PH declares price freeze in Yolanda-affected regions
by FFE PH News staff
DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary Gregory L. Domingo reiterated that, following Republic Act No. 7581, areas under a state of calamity must implement a price freeze of basic goods and necessities. This comes after DTI met with food manufacturers regarding continued supply of food in the region, a move seen to push local stores to open.
As of Tuesday, 5:50am, the prize freeze will take effect in the following areas:
Coron in Palawan
Baco, Naujan, and Calapan in Oriental Mindoro
Tacloban City, Leyte
The goods covered by the price freeze include: rice, bread, salt, sugar, corn, cooking oil, eggs, pork, beef, poultry meat, canned fish, seafood, vegetables, milk, processed milk, coffee, candles, laundry soap, detergent, firewood, charcoal and Department of Health-specified essential drugs.
DTI also warned that those found violating the price freeze will be fined up to Php1m and may be imprisoned up to 10 years.
In line with the price freeze, DTI has also launched ‘Diskwento Caravans’ [Discount Caravans] to help stabilise food supply in the devastated areas. The first batch consisting of 15 trucks carrying basic goods like water, bread, noodles and sardines to be sold at a discount has already been mobilised in the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc.
The secretary assured that supplies are adequate despite problems in delivery and logistics. Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers president Edith A. de Leon also said her group had enough supplies in their warehouses.
Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association president Steven T. Cua meanwhile called for ‘calm, sobriety and order’ since some of the group’s members are afraid of opening their stores due to reported looting.