Price gouging reports due to stimulus cards being checked


Finance Secretary David DLG. Atalig said Friday that they are looking into reports of price gouging, or that some stores have increased their prices because of the distribution of CNMI stimulus cards.

When asked about alleged price gouging during a radio press briefing, Atalig said they’ve received some inquiries or emails about the issue and that they are asking these complainants to be specific on who is doing that.

He said they are going to work with the Office of the Attorney General to ensure that there is no price gouging, there are no hidden fees, and there are no additional charges when using a CNMI stimulus card.

“If you’re experiencing price gouging, email us at and give us detailed information,” said Atalig, adding that the complainants’ privacy will be protected.

Atalig said they will work with the OAG’s Consumer Protection to ensure that it does not happen and should not be valid in the case of additional charges. “We will do our best to ensure that we get you your fair share of the money should that be the case,” he said.

Unlike in disasters when the government puts in place a price freeze, this unique situation means the Department of Finance will leave it to the OAG to determine if there is any violation of the law, Atalig said, or if is the agency that can take the vendor or merchant to court.

Atalig said they can flag or suspend these vendors’ license if they are doing anything illegal. “We can work with the Department of Commerce as well as our department’s Revenue and Taxation and our enforcement team,” he added.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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