DTI urges public: Monitor price freeze, report violators

(Francis Allan Angelo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The Department of Trade and Industry Region 6 (DTI-6) has urged officials of the local government units to help in the price freeze on basic necessities imposed in their areas.

“The local government unit should really be on top of this, being in the local chief executive as the head of the local price coordinating council,” said DTI-6 officer-in-charge regional director Rachel Nufable in a press conference on Monday, May 20.

The DTI-6 in a press release on May 16 listed 31 local government units (LGU) in the region that have an effective price freeze from March 13 to June 30.

The identified LGUs have declared a state of calamity due to the impacts of the El Niño phenomenon, and one is due to an outbreak of the highly contagious pertussis, or whooping cough.

DTI-6 said it has proactively engaged with business establishments to ensure compliance with the price freeze.

“We have already informed the business establishments about the price freeze. We have already provided them with copies of the Suggested Retail Prices (SRP) of the different basic commodities that are within DTI’s jurisdiction,” Nufable said.

DTI-6 said regular monitoring activities are being conducted to ensure adherence to these SRPs and to assess the availability of supply.

“We are encouraging consumers and media partners to help us ensure that the public is aware of the price freeze as well as the business establishments. So inform us of any violation so that we can also properly address it,” Nufable urged the public.

The DTI-6 reported that it has not received complaints of a violation of the price freeze since the imposition commenced in some areas on March 13.

Grace Benedicto, chief of Consumer Protection Division of DTI-6, said upon receiving complaints, they will issue show cause orders to the business establishments before filing the appropriate cases.

To facilitate transparency and compliance, SRP lists have been posted publicly, and the local price coordinating councils are actively ensuring that these lists are visible to both consumers and retailers.

The items affected by the price freeze include canned fish, processed milk, coffee, detergent, laundry soap, bread, instant noodles, salt, bottled water, and candles.

The price freeze on basic necessities due to El Niño is in effect in all 18 LGUs of Antique, as well as in the municipalities of Sara, Estancia, Barotac Viejo, Bingawan, Passi City, Balasan, and Dingle in Iloilo province.

It can be recalled that the provincial government of Antique declared a province-wide state of calamity due to the El Niño phenomenon and dry season on April 18.

The price freeze also extends to San Enrique, Kabankalan City, and Valladolid in Negros Occidental; and Buenavista and San Lorenzo in Guimaras.

Meanwhile, a price freeze due to the pertussis outbreak is being imposed on basic necessities in Iloilo City. Iloilo City was placed under a state of calamity due to pertussis on March 26.


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