freeze on basic necessities in effect amid COVID-19 emergency
March 12, 2020
MAKATI CITY – The
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announces nationwide price
freeze on basic necessities pursuant to the Price Act or Republic
Act (RA) No. 7581.
Section 6 of the said law
states that prices of basic necessities shall be frozen at their
prevailing prices for sixty (60) days or until sooner lifted by the
President whenever there is a declaration of a state of emergency,
calamity, or other similar conditions.
Proclamation No. 922 which
puts the country under a State of Public Health Emergency due to the
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak triggered the
implementation of a nationwide price freeze.
“The DTI is closely
coordinating with other government agencies, manufacturers, and
retailers of basic goods to ensure availability and continuous
supply in the market. Retailers are reminded that there should be no
price movement on these goods while the price freeze is in effect,”
says DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.
Basic goods that are under
the jurisdiction of the DTI include canned fish and other marine
products, locally manufactured instant noodles, bottled water,
bread, processed milk, coffee, candles, and laundry soap, detergent,
The DA covers basic
agricultural goods such as rice, corn, cooking oil, fresh, dried and
other marine products, fresh eggs, fresh pork, beef and poultry
meat, fresh milk, fresh vegetables, root crops, sugar, and fresh
Essential drugs are under
the DOH while firewood and charcoal for the DENR. Household LPG and
kerosene, on the other hand, are under the DOE.
All these basic goods are
placed under price freeze for 60 days with the exception of
household LPG and kerosene whose prices shall be frozen for fifteen
(15) days only as provided in the Amended Price Act or RA 10623.
Meanwhile, on ensuring
price reasonableness, DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG)
Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo assures the public that, “The
Department continues to intensify its monitoring and enforcement
activities on the prices of basic goods in the market, including
N-95, N-88, and other similar face masks.”
It can be recalled that
since the phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano, the DTI included face
masks in its monitoring which remains relevant to this day as the
country addresses the outbreak of COVID-19.
found to have violated the price freeze shall be imposed with a fine
amounting to P5,000.00 up to P1,000,000.00 and/or imprisonment for a
period of one (1) year up to ten (10) years.
Consumers are enjoined to
report business establishments that sell basic necessities beyond
the price freeze by calling the One-DTI (1-384) Hotline or sending
an email to, ConsumerCare@dti.gov.ph.