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 respective prevailing 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 basic goods;

� 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.

CONSUMER PROTECTION GROUP (CPG) List of Products - Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities 14 June 2016

Based on the Republic Act 7581 or the PRICE ACT and the RA 10623 or an Act Amending RA 7581, products in the market are classified according to basic necessities and prime commodities for proper implementation and monitoring of their prices and supplies.

A. The products classified as Basic Necessities and assigned to specific government departments are the following:

Basic necessities' are goods vital to the needs of consumers for their sustenance and existence in times of any of the cases provided under Section 6 or 7 of the Price Act such as, but not limited to,

1. Department of Agriculture (DA): rice, corn, cooking oil, fresh, dried and other marine products, fresh eggs, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, fresh milk, fresh vegetables, root crops, sugar, fresh fruits*

2. DTI: canned fish and other marine products, processed milk, coffee, laundry soap, detergent, candles, bread, salt, potable water in bottles and containers*, locally manufactured instant noodles*

3. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR): firewood and charcoal 4. Department of Health (DOH): drugs classified as essential by DOH 5. Department of Energy (DOE)*:household liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), kerosene

B. The products classified as Prime Commodities and assigned to specific government departments are the following:

Prime Commodities' are goods not considered as basic necessities but are essential to consumers in times of any of the cases provided under Section 7 of the Price Act such as, but not limited to:

1. DA - dried pork, dried beef and poultry meat, fresh dairy products not falling under basic necessities, onion, garlic, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, poultry, swine and cattle feeds, veterinary products for poultry, swine and cattle.

2. DTI - flour, processed and canned pork, processed and canned beef and poultry meat, vinegar, patis, soy sauce, toilet soap, paper, school supplies, cement, clinker, GI sheets, hollow blocks, construction supplies, batteries, electrical supplies, light bulbs, steel wires

3. DENR - plywood, ply board, nipa shingles, sawali

4. DOH - drugs not classified as essential by DOH

*Based on RA 10623, An Act Amending RA 7581 or the Price Act

Source: Philippine Information Agency

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