DTI provincial office staff conducting monitoring on the listed basic necessities and prime commodities during the price freeze in Western Visayas

WESTERN VISAYAS – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region VI has released the price freeze on basic necessities in local government units (LGUs) that are under a state of calamity due to El Niño and Pertussis Outbreak.

Out of the 31 declarations of a state of calamity from March 13 to May 1, 2024, 30 are due to El Niño and 1 is due to Pertussis Outbreak. The price freeze on basic necessities due to El Niño is currently being implemented in all the 18 LGUs of Antique; Sara, Estancia, Barotac Viejo, Bingawan, Passi City, Balasan, and Dingle, Iloilo; San Enrique, Kabankalan City, and Valladolid Negros Occidental;  and Buenavista and San Lorenzo, Guimaras. On the other hand, price freeze due to Pertussis Outbreak is being imposed on basic necessities in Iloilo City.

The effectivity period of the automatic price freeze in the following LGUs are as follows, unless sooner lifted by the President: 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 with 18 LGUs (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, 2024).

Under Republic Act No. 7581, the Price Act, prices of basic necessities are automatically frozen at their prevailing rates for 60 days when an area is under a state of calamity. This measure aims to protect consumers from undue price increases during calamities.

DTI Region VI regularly monitors retailers for compliance with the price freeze on basic necessities 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.

Based on the Price Act, business establishments found to have violated the price freeze will face a penalty of imprisonment for a period of not less than one (1) year nor more than ten (10) years, or a fine as may be determined.

The public is urged to report retailers that sell basic necessities more than the specified price freeze to the DTI Regional Office 6 or the DTI Provincial Offices in Antique, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, and Guimaras. ♦

Date of release: 16 May 2024