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Nationwide price freeze on basic necessities lifted on July 9 –DTI

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Tuesday said that the nationwide price freeze on basic necessities expired on July 9.

With this, the DTI told manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and consumers that basic necessities “will now be sold at their suggested retail prices (SRPs) based on the September 30, 2019 list.”

Following Proclamation No. 1143, prices of basic necessities were placed under automatic price control or automatically frozen at their prevailing prices due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever.

The price freeze lasted 60 days, which began on May 10 and ended on July 9.

“Though the price freeze on basic necessities will be lifted, the DTI assures the consuming public of continuing and constant communication with the manufacturers and retailers of these goods to ensure that their prices are reasonable and that supply is stable and available in the market,” said DTI Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth Castelo.

The products under basic necessities include canned sardines in tomato sauce, luncheon meat, meatloaf, beef loaf, corned beef, processed milk, coffee, bread, locally manufactured instant noodles, salt, detergent soap/laundry soap, toilet soap, bottled water, candle, and condiments such as vinegar, soy sauce, and fish sauce, according to the DTI.

The SRP list for the said products is available on the DTI’s website for the information and guidance of retailers, distributors, and consumers nationwide.

With the lifting of the price freeze, the DTI said its Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) and its regional and provincial offices will continue their intensified monitoring and enforcement activities in their respective areas to determine the compliance of establishments with the provisions of Republic Act (RA) No. 7581 or the Price Act, as amended by RA 10623 “An Act Amending Certain Provisions of Republic Act No. 7581, entitled “An Act Providing Protection To Consumers By Stabilizing The Prices Of Basic Necessities And Prime Commodities And By Prescribing Measures Against Undue Price Increases During Emergency Situations And Like Occasions And For Other Purposes”.

The Trade department also reminded business establishments to follow the latest SRPs of basic necessities and prime commodities and warned against any acts of illegal price manipulation such as hoarding, profiteering, and cartels.

Based on the Price Act, those found engaging in illegal price manipulation shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 15 years, and shall be fined not less than P5,000 nor more than P2 million. — DVM, GMA News