By LITO RULONA
THE Cagayan de Oro City Price Coordinating Council and the Department of Trade and Industry is closely monitoring the prices of basic commodities here.
The DTI would also implement a price freeze on basic commodities to prevent unscrupulous business people from taking advantage of the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.
Lawyer Jose Edgardo Uy, co-chairman of the local price coordinating council, said this would be done because when President Duterte declared the Mindanao in May 23, it was observed that the prices of basic commodities shot up here.
Uy said the Council wants to avoid price manipulation and so, it would step up monitoring efforts to protect consumers in the city.
He said this would be done based on the Price Act of the Philippines and in view of the extension of martial law in Mindanao up to the end of 2018.
Sec. 3 of the Price Act defines basic necessities as those “but not limited to, rice corn, root crops, bread, fresh, dried or canned fish and other marine products, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, fresh eggs, potable water in bottles and containers, fresh and processed milk, fresh vegetables and fruits, locally manufactured instant noodles, coffee, sugar, cooking oil, salt, laundry soap and detergents, firewood, charcoal, household LPG and kerosene, candles,” among others.
Officials said the prices of basic necessities are automatically frozen at their prevailing prices.
Uy said two teams were created here for the monitoring of the prices of construction supplies,basic necessities like groceries and livestock products.
“Food items and products are on the top. Malipay kita nga so far, walay violation nga atong nakita,” he said.
The price freeze also applies to liquefied petroleum gas and kerosene effective for 15 days.
The Council is closely coordinating with the city council’s committee on trade and commerce and would be accepting complaints.
Unless sooner lifted by the President, the price control of basic necessities would remain effective for the duration of martial law but not beyond 60 days, according to DTI.
DTI provincial director Eliza Pabillore said the Department of Energy has also been tasked to help in closely monitoring the implementation of the price freeze.