Price freeze for basic goods in effect in Surigao City

SURIGAO CITY, Philippines – A price freeze on basic goods is now in effect in Surigao City, following the declaration of a state of calamity in the city due to Friday's (February 10) earthquake in the area.

A strong, magnitude 6.7 quake hit northeastern Mindanao late evening Friday, bringing extensive damage to Surigao City and neighboring areas.

The city council declared a state of calamity on Saturday, February 11.

Prices of basic goods in the city will now be pegged at prices that were in place within a month before the disaster occurred, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said in an advisory Sunday, February 12.

Under Republic Act (RA) 7581, basic necessities include:

The price freeze will be in effect for a maximum of 60 days, as per RA 7581, while it will take effect for LPG and kerosene for a maximum of 15 days, under RA 10623.

"In order to effectively ensure the supply of petroleum products, oil companies are obliged to update the DOE of the operational status of their depots and gasoline stations within the areas to stabilize the supply and reduce chances of individuals who are taking advantage of the oil situation," the Department of Energy said in a separate statement.

Retailers who will violate the price freeze will be penalized under the law, with either imprisonment, fines, or both. –