DTI representative checks the price list of retailers for compliance with the prevailing prices of basic necessities in Oriental Mindoro being declared under the state of calamity. | Photo by DTI-OrMin

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) ordered all businesses selling basic necessities to freeze their prices due to the declaration of state of calamity in the entire province for a period of 60 days.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan in Resolution No. 5316-2020 declared the state of calamity on October 27, in the entire province of Oriental Mindoro to protect its inhabitants and provide rescue, relief, rehabilitation, and recovery assistance to victims of Typhoon Quinta that severely hit the province on October 26.

DTI Provincial Director Arnel E. Hutalla clarified that per Section 6 of RA 7581 or the Price Act, prices of basic necessities in an area under a state of calamity shall be automatically frozen at their prevailing prices for a period of 60 days from the declaration of State of Calamity unless otherwise or sooner lifted for valid reasons.

Basic necessities under the jurisdiction of DTI include canned fish and other marine products, processed milk, coffee, laundry soap, detergent, candles, bread, salt, potable water in bottles and containers, and other locally manufactured instant noodles.

However, basic necessities like rice, corn, cooking oil, fresh, dried, and other marine products, fresh eggs, fresh pork, beef and vegetables, root crops, sugar, and fresh fruits are all under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture (DA) while prices of firewood and charcoal are exclusively monitored and controlled by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Moreover, the selling of household liquefied petroleum gas or LPG and kerosene are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the drugs classified as essentials are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health (DOH).

DTI enjoins consumers to file reports of those retailers that sell basic necessities more than the specified prevailing prices in their area at DTI Provincial Office located in Brgy. Lumangbayan, Calapan City.

PD Hutalla said, “Price Act provides that any retailers found to be selling more than the specified prevailing prices shall be imposed with an administrative fine of up to P1,000,000 and/or maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

To be guided with the prevailing prices of commodities, DTI encourages the public to download the DTI e-Presyo Mobile Application in order to see and check the suggested retail price, prevailing price, and lowest price of basic necessities and prime commodities existing in the area. (PIA-OrMin)

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