Puerto Rico gov’t extends pricing, profit margin freeze for 10 days
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Consumer Affairs (DACO) Secretary Michael Pierluisi, extended the orders freeze the price of basic articles and the profit margin on fuel sales for 10 additional days amid the emergency in the aftermath of several hurricanes.
“In the case of the order freezing the profit margin for the sale of gasoline, diesel and liquefied gas, DACO acted proactively since August 25, anticipating that Harvey’s lashing of the Texas area would have an impact on that market. We then decided to extend it before the passage of Irma and before the passage of María,” said the secretary, who added that the vast majority of the gas stations in Puerto Rico are operational.
“The price freeze orders…are issued with the objective of avoiding abuse against consumers and unjustified increases in prices in times of emergency. Even though the administration of our governor, Ricardo Rosselló, is working hard to resolve and alleviate the difficulties that hurricanes Irma and María have caused in the daily lives of Puerto Ricans, it is still necessary to give consumers a helping hand and keep their protections,” Pierluisi said.
According to DACO, about 300 inspectors–including DACO, Treasury, Municipal Revenue Collections Center (CRIM by its Spanish acronym and Comptroller’s Office personnel–are on the street enforcing both orders. They have carried out more than 4,000 inspections and issued more than 400 fines, as well as requiring hundreds of businesses to display information.
The secretary also announced that he issued this week an interpretative order stipulating that the seller of a used motor vehicle must inform the buyer if the vehicle was flooded. The notification has to be given both verbally and in written form.