MANILA - The Department of Trade and Industry on Tuesday said it has ordered a price freeze on basic necessities in municipalities affected by the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro.
DTI MIMAROPA released the price freeze bulletin after the oil spill from MT Princess Empress Oil Tanker in Balingawan Point spread to nearby areas, the agency said in a statement.
Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 6290-2023 declared the municipalities of Pola, Naujan, Pinamalayan, Gloria, Bansud, Bongabong, Roxas, Mansalay, and Bulalacao in Oriental Mindoro under a state of calamity.
"Pursuant to Section 6 of RA 7581 or the Price Act as amended, the prices of basic necessities under DTI’s jurisdiction are automatically frozen at their prevailing prices effective March 6, 2023, but not more than 60 days," DTI said.
DTI said the following are considered "basic necessities:"
- canned fish and other marine products
- processed milk (evaporated, condenses and powdered milk)
- laundry detergent/soap
- bread (tasty and pandesal)
- iodized salt
- instant noodles
- bottled water
Violators may face imprisonment for a period of 1 to 10 years or a fine ranging between P5,000 to P1 million or both, DTI said.
DTI Oriental Mindoro is conducting intensified price and supply monitoring, the agency added.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development said over 150,000 people were affected by the massive oil spill.