BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a resolution requesting the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Baguio-Benguet provincial office and other concerned government agencies to intensify their efforts in monitoring price increases and other alterations on quantity and quality of commodities, particularly ‘pasalubong’ products, in the different parts of the city.
The resolution authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated it has been observed last year up to the present that prices of basic commodities, if not the quality, particularly ‘pasalubong’ products, had irregular changes that resulted to confusion among consumers, especially residents and visitors alike, on the real price of the said products.
The resolution added local traders and micro-business enterprises in the different parts of the city had been constantly reminded not to take advantage of the gigantic influx of visitors coming up to Baguio City to prevent the impression created that there are numerous unscrupulous individuals involved in questionable trade in the city. In line with the expected long holiday breaks these sellers are asked not to unreasonably alter the quantity or price of locally produced goods such as peanut brittle, ube and strawberry products, highland vegetables, as well as the different arts and crafts supplies sold in different barangays in the city.
“There is a need once again for the local government to involve all stakeholders in the monitoring of the prevailing prices of basic commodities so as not for unscrupulous traders and other enterprising individuals to take advantage of the long holiday breaks tis Yuletide season to increase prices or reduce the quantity, thereby affecting the quality of Baguio made products and, thus, the need for the concerned government agencies to intensify efforts in closely monitoring the same,” Yangot stressed.
He claimed that the city, a gateway to other prime tourist destinations outside the Cordillera, has long been revered by foreign and domestic tourists as their top destination, especially now that the city has recently been included in the exclusive group of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network. It is imperative for all concerned stakeholders not to downgrade the name of the city by taking advantage of it being the country’s premier city for tourists.
According to him, the malpractice of erring traders taking advantage of the influx of foreign and domestic tourists by unreasonably increasing the prices of their goods taints the image of the city, although there are only a few individuals involved in such unscrupulous activities. They desire to earn more income at the height of the influx of visitors wanting to spend their well deserved break in the country’s undisputed Summer Capital through the past several decades.
He called on enterprising traders not to wait for the imposed penalties prescribed in existing laws, rules, and regulations before heeding the clamor of the people for them to sell products at the proper pricing, for them to be able to gain more patrons instead of being left out in the quest for a larger market with the expected influx of visitors during the Yuletide season.
By Dexter A. See