THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is informing all consumers and retailers that prices of basic necessities in an area proclaimed or declared under martial law shall be automatically frozen at their prevailing prices or placed under automatic price control.
DTI said the price control is pursuant to Section 6 of the Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, which provide protection to consumers by stabilizing the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities including measures against undue price increases “during emergency situations and like occasions.”
The regions in Mindanao where the automatic price control shall be implemented are the following:
• Region IX – Zamboanga Peninsula
• Region X – Northern Mindanao
• Region XI – Southern Mindanao
• Region XII –SOCCSKSARGEN
• Region XIII – CARAGA
Unless sooner lifted by the President, DTI said price control shall be in effect for 60 days for basic necessities, and 15 days for household LPG and kerosene from the date of the Martial Law declaration.
Basic necessities refer to goods vital to the needs of consumers for their sustenance and existence such as, but not limited to, rice, corn, root crops, bread; fresh, dried or canned fish and other marine products; fresh pork, beef and poultry meat; fresh eggs; potable water in bottles and containers; fresh and processed milk; fresh vegetables and fruits; locally manufactured instant noodles; coffee; sugar; cooking oil; salt; laundry soap and detergents; firewood; charcoal; household liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene; candles; and drugs classified as essential by the Department of Health (DOH).
Business establishments violating the automatic price control shall face the penalty ranging from PHP5,000 to PHP1 million and/or imprisonment of one year up to 10 years.
DTI is enjoining retailers to comply with the automatic price control while consumers are advised to be guided accordingly.
The public is also encouraged to make use of the DTI “e-Presyo” to check for the SRPs and prevailing prices of all basic and prime goods being monitored by the DTI including those stores selling at the lowest prices.
The “e-Presyo” can be accessed through the DTI website, www.dti.gov.ph or downloaded from Play Store using any Android device.
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