DTI implements price freeze but may recommend for its lifting
Prices of basic necessities are frozen at their prevailing prices due to Proclamation No.
55 declaring the entire country under State of National Emergency on account of lawlessness in Mindanao, says the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 7581 as amended by RA 10623 or the Price Act, price freeze is automatically implemented when State of Emergency is declared. This is in effect for sixty (60) days for basic goods, while fifteen (15) days for household LPG and kerosene, from the date of declaration or until sooner lifted by the President.
“The DTI is bound by the Price Act to implement the price freeze but the same law states that we can recommend to the President to lift it sooner. Thus, we are doing further study if we can recommend such,” says DTI Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Teodoro C. Pascua.
According to the DTI, prices and supply of manufactured basic goods are generally stable before and during the proclamation was issued. Events that led to the declaration made by the President apparently did not, in any way, affect the market situation.
For this reason, the DTI is now studying the possibility of lifting the price freeze at least
in the areas where there is clearly no unrest. “Until we come out with an appropriate recommendation for the President, prices of basic goods remain to be frozen at their prevailing prices,” says DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.
Prevailing price of basic necessities refer to the most commonly observed price in an area before the declaration was made.
The DTI enjoins the retailers to comply with the price freeze while consumers are advised to be guided accordingly.
Pursuant to RA No. 7581, as amended by R.A. 10623, penalties for violation against the price freeze include at least the imposition of fine of P5,000.00 up to P1,000,000.00 and/or imprisonment of one (1) year up to ten (10) years.
For more information on the products covered by the price freeze and their respectiveprevailing prices, and/or to report retailers that sell above the frozen prices and SRPs,contact:
- DTI Direct 751.3330 or 0917.8343330 for non-agricultural basic goods;
- DA-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service at 920.2216 for agricultural
- DOH-National Center for Pharmaceutical Access and Management at 651.7800
local 2554 for essential drugs; and,
- DOE at 840.2130 for LPG and kerosene.