DTI mulls price freeze extension in Negros

February 14, 2012 11:07 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 14 — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) mulls the possibility of extending the price freeze order in Negros Oriental, which is due to lapse on Feb. 19, to ensure stable supply and prices of prime and basic calamities to the earthquake affected areas.

“We are closely monitoring the prices and supply of goods especially in Guihulngan town,” said DTI undersecretary for consumer welfare Zenaida C. Maglaya.

She said DTI's assessment would be the basis for its recommendation for the extension of the price freeze order.

Maglaya explained that Negros Oriental is still covered by the price freeze order following Malacanang’s declaration of a state of calamity as a result of typhoon Sendong. The order was good for 60 days and will expire on Feb. 19.

The extension of the price freeze will depend on the recommendations of both the Secretaries of the DTI and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to Malacanang, she said.

So far, supply of goods to Guihulngan town has been facilitated by the DA via San Carlos City.

The DA has even subsidized the cost of transportation for goods going to Guihulngan to ensure prices remain the same.

The DTI had also conducted a food caravan over the weekend to dampen any attempt of price manipulation.

“If price and supply of goods have stabilized there is no need to extend the price freeze,” she said.

Maglaya reported that DTI has already conducted over 100 “Diskwento Caravans” last year with total sales of P16 million.

Products sold at “Diskwento Caravans” are said to be 30 percent cheaper than the prevailing prices in the market.

Meanwhile, Maglaya reported that aside from sardines and detergent bars, there is no notice of price increase filed in her office by processed food manufacturers.

There are still three pending price adjustments notifications by Ligo, Youngstown and Mega, which are required to submit their acquisition cost of fish since this is the main reason for their petition for price adjustment.

"The price of fish has gone up to P28 from P22 per kilo because of the fishing ban, but the ban is going to expire end this month," Maglaya said. The high cost of fish has triggered a P1 increase per canned fish.

Earlier, the DTI approved the 8-10 percent price adjustment for two other sardine brands — Master 555 and Family. Another detergent bar producer was granted a 5 percent price relief. (PNA)



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