More major manufacturers of basic necessities and prime commodities have committed to implementing a voluntary price freeze in support of Filipino consumers amid rising prices of goods and the ill effects of the El Niño phenomenon, the Department of Trade and Industry announced on Saturday.

In a statement, the DTI said several firms, including Monde Nissin, Alaska Milk Corporation, Nestlé, NutriAsia, Inc., and San Miguel Food, voluntarily issued price freeze orders on specified stock-keeping units (SKUs) of canned meat, processed milk, and bottled water.

The number of participating manufacturers rose to eight, with the price freeze now covering a wider range of 31 SKUs.

“The DTI greatly appreciates the efforts of manufacturers to freeze their prices. This collaborative initiative is vital in ensuring that consumers, especially those in areas not under price control, have continued access to basic goods at affordable prices,” Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said.

Additional commitments cover SKUs across six product categories: processed milk, processed canned meat or beef, bottled water, instant noodles, condiments, and coffee.

Notable brands included in the freeze are: Lucky Me! Instant Mami, Liberty Condensada, Alaska Classic Sweetened Condensed Milk, Bear Brand Fortified Powdered Milk Drink, Nestle Carnation Condensada, Datu Puti Soy Sauce, Datu Puti Vinegar, San Mig Coffee 3-in-1 Original, Purefoods Chinese Style Luncheon Meat, and Star Corned Beef.

Prior to this initiative, automatic price freeze mechanisms were already in effect in various provinces and municipalities severely impacted by El Niño.
An automatic price control freezes the prices of basic necessities for 60 days in areas placed under a state of calamity or emergency as stated in Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act, as amended.

Complementing government-mandated price freezes during calamities and emergencies, the DTI-led voluntary price freeze initiated by manufacturers to freeze prices of select basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPCs) under DTI’s jurisdiction will last until 10 July 2024, unless otherwise specified in the price guide.

The trade chief urged other manufacturers to join the initiative and called for collective action to ensure that every Filipino can access affordable basic goods.

“While the DTI proactively enforces existing price freezes in calamity-stricken areas, we are actively expanding support for Filipino consumers nationwide. We encourage more manufacturers to join the initiative and contribute to mitigating the impact of rising prices on Filipino consumers,” he said. (PNA)