The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reminds businesses to comply with the price freeze in light of the widespread devastation caused by the persistent rainfall in several regions of the country.
The department said that under Republic Act No. 7581, or the Price Act, as amended by RA 10623, prices of basic necessities (BN) are automatically frozen at their prevailing prices for 60 days once a state of calamity (SOC) is declared in an area.
The effects of the northeast monsoon, shear line, and low-pressure area prompted the declaration of SOC in the provinces, municipalities, and barangays listed below:
|IV-B||Municipality of Brooke’s Point, Province of Palawan|
|Municipality of Sofronio Española, Province of Palawan|
|VIII||6 Barangays (Impo, Santol, Bahay, Caraycaray, San Andres, and Capilihan) in Municipality of San Miguel, Province of Leyte|
|Municipality of Gandara, Province of Samar|
|Municipality of Basey, Province of Samar|
|Municipality of San Jorge, Province of Samar|
|Municipality of Santa Fe, Province of Leyte|
|City of Calbayog, Province of Samar|
|Whole Province of Eastern Samar|
|Whole Province of Northern Samar|
|IX||City of Dapitan, Province of Zamboanga del Norte|
|Municipality of Polanco, Province of Zamboanga del Norte|
|Municipality of Sibuco, Province of Zamboanga del Norte|
|Municipality of Aurora, Province of Zamboanga del Sur|
|16 barangays (Sagrada Familia, Kapalaran, Balugo, San Vicente, Angeles, Lower Tiparak, Sumalig, New Village, Balucot, Lower Usogan, San Jose, Gabunon, Upper Tiparak, Alang-Alang, Tungawan, and Happy Valley) in the Municipality of Tambulig, Province of Zamboanga del Sur|
|Municipality of Sirawai, Province of Zamboanga del Norte|
|‘X||City of Gingoog, Province of Misamis Oriental|
|Municipality of Medina, Misamis Oriental|
|Municipality of Talisayan, Misamis Oriental|
|Whole Province of Misamis Occidental|
|Municipality of Tubod, Province of Lanao del Norte|
|XI||Municipality of Asuncion (Saug), Province of Davao del Norte|
|City of Tagum, Province of Davao del Norte|
|CARAGA||Municipality of San Miguel, Province of Surigao del Sur|
|Municipality of Claver, Province of Surigao del Norte|
The price freeze shall be automatically terminated after 60 days unless sooner lifted by the President. To ensure the stability of prices and availability of supply, the DTI monitors products under its jurisdiction such as canned fish, locally manufactured instant noodles, bottled water, bread, processed milk, coffee, candles, laundry soap, detergent, and salt. The DTI posts and publishes the lists of prevailing prices of these products in the areas declared under a state of calamity in the DTI website (www.dti.gov.ph).
“Aside from basic necessities, our regional and provincial offices’ monitoring teams also check for the price and supply of other commodities. We urge manufacturers to ensure adequate supply in these areas,” says DTI Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary, Atty. Ruth B. Castelo.
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is in charge of monitoring the price and supply of rice, corn, cooking oil, fresh, dried, and other marine products, fresh eggs, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, fresh milk, fresh vegetables, root crops, sugar, fresh fruits. On the other hand, the Department of Health (DOH) keeps watch on the price and supply of drugs classified as essential.
According to the Price Act, business establishments found to have violated the price freeze will face a penalty of imprisonment for a period of one (1) year to ten (10) years, or a fine ranging from PHP5,000.00 to PHP1,000,000.00, or both, at the discretion of the court.
Consumers are enjoined to report retailers, distributors, and manufacturers that sell basic necessities above their prevailing prices via One-DTI (1-384) Hotline or email, ConsumerCare@dti.gov.ph.