yung mga businesses, yung mga kita ng ating mga workers (We have opened the economy, but many are not allowed to go out which in return slows down income of businesses and workers),” he said.

Lopez said people will be safe when they go out provided they follow all the seven commandments of safety.

In the existing and in effect IATF community quarantine guideline, any person below 21 years old and above 60 years old, including those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women are recommended to remain in their residences at all times. Exempted from this are those obtaining essential goods and services or those working in permitted industries.

“With this, hopefully mabawasan yung mga gutom, malnutrition, at mga iba pang sakit dulot ng kahirapan (With this, hopefully we can reduce hunger, malnutrition, and other diseases caused by poverty),” he added.

The recommendation is yet to be finalized and approved by the decision-making body.

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