The Department of Trade and Industry in Negros Occidental will implement a “price freeze” on basic necessities, its provincial head Rebecca Rascon said yesterday.
Rascon said Republic Act 8571 or the Price Act of the Philippines states that prices of basic necessities in an area shall automatically be frozen at their prevailing prices, or placed under automatic price control when it is placed under a state of calamity.
On Monday, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan unanimously approved the request of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. to declare Negros Occidental under a state of calamity following the destruction caused by super typhoon Yolanda.
Rascon said that, under the law, prices prevailing a month before the onset of the calamity shall prevail. She said they will release the automatic price ceiling of basic necessities today.
She added that DTI personnel are now checking the markets to see if there are changes in the prices of basic commodities after the typhoon.
Under the Price Act of the Philippines, anyone violating the price freeze shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment for one to ten years, or a fine of not less than P5,000 and not more than P1 million at the discretion of the court.*APN