The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announces nationwide price freeze on basic necessities pursuant to the Price Act or Republic Act (RA) No. 7581.
Section 6 of the said law states that prices of basic necessities shall be frozen at their prevailing prices for sixty (60) days or until sooner lifted by the President whenever there is a declaration of a state of emergency, calamity, or other similar conditions.
Proclamation No. 922 which puts the country under a State of Public Health Emergency due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak triggered the implementation of a nationwide price freeze.
“The DTI is closely coordinating with other government agencies, manufacturers, and retailers of basic goods to ensure availability and continuous supply in the market. Retailers are reminded that there should be no price movement on these goods while the price freeze is in effect,” says DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.
Basic goods that are under the jurisdiction of the DTI include canned fish and other marine products, locally manufactured instant noodles, bottled water, bread, processed milk, coffee, candles, and laundry soap, detergent, and salt.
The DA covers basic agricultural goods such as rice, corn, cooking oil, fresh, dried and other marine products, fresh eggs, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, fresh milk, fresh vegetables, root crops, sugar, and fresh fruits.
Essential drugs are under the DOH while firewood and charcoal for the DENR. Household LPG and kerosene, on the other hand, are under the DOE.
All these basic goods are placed under price freeze for 60 days with the exception of household LPG and kerosene whose prices shall be frozen for fifteen (15) days only as provided in the Amended Price Act or RA 10623.
Meanwhile, on ensuring price reasonableness, DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo assures the public that, “The Department continues to intensify its monitoring and enforcement activities on the prices of basic goods in the market, including N-95, N-88, and other similar face masks.”
It can be recalled that since the phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano, the DTI included face masks in its monitoring which remains relevant to this day as the country addresses the outbreak of COVID-19.
Business establishments found to have violated the price freeze shall be imposed with a fine amounting to P5,000.00 up to P1,000,000.00 and/or imprisonment for a period of one (1) year up to ten (10) years.
Consumers are enjoined to report business establishments that sell basic necessities beyond the price freeze by calling the One-DTI (1-384) Hotline or sending an email to, ConsumerCare@dti.gov.ph. ♦
Date of Release: 11 March 2020