By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has reiterated that price freeze on basic commodities is still being implemented in areas of Panay Island that were hit by Typhoon “Ursula.”
DTI Regional Director for Western Visayas Rebecca Rascon said the price freeze is stipulated in Republic Act No. 7581, the Price Act, which automatically sets a price limit on goods in disaster areas.
Rascon said areas covered by the price freeze are “Ursula” hit areas of Panay: Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo provinces.
Of the four provinces, all towns in Aklan and Capiz provinces cannot increase prices.
In the province of Antique, only the towns of Caluya, Liberta, and Pandan are covered.
DTI Assistant Regional Director Ermelinda Pollentes, who is also concurrent DTI Iloilo director, said only five towns in Iloilo are covered. These are the towns of Balasan, Batad, Carles, Concepcion, and Estancia.
Meanwhile, the DTI has sternly warned sellers of stiff penalties if they go beyond the price ceiling of basic goods. Violators can even face prison time.