MANILA — Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez has assured that the agency is closely monitoring supplies and prices of goods in Biliran province, which was affected by tropical depression “Urduja.”
“DTI dispatched more teams to monitor prices and prevent hoarders and profiteers. They were warned that they will be charged,” Lopez said.
He said that prices and supply of water and basic goods are normal, with supply of these commodities coming from Cebu through roll-on roll-off (RORO) ship.
DTI also reminded retailers to keep basic goods in their prevailing prices as price freeze is being implemented in Biliran since its local government placed the province under state of calamity due to onslaught of Urduja.
Under Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, there shall be no movement of prices of basic goods within 60 days in areas declared under state of calamity.
Products under price freeze 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.
Prices of household liquefied petroleum gas and kerosene shall also have no movement for 15 days since placing Biliran under state of calamity Monday, Dec. 18.
An administrative fine of PHP5,000 up to PHP1 million and imprisonment of five to 15 years will be imposed to retailers who will illegally manipulate prices in areas declared under state of calamity.