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Price freeze on in CL calamity areas

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has imposed price freeze on basic goods and commodities in all areas under a state of calamity in Central Luzon following heavy monsoon rains.

DTI identified the areas as the province of Bataan, the towns of Marilao and Paombong in Bulacan, Licab and Nampicuan in Nueva Ecija, Masantol in Pampanga, Ramos, La Paz, Camiling, Moncada and Victoria in Tarlac and Olongapo City.

“Under Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, prices of basic goods and commodities are frozen, or held at prevailing prices automatically once an area is placed under a state of calamity. The price freeze is effective for a minimum of 60 days, unless revoked by the President,” DTI regional director Judith Angeles said.

“We remind business establishments that violations of the Price Act under Section 5, or Illegal Price Manipulation, are punishable by imprisonment ranging from five to 15 years and fines ranging from P5,000 to P2 million, depending on the gravity of the offense. Illegal price manipulation may consist of hoarding, profiteering and cartel,” Angeles said.

Angeles noted that “in cases of emergency or exigency, the President, upon the recommendation of the Price Coordinating Council, may also impose a mandated price ceiling to avert any overpricing of goods.”

“We also remind consumers not to resort to panic buying, so as not to distort the supply of goods in their respective localities. We are continuously monitoring the supply and prices of basic goods in major public markets, groceries and supermarkets in the region,” Angeles also said.

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