Price freeze in effect for ‘state of calamity’ provinces, says DTI

The Department of Trade and Industry has reminded the public that there will be an automatic price freeze to provinces declared under a State of Calamity following the onslaught of super typhoon “Karding.”

In an interview, Trade Undersecretary and Consumer Protection group chief Atty. Ruth Castelo said the price freeze would prevent prices from shooting up when demand increases due to emergency needs.

“Automatic price freeze is implemented only upon the declaration of a state of calamity or emergency by the local government unit concerned. We coordinate with the Office of the Civil Defense to advise us on declarations. Automatic price freeze applies only to basic necessities,” Castelo said.

However, Castelo disclosed that they have not yet received any information from the provincial government and their regional offices that a state of calamity was already imposed.

“No declaration so far, so there is still no price freeze. We’re waiting for confirmation from OCD and DTI R4A,” Castelo told the Daily Tribune.

But in a Twitter post, Dingalan, Aurora Mayor Sherwin Taay said he already ordered the declaration of State of Calamity following the second landfall of Karding on Sunday morning.

Sections 6 and 7 of the Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act expressly provide that “prices of basic necessities in an area shall automatically be frozen at their prevailing prices or placed under automatic price control whenever that area is proclaimed or declared a disaster area or under a state of calamity; and a price ceiling may be imposed on any basic necessity or prime commodity considering the impendency, existence, or effects of a calamity.”

Basic commodities collectively refer to rice; corn; bread; fresh dried and canned fish and other marine products; fresh pork, beef and poultry meat; 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.
Violators may face imprisonment for a period of not less than one year but not more than 10 years, or a fine of not less than P5,000 but not more than P1 million.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *