DTI enforces price freeze in Western Visayas

A DTI provincial office staffer monitors the basic necessities and prime commodities during the price freeze in Western Visayas. (DTI handout)

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region VI has implemented a price freeze on basic necessities across several local government units (LGUs) in Western Visayas due to the El Niño and Pertussis outbreaks.

The decision follows 31 declarations of a state of calamity between March 13 and May 1, 2024, with 30 due to El Niño and one due to Pertussis.

The price freeze is currently enforced in the 18 LGUs of Antique; Sara, Estancia, Barotac Viejo, Bingawan, Passi City, Balasan, and Dingle in Iloilo; San Enrique, Kabankalan City, and Valladolid in Negros Occidental; and Buenavista and San Lorenzo in Guimaras. In Iloilo City, the freeze is specifically due to the Pertussis outbreak.

The price freeze is effective in these LGUs for 60 days unless lifted earlier by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Specific durations include:

– Sibalom, Antique: March 13 – May 12

– Iloilo City: March 26 – May 25

– Buenavista, Guimaras: March 25 – May 24

– Anini-y, Antique: March 26 – May 25

– San Enrique, Negros Occidental: April 8 – June 7

– Laua-an, Antique: April 12 – June 11

– Sara, Iloilo: April 12 – June 11

– Estancia, Iloilo: April 15 – June 14

– San Remigio, Antique: April 16 – June 15

– Tobias Fornier, Antique: April 17 – June 16

– San Lorenzo, Guimaras: April 17 – June 16

– Whole Province of Antique: April 18 – June 17

– Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental: April 18 – June 17

– Barotac Viejo, Iloilo: April 24 – June 23

– Bingawan, Iloilo: April 24 – June 23

– City of Passi, Iloilo: April 25 – June 24

– Balasan, Iloilo: April 25 – June 24

– Dingle, Iloilo: April 30 – June 29

– Valladolid, Negros Occidental: May 1 – June 30

Under Republic Act No. 7581, the Price Act, prices of basic necessities are frozen at their prevailing rates during a state of calamity to protect consumers from undue price increases.

DTI-VI monitors retailers for compliance, focusing on items such as canned fish, processed milk, coffee, detergent, laundry soap, bread, instant noodles, salt, bottled water, and candles.

“The DTI Provincial Offices and the Consumer Protection Division are working closely with LGUs to monitor the implementation of the price freeze, ensuring consumer protection,” said DTI VI OIC-RD Rachel Nufable.

Violators of the price freeze may face imprisonment from one to ten years or fines as determined.

The public is encouraged to report any retailers selling basic necessities above the specified price freeze to the DTI Regional Office 6 or the provincial offices in Antique, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, and Guimaras.

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