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PIA Press Release

DTI-7 warns retailers to observe price freeze of basic goods

Cebu City (5 October) -- Retailers in Cebu and the rest of the region are warned by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-7) to observe the price freeze on all brands of listed commodities amid the declaration of the entire country under a state of calamity.

President Gloria Macapagal-Aroyo signed Proclamation No. 1898 last Friday declaring the entire country under a state of calamity Arroyo in view of the tremendous damage to lives and properties and massive displacement caused by typhoon "Ondoy" and in preparation for the impending hazards and devastations of typhoon "Pepeng".

Typhoon "Pepeng" with maximum sustained winds at 175kph and gustiness of 210kph hit the country last Saturday and ravaged most of Northern Luzon.

The country, still reeling from the shock of the onslaught of Typhoon 'Ondoy' that killed over 250 people in Luzon, had to bear the brunt of another typhoon.

Although Typhoon 'Pepeng' already moved to sea yesterday and had weakened but not after killing 17 people in its wake, this is reported.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) meanwhile, warned of another coming typhoon codename 'Melor' which is expected to enter the country's area of responsibility today. Albeit Typhoon 'Melor' is not likely to hit the country, chief weather forecaster Nathaniel Cruz bared.

The DTI-7 already released an advisory to all retailers declaring a prize freeze on basic necessities as provided for under RA 7581 or the Price Act. The advisory is in consonance with Pres. Arroyo's proclamation.

With Proclamation 1898, prices of basic goods are effectively controlled by the DTI, giving the agency the power to freeze prices of basic commodities at their prevailing prices as of October 2.

Basic necessities as defined under the Price Act covers both agricultural goods and manufactured products that included fresh pork, beef, poultry meat, fresh eggs, processed milk, fresh, dried and canned fish, milk, coffee, rice, corn, bread, sugar, cooking oil, detergents, root crops, laundry soap, and vegetables among others.

The prize freeze is based on prevailing prices from the DTI monitoring report before the declaration of State of Calamity.

Retailers who take advantage of the situation and hike prices of the identified basic goods carry a penalty of 10 years maximum imprisonment and fine of P1M.

Consumers may call or proceed to the nearest DTI office in their area for complaints or inquiries. Telephone numbers of DTI Offices in the region are: DTI-Cebu (032) 255-7082 local 19/253-2631, DTI-Bohol (038) 501-8260, DTI-Negros Oriental (035) 422-2764, DTI-Siquijor (035) 480-9065. and the DTI-7 Regional Office (032) 255-0036. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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