The Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday, August 1, that it will assist the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the implementation of a price freeze for basic commodities in Abra province after it was rocked by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake and placed under a state of calamity last week.
Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., PNP Officer-in-Charge, said it is imperative to keep the prevailing prices of basic necessities in the epicenter of the powerful quake pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act 7581 or the Philippine Price Act.
“The PNP is tasked to aid in the enforcement of the mandate within the jurisdiction of the LGU [local government unit] concerned. We also take part in monitoring market activities against hoarding, profiteering, price manipulation and unfair trade practices,” Danao said.
With this, the country’s top cop directed police units and stations in Abra to coordinate with DTI counterparts on the implementation of the mandate.
“If we receive report regarding the possible violation, then we will work hand-in-hand with the DTI and LGU to check on the veracity of the alleged illegal act and conduct operations if such complaint warrants immediate action,” Danao said.
Business establishments proven to have violated the price freeze shall be imposed with a fine amounting from P5,000 to P1,000,000 and/or imprisonment for a period of one year to 10 years.
“This is high time to show unity and compassion, instead of taking advantage of the situation resulting to committing criminal acts. We encourage our kababayans to immediately report to us cases of hoarding, massive price increase and other forms of blatant profiteering. We will act on it immediately in coordination with DTI,” Danao said.