The Senate Appointments Committee today considers the appointment of Edan G. Rivera Rodríguez as secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO).
In his presentation, the appointee highlighted his experience in the agency since 2017, under the secretariat of Michael Pierluisi, son of Governor Pedro Pierluisi.
“On the one hand, DACO is one of the most important agencies in our legal system with regard to the regulation and supervision of businesses, and can even establish price scales and control the stocks of essential items,” he said in his presentation before the two senators present this morning at the hearing.
In an interview with the press prior to the hearing, the designated secretary said that during the pandemic they have issued some 40 fines to businesses that are not complying with the orders provided during the emergency declaration.
He also explained that, since it is a long-term emergency, there is no order to freeze prices, but to freeze gross profit margins.
This implies that traders can increase prices, but not exceed a certain percent of the profits they make from the sale of these products. For the most part, he said, the fines respond to the fact that merchants often cannot offer the price lists of the products, which is one of DACO’s requirements precisely to be able to control prices. ‘
These fines, he said, can range from $ 5,000 to $ 10,000, but he could not specify how much they have collected in collection of fines.
“We have given more than 40 fines for two fundamental things. One of the things we found when we returned to DACO is that many of the merchants were unaware that our regulations require us to keep the records necessary to calculate the gross profit margin, ”he said. “Many do not save those invoices so that they are available. If we visit the store and ask for the invoice, in many cases they do not have it available. We invent warning mechanisms that provide alternatives to do the evaluation ”.