PN file photo

A provincial legislator has asked the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to look into the possibility of a price freeze on basic necessities and essential commodities in southern Palawan.

Board member Ariston Arzaga filed a resolution, Tuesday, January 17, requesting the trade department to help make the prices of agricultural inputs, fishery supplies, and materials accessible to residents in the municipalities that are affected by the recent flooding incidents and during the holiday season.

“In consideration of the [calamity] this resolution seeks a price freeze on basic necessities, prime and essential commodities including agricultural inputs and fishery supply and materials in the southern towns of the province of Palawan,” Arzaga said.

Arzaga said the measure also seeks to intensify the monitoring of prices and supply of basic necessities and prime commodities in the province of Palawan.

The DTI is tasked to implement and announce price freeze on basic necessities pursuant to Republic Act 7581, otherwise known as the “Price Act”. Under Section 6 of the law, prices of basic necessities shall be frozen at their prevailing prices for 60 days or until sooner lifted by the President whenever the area is proclaimed or declared a disaster area or under a state of calamity, or declared under an emergency or other similar condition.

Included under basic necessities are rice, corn, bread, fresh, dried and canned fish, and other marine products, fresh pork, beef and poultry meal, fresh eggs, fresh and processed milk, fresh vegetables, root crops, coffee, sugar, cooking oil, salt, laundry soap, detergents, firewood, charcoal, candles, and drugs classified as essential by the Department of Health (DOH).

Prime commodities include fresh fruits; flour; dried processed and canned pork, beef and poultry meat, dairy products not falling under basic necessities, noodles, onions, garlic, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet soap, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, poultry, swine and cattle feeds, veterinary products for poultry, swine and cattle, paper, school supplies, nipa shingles, sawali, cement, clinker, GI sheets, hollow blocks, plywood, plyboard, construction nails, batteries, electrical supplies, light bulbs, steel wire, and all drugs that are not classified as essential drugs.