Comply with price freeze, traders warned

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has reminded business establishments in areas under a state of calamity to comply with the price freeze in basic necessities.

“In these trying times, we again appeal to the private sector for assistance in ensuring that our fellow citizens have access to these basic goods, particularly in the most severely affected areas. We assure consumers that our DTI monitors will keep an eye on the prices and supply of basic necessities,” Ruth Castelo, DTI undersecretary for consumer protection group, said.

The DTI said the price freeze in Abra, which was placed under a state of calamity due to the damage caused by the magnitude 7.0 quake last week, started on July 28 and will end on Sept. 25.

A prize freeze in Datu Montawal, Maguindanao is in effect from July 18 to Sept. 15 due to flooding caused by the overflowing of the Maridagao and Kabacan Rivers.

With the state of calamity declared in Antique on July 14 due to a dengue outbreak, the DTI said a cap on the price of basic commodities would be implemented until Sept. 12.

“The price freeze shall be automatically lifted on their end date unless sooner lifted by the President,”the DTI said.

Under Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, prices of basic necessities are automatically frozen at their prevailing prices for 60 days days once a state of calamity is declared in an area.

Implementing agencies shall ensure price stability and availability of supply in their jurisdiction.

Violators face a prison term of one to 10 years or fines ranging from P5,000 to P1 million or both, depending on the discretion of the court.


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