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LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Department of Trade in Industry (DTI) monitors fanned out across stores, supermarkets, and public markets in Albay province on Sunday, June 11 and Monday, June 12 to ensure compliance with a price freeze on basic commodities.
The DTI in Bicol ordered strict enforcement of the price freeze as the threat of a major eruption by Mayon Volcano sent more than 4,000 families or 15,658 persons to evacuation camps in five towns and three cities.
A price freeze accompanies the declaration of a state of calamity, which Albay’s provincial board approved on June 9, a day after after Mayon Volcano’s status was raised to Alert Level 3.
The DTI also issued a guide on what goods are considered basic commodities.
Two days after the Sangguaniang Panlalawigan of Albay approved Resolution No. 0607-2023OIC, DTI regional director Dindo Galvo Nabol said Albay’s supply of basic commodities are sufficient for the next 30 days.
Nabol also issued the memorandum circular on the price freeze on June 9, addressing all wet markets, supermarkets, groceries, bakeries, and water refilling stations.
“When a state of calamity is declared in a particular area, prices of basic necessities (BN) are automatically frozen at their prevailing prices for sixty (60) days or until sooner lifted,” Nabol reminded business owners.
Violators of the price freeze could face fines from P5,000 to PhP1 million and or imprisonment of one year to ten years.
Farmers in Tabaco City, Albay scrambled over the weekend to harvest their crops within the six-kilometer radius permanent danger zone (PDZ) of the volcano.
Tabaco City Mayor Krisel Lagman-Luistro gave farmers the harvest green to allow them to gather food stock or generate income before a potentially deadly eruption.