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DTI orders traders to adhere to prize freeze amidst state of calamity in Albay

LEGAZPI CITY (PIA) -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Bicol urged store owners to comply to the price freeze implemented in Albay following the declaration  of  state of calamity in  the province due to Mayon’s increasing volcanic activity.

On Friday, June 9, DTI Albay issued a memorandum circular addressed to all owners of wet markets, supermarkets, groceries, bakeries, hardwares and water refilling stations to  comply with the provisions of the Price Act (R.A. 7581).

‘’[This is ] pursuant to the declaration and in response to the relief and other essential activities for disaster control and management, the automatic price control provisions of the Price Act is now in effect,’’ DTI Albay OIC-Provincial Director Noel B. Bunao said.

MONITORING | The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Bicol and Albay lead the monitoring of stores that started on June 11, 2023 to guarantee that they are in compliance with the Price Freeze on all the basic necessities in the province of Albay being under the state of calamity. (Photo courtesy of DTI Albay)

‘’[Under the Price Act is], there is an imposition of  price control wherein prices of basic commodities are automatically frozen at its prevailing prices for the period of sixty (60) days unless sooner lifted,’’ Bunao added.

The basic necessities under DTI are canned sardines, evaporated and condensed milk, coffee refill, laundry bar, detergent powder, candles, bread (Pinoy tasty and Pinoy pandesal), salt, bottled water (potable water in containers), and locally manufactured instant noodles.

Penalties to violators

DTI Bicol warned all the store owners who will violate the price act that is stated on their press release today, June 13.

‘’Penalties for violation against the price freeze include at least the imposition of a fine of P5,000.00 up to P1 million and/or imprisonment of one (1) year up to ten (10) years,’’ DTI Bicol Information Officer Bhem Berango said.

On June 11, DTI deployed teams to monitor and guarantee that all of  the stores selling basic necessities are compliant with the price freeze.

‘’[It is to] ensure availability of supply of these basic necessities in the whole province,’’ Berango said.

DTI Bicol OIC-Regional Director Dindo Nabol urged the business owners not to take advantage of the situation to gain profit specifically to the evacuees affected by the Mayon Volcano’s unrest.

‘’Consumers are encouraged to report any irregularity, particularly on the prices of basic necessities as DTI is not shy to file formal charges against erring stores,’’ Berango said.

Albayano’s can send their complaints and clarifications through DTI’s official facebook pages: DTI:Albay, DTI Region V Bicol or through text at 09998831471 or 09189485220 for OIC-PD Noel Bunao. (PIA5/Albay)

(Cover photo courtesy of DTI Albay)

About the Author

Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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