DTI: Price freeze takes effect in Pampanga, 3 provinces-A A +A
Friday, August 10, 2012
STA. RITA -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Central Luzon said a freeze in the prices of basic goods is now in effect in Pampanga, Bataan, Bulacan, and Zambales.
The DTI said that under a state of calamity, an automatic price control is implemented as contained in Section 6 of Republic Act 7581 otherwise known as the Price Act as a preventive measure to avoid chaos that may result from overpricing of basic goods during times of calamities.
Hence, the prices of basic goods in the mentioned areas excluding agricultural products should remain in their pre-flooding retail prices, the DTI said in an earlier statement.
The DTI was earlier quoted by Sun.Star Pampanga that upon declaration of state calamity by the local government, a price control can be implemented for the duration of 60 days unless lifted sooner by either the local council or by the President of the Philippines.
Also, local governments and provincial DTI offices can adjust prices to reflect additional operational costs or the costs of bringing the products in the market. However, this still needs the approval of either the National Price Coordinating Council or the President. The adjusted prices must be published in newspapers of national circulation.
The DTI warned businessmen of the penalty for profiteering in prize freeze areas up to P1 million in fines and/or imprisonment of one to five years. If the case is hoarding, violators can face up to P2 million in fines and/or imprisonment of five to 15 years.
In Guagua and Sta. Rita town, price of basic commodities have risen by P3 to P4. Merchants and sari-sari store operators here said the cost of bringing in additional supply has been jacked-up by the impassable roads leading to major commercial areas.
Major parts of Guagua town, one of the province’s major fish and commercial centers, are still inaccessible as of yesterday. Despite this, activity in the town is made possible with the use of watercrafts. People wanting to acquire provisions use “bancas” or canoes to maneuver across the town.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 11, 2012.