MANILA—Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for Consumer Protection Group Teodoro Pascua has reminded retailers and consumers of the price freeze being implemented in earthquake-hit province of Batangas.
“Prize freeze automatically applies in cases of declarations of (state of) calamity, and in prices of basic necessities,” said Pascua in a text message to the Philippine News Agency.
He added that DTI’s field office in Batangas issues the prevailing prices of goods and will monitor the supplies and prices of commodities in the province.
Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas declared the province under state of calamity after the province was hit by a magnitude 5.5 earthquake on April 4. The Tuesday quake was near Tingloy, Batangas.
The province experienced stronger tremors last Saturday, with epicenter near the town of Mabini, at magnitude of 5.6 and 6.0 for the first and second earthquake, respectively.
It was followed by a magnitude 5.1 and a 5.3 jolt.
Moreover, the Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act orders an automatic price freeze on basic necessities in areas declared under state of calamity.
This means prices of basic goods which include canned sardines, processed milk, bottled water, locally manufactured instant noodles, coffee, detergent soap, bread, candles, salt, rice, corn, cooking oil, fresh pork, fresh beef, fresh poultry meat, fresh and dried fish and other marine products, fresh egg, fresh milk, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, root crops, and sugar shall maintain for the next 60 days.
A 15-day price freeze on prices of household liquefied petroleum gas and kerosene shall also be implemented.
Under the law, an administrative fine of Php 5,000 up to Php 1.0 million and imprisonment of up to five years will be imposed to violators.