DTI secures price freeze amid rising costs

 (Francis Allan L. Angelo photo)

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has successfully garnered additional commitments from major manufacturers to implement a voluntary price freeze on basic necessities, aiming to support Filipino consumers facing rising prices and the ongoing El Niño phenomenon.

Building on the initial success of a voluntary price freeze launched in May 2024, the DTI’s recent efforts have resulted in several companies agreeing to freeze prices on select stock keeping units (SKUs) of essential goods. This move comes after a productive meeting with manufacturers of basic necessities and prime commodities.

Joining the initiative are Monde Nissin, Alaska Milk Corporation, Nestlé, NutriAsia, Inc., and San Miguel Foods. With these additions, the total number of participating manufacturers has increased to eight, covering 31 SKUs.

“The DTI greatly appreciates the efforts of manufacturers to freeze their prices. This collaborative initiative is vital in ensuring that consumers, especially those in areas not under price control, have continued access to basic goods at affordable prices,” said DTI Secretary Fred Pascual.

The new commitments cover six product categories: processed milk, processed canned meat or beef, bottled water, instant noodles, condiments, and coffee. Notable brands included in the freeze are Lucky Me! Instant Mami, Liberty Condensada, Alaska Classic Sweetened Condensed Milk, Bear Brand Fortified Powdered Milk Drink, Nestle Carnation Condensada, Datu Puti Soy Sauce, Datu Puti Vinegar, San Mig Coffee 3-in-1 Original, Purefoods Chinese Style Luncheon Meat, and Star Corned Beef.

This expansion aims to ensure consumers have access to these basic necessities at stable prices, particularly in areas not covered by automatic price freeze measures due to El Niño. Previously, automatic price freeze mechanisms were in place in provinces and municipalities severely impacted by El Niño, as mandated by Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act, which freezes prices of basic necessities for 60 days in areas declared under a state of calamity or emergency.

“While the DTI proactively enforces existing price freezes in calamity-stricken areas, we are actively expanding support for Filipino consumers nationwide. We encourage more manufacturers to join the initiative and contribute to mitigating the impact of rising prices on Filipino consumers,” Pascual urged.

The DTI-led voluntary price freeze on select basic necessities and prime commodities under its jurisdiction will last until July 10, 2024, unless otherwise specified in the price guide. The DTI regularly updates its price guide on the DTI Consumer Care social media pages, allowing consumers to make informed choices when purchasing essential goods.

This initiative complements government-mandated price freezes during calamities and emergencies, demonstrating the collective effort to provide economic relief to Filipino consumers during challenging times.

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