PRICE MONITORING. A Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) staff checks on the prices of commodities at a grocery store in Dumaguete City in this Dec. 21, 2021 photo. The DTI-Negros Oriental has reassured there is no hoarding or shortage of supplies in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette which hit the province on Dec. 16, 2021. (Photo from the Facebook page of DTI-Negros Oriental)

DUMAGUETE CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Negros Oriental on Monday reassured the public it is keeping a close eye on the prices and the stability of supply of goods in the province following the onslaught of Typhoon Odette last month.

DTI provincial director Nimfa Virtucio told the Philippine News Agency in an interview that so far, there is no hoarding and shortage of goods, especially in this capital city.

“We have seen how people from typhoon-stricken areas in Negros Oriental and even those from nearby Cebu towns are coming to Dumaguete for their needs but suppliers have reassured us they have enough stocks,” she said in mixed English and Cebuano.

After Typhoon Odette left a trail of devastation in the province specifically in the central and northern towns and cities, people flocked here to stock up on food, fuel, water, and even power generators, Virtucio said.

While the shelves were being emptied fast, they were also replenished immediately, she added, saying there is enough for city residents as well.

Virtucio said her office has reminded establishments of selling their goods within the suggested retail price (SRP).

On the illegal sale of gasoline in liter bottles outside of legitimate pumping stations, Virtucio said there is no Department of Energy (DOE) office here, although the DTI is keeping in touch with the agency on the matter.

Meanwhile, Virtucio reacted to a resolution of a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in Negros Oriental calling on the DTI to ensure price regulation of commodities in the aftermath of the storm.

She said her office has not yet received a copy of it and the public official could reach out to her or her staff to discuss price control amid post-typhoon response efforts.

“There is also a price coordinating council (PCC) at the provincial and local levels that can be convened at any time in the event of a disaster or calamity,” she said.

At the provincial level, Gov. Roel Degamo chairs the PCC, and once convened, it is no longer the DTI acting alone but rather as a group, with other member agencies, to ensure that prices of commodities are still within the acceptable range, Virtucio added. (PNA)