By Mike Crismundo
A price freeze on basic necessities and prime commodities in northeastern Mindanao (Caraga region) has been enforced following the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
The regional office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI 13) on Friday directed all its provincial and city offices to closely monitor the prime commodities in their respective areas.
Pursuant to Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, prices of basic necessities and prime commodities should remain frozen at their prevailing prices and should be placed under price control once an area is declared under state of calamity or under an emergency situation.
DTI Agusan del Norte Provincial Director Gay A. Tidalgo said all stores must strictly follow so they will not be penalized.
Any business company found in violation of the Price Act would be charged with an administrative fine of P500 to P1,000 or higher upon the jurisdiction of the court, or one to 10 years imprisonment.
Some of the basic necessities and prime commodities are rice, corn, bread, dried fish, canned goods, pork, chicken, eggs, fruits, milk, vegetables, salt, soap, sugar, oil, gas, medicines, noodles, coffee and other products.
Meanwhile, DTI 13 Regional Director Brielgo O. Pagaran also said the implementation of the price freeze lasts according to the period indicated in the declaration of martial law.
In his declaration of martial law last Tuesday night, President Duterte said the military rule would last for 60 days unless extended.
The region’s DTI chief added that the price freeze would, however, cease to take effect even before the 60-day period is completed if Congress revokes the martial law declaration or the Supreme Court considers it null and void.