Issue of January 3, 2021
     
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DTI reminds price freeze on basic commodities remains
by Jane B. Cadalig

The Department of Trade and Industry has reminded the public the price freeze that was imposed on basic necessities in November last year remains.

DTI-Cordillera Trade and Industry Specialist Chief Jeremias Agpes said the price freeze on essentials goods that was imposed in Luzon following the onslaught of typhoons in November last year has not been lifted yet.

Agpes said DTI is continuously monitoring the compliance of establishments with the price freeze in relation to the declaration of state of calamity in Luzon.

Before the Yuletide season, DTI-Cordillera has issued notices to consumers and retailers emphasizing that the price freeze on essential goods pursuant to the proclamation issued by President Rodrigo Duterte in Nov. 18,2020 is effective for 60 days unless earlier lifted by the President. 

Essential goods include canned fish and other marine products, locally manufactured instant noodles, bottled water, bread, processed milk, coffee, candles, laundry soap, detergent, and salt.

The price freeze usually applies to groceries, supermarkets, and wet markets.

Even before the onslaught of typhoons late last year, Agpes the DTI has been aggressively monitoring the compliance of establishments on the price freeze since the country was placed under state of public health emergency due to the threats of the Covid-19 in March.

Since then, Agpes said DTI-Cordillera has issued letters of inquiry to 190 establishments, of which 11 were issued notices of violations.

He added the DTI has also assisted other agencies, such as the Department of Health, in monitoring against hoarding and overpricing of medical products such as alcohol, sanitizers, masks, and gloves, among other devices.

The agency’s monitoring on other retailers to protect consumers from unreasonable or exorbitant prices is also continuous.

Agpes said retailers and sari-sari stores are continuously monitored to ensure that owners or operators do not impose unreasonable prices on basic commodities.

Those who could not justify why they tag a product with a cost higher than the suggested retail prices are charged pursuant to the Price Act.


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