MANILA, Philippines - Convenience stores in areas under a state of calamity should also comply with the "price freeze", the Department of Trade and Industry said on Tuesday.
"Convenience stores located within the areas declared under State of Calamity are covered by price freeze. Prices of basic goods being sold in these stores must be frozen at their prevailing prices," Trade Undersecretary Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba said.
A price freeze was implemented in areas placed under a state of calamity last July 16, as typhoon "Glenda" hit parts of southern Luzon. This means the price of basic, non-agricultural necessities such as canned goods, processed milk, coffee, laundry soap, detergent, candles, bread and salt will remain at their prevailing price on July 15.
The price freeze will last for 60 days.
Dimagiba noted that normally, convenience stores are allowed to sell a little above the suggest retail price to cover the costs of their 24-hour operation, limited range of products and higher cost per peso sale.
"However, during normal times, convenience stores may sell basic necessities and prime commodities over the Suggested Retail Prices (SRP) by 10% to 15% only," Dimagiba said.
Convenience stores are currently not part of the list of establishments being monitored by the DTI.
"For a retail store to be included in the price monitoring, it has to be a major market player that it can cater to most of the demands of the consumers and fill the supply gap to a certain extent during times of calamity. Nevertheless, non-inclusion in the monitoring is not tantamount to exemption from any law and policy, or declaration such as price freeze," Dimayuga said.
Violators of the price freeze face fine of P5,000 up to P1 million and/or imprisonment of 1 year up to 10 years.
To report retailers that sell above the "frozen" prices and SRPs, call DTI Direct 751-3330 or 0917-8343330.