The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has declared a price freeze on all basic necessities following the issuance of Proclamation No. 922 or the declaration of a Public Health Emergency throughout the Philippines due to Covid-19.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared the State of Public Health Emergency, Sunday, March 8, 2020 and all citizens, residents, tourists and establishment owners are urged to act within the bounds of the law and to comply with the lawful directives and advisories to be issued by appropriate government agencies.

“Natanggap namin ‘yong notice kahapon tapos kanina lang na-print, pero kung kalian nag-pronounce si Mr. President, ‘yon ang susundin natin. Sa ngayon and DTI ay may nag-iikot na mga price monitoring officers under DTI’s jurisdiction na products ang mga minomonitor kasi ‘yon po ang mga nakalagay sa price freeze ng DTI. Sa ngayon wala pa tayong feedback kung may mga tindahan na nag-taas ng presyo, hanggang next week may mag-momonitor sa ibang munisipyo rin natin,” said Persival Narbonita, information officer of DTI Puerto Princesa City.

The products covered by the price freeze are rice, corn, dried and other marine products, fresh eggs, fresh pork, beef and vegetables, root crops, sugar, fresh fruits, canned fish, processed milk, coffee, laundry soap, detergent, candles, bread, salt, potable water in bottles and containers, firewood and charcoals, household liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene, and drugs classified as essential by DOH.

For the emergency medicines:
• Analgesics
• Anti-allergies
• Anticonvulsants / Antiepileptic
• Antidotes
• Anti-infective Medicines / Antibiotics
• Antibacterial Agents
• Antifungals Medicines
• Antivirals Medicines
• Cardiovascular Medicines
• Corticosteroids
• Dermatological Medicines
• Disinfectants and Antiseptics
• Diuretics
• Gastrointestinal Medicines
• Medicines Affecting the Blood
• Oxytocic
• Psychotherapeutic Medicines
• Respiratory Tract Medicines
• Anti-Emetic
• Antidiabetics
• Hypercholesterolemia Agent
• Antihypertensive and Anti-Aginal Agents
• Antiasthma
• Medicines for Shock
• Medicines for Electrolyte, Acid-Base and Caloric Disturbances

For medical supplies:
• N95 masks
• Disposable face masks
• 70% solution ethyl alcohol (60mL, 250mL, and 500mL)
• Sterile gloves 50 pairs/box (size 6.5, 7, 7.5, and 8)
• Sterile gloves per pair (size 6.5, 7, 7.5, and 8)
• Nebulizer
• Neb Kit: Adult and Pedia
• Oxygen Cannula (Adult, Pedia, and Neonatal)

The RA 7581 or Price Act is being mandated once there has been a declaration of state of emergency and would be effective for 60 days for basic goods and 15 days for household LPG and kerosene.

DTI also encouraged the community to report whoever will practice over-pricing of the necessities covered in RA 7581. Sellers and suppliers found violating Article 52 (b) of Consumers’ Act of the Philippines will be subjected to a fine of not less than P500.00 but not more than P10,000.00 or imprisonment of not less than 5 months but not more than 1 year.

Consumers are encouraged to report the retailers and suppliers selling overpriced supplies to the local DTI office located at 4/F ERC Building, Barangay San Pedro or you may contact them through (048) 434 1092; 0955 316 7315; 0949 789 3742.

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