CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro, Jan. 16 (PIA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Oriental Mindoro Provincial Office has heightened its intensification of monitoring of basic commodities in areas recently affected by Typhoon Nina in the province.
Just recently, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Oriental Mindoro has declared Calapan City and the municipalities of Puerto Galera, San Teodoro, Baco and Naujan, and some coastal barangays of Pola under the State of Calamity.
According to DTI Provincial Director Arnel Hutalla, pursuant to Section 6 of Republic Act No. 7581 as amended, the prices of basic necessities are automatically frozen at their prevailing prices or placed under automatic price control effective for the duration of the condition that brought about by a calamity and this would not exceed to 60 days.
Retailers and manufacturers are enjoined to comply with the said price freeze. Under DTI’s jurisdiction are canned fish and other marine products, processed milk (evaporated, condensed and powdered milk), coffee, laundry detergent soap, candles, tasty bread and pandesal, iodized salt, instant noodles and bottled water.
The DTI-Oriental Mindoro Provincial Office continues to intensify its price monitoring activities in the aforementioned declared areas by means of ocular inspections of business establishments to ensure the implementation of the law.
Hutalla added that any retailers found to be selling above the prevailing prices will be issued with Show Cause Orders (SCOs) to have them explained on the high prices of their products within 48 hours.
Further, pursuant to DTI Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 06, Series of 2007, retailers found to be selling at very high prices can be imposed with an administrative fine of P20,000 to a maximum of P1 million while criminal penalties under the Price Act include imprisonment from five up to 15 years.
Based on the latest monitoring conducted by DTI-OrMin personnel, it was found out that no change was noted in prices of basic and prime commodities in all areas affected by the calamity in the province.
Consumers are advised to be guided by the “Prevailing Prices” using the Suggested Retail Prices (SRPs) that can be found in malls and other big business establishments. Likewise, consumers are advised to immediately report retailers who are selling above the prices indicated in the guide by calling DTI-Oriental Mindoro at (043) 286-7093 or (043) 441-1118. (DTI/LTC/PIA-Mimaropa/Calapan)