DTI orders price freeze in Albay due to Mayon unrest
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) ordered the implementation of a price freeze following the declaration of a state of calamity in the province of Albay due to the continued unrest of Mayon Volcano.
Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual ordered a price freeze for basic necessities and prime commodities (BNPC) within Albay on Friday, one week after Governor Edcel Greco Lagman declared a state of calamity.
Mayon Volcano remains under Alert Level Three.
"Through DTI’s provincial office in Albay, I have ordered a price freeze for BNPCs today. Business establishments are directed to comply to this, otherwise, we will impose necessary penalties," he said.
"We want to ensure that our affected kababayans in Albay will have access to affordable and reasonably-priced commodities especially during disasters like this,” he added.
According to the DTI, under the Price Act (RA7581), as amended by RA 10623, prices of basic necessities are automatically frozen at their prevailing prices for 60 days from declaration unless sooner lifted by the President.
DTI-Albay Officer-in-Charge Noel Bunao said upon the issuance of the Provincial Resolution No.0607-2023, "we already issued a Memorandum Circular reminding all wet markets, supermarkets, groceries, bakeries, hardwares and water refilling stations to comply with the Price Freeze on basic necessities."
With the implementation of the price freeze, the DTI provincial monitoring teams are continuously watching the prices and availability of basic goods such as canned fish, locally manufactured instant noodles, bottled water, bread, processed milk, coffee, candles, laundry soap, detergent, and salt in supermarkets, groceries, and wet markets.
“We have enough supply of basic goods in the affected areas and we are in constant coordination with the manufacturers of basic necessities to ensure adequacy of supply in Albay. We encourage the public to report to the DTI those who are selling basic goods beyond the prevailing price,” said DTI Consumer Protection Group Undersecretary Ruth Castelo. Robina Asido/DMS