City of San Fernando—Groceries, supermarkets and other retail stores in Pampanga have been placed on tight watch by the local government units following the issuance of a price freeze directive on basic goods.
The regional office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI3) here is regularly monitoring the prices of these goods to be able to document the prevailing prices, which are the basis for determining whether there is illegal price manipulation.
DTI3 director Judith Angeles urged citizens to report any violation of the Price Act through Consumer Hotline of DTI – 1-384. Jess Malabanan
This develops as Governor Dennis Pineda appealed to owners of supermarkets not to increase the prices of their commodities to avoid penalty.
In his official social media page, Pineda reminded grocery and supermarket owners to heed with the “Price Freeze” call of the government citing difficulties brought about by the series of typhoons that hit Luzon.
“Umaapela po ako sa inyo mga may-ari ng supermarket at grocery na panatilihin ang presyo ng kanilang paninda lalo na ang basic commodities habang ang buong Luzon ay nasa State of Calamity,” stated Pineda.
The DTI3 also warned grocery stores of penalties should be found violating the “Price Freeze” directive.
An Automatic Price Control is being implemented after President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation 1051 which placed the entire Luzon island group under a State of Calamity due to damages caused by typhoons “Quinta”, “Rolly” and “Ulysses.”
“Under Republic Act No. 7581 otherwise known as Price Act, a price freeze is automatically imposed on the price of basic goods when there is a declaration of a state of calamity, emergency or similar situation in an area of the country,” said Angeles.
Basic goods include rice; corn; root crops; bread; fresh, dried or canned fish and other marine products; fresh pork, beef and poultry meat; fresh eggs; potable water in bottles and containers; fresh and processed milk; fresh vegetables and fruits; locally manufactured instant noodles; coffee; sugar; cooking oil; salt; laundry soap and detergents; firewood; charcoal; household liquefied petroleum gas and kerosene; candles; drugs classified as essential by Department of Health and such other goods as may be included by law.
“Because of this, those found to artificially raise the prices of goods shall be penalized under the Price Act. Penalties on illegal price manipulation such as hoarding, profiteering and cartel range from P5,000 to P2 million depending on the gravity of the offense,” Angeles added.