The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has implemented a nationwide price freeze on basic necessities after President Rodrigo Duterte placed the country under a state of Public Health Emergency due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

“The DTI is closely coordinating with other government agencies, manufacturers, and retailers of basic goods to ensure availability and continuous supply in the market. Retailers are reminded that there should be no price movement on these goods while the price freeze is in effect,” DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said.

Basic goods that are under the jurisdiction of the DTI include canned fish and other marine products, locally manufactured instant noodles, bottled water, bread, processed milk, coffee, candles, and laundry soap, detergent, and salt.

Meanwhile basic agricultural goods such as rice, corn, cooking oil, fresh, dried and other marine products, fresh eggs, fresh pork, beef and poultry meat, fresh milk, fresh vegetables, root crops, sugar, and fresh fruits are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture

Essential drugs are under the Department of health while household liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene are under the control of the Department of Energy.

The DTI said in a statement that the prices of these basic goods are placed under a 60-day price freeze with the exception of household LPG and kerosene whose prices shall be frozen for fifteen (15) days only as provided in the Amended Price Act or RA 10623.

Section 6 of the Price Act (Republic Act No. 7581) states that prices of basic necessities shall be frozen at their prevailing prices for sixty (60) days or until sooner lifted by the President whenever there is a declaration of a state of emergency, calamity, or other similar conditions.

The DTI has included the price monitoring of face masks since the phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano.

“The Department continues to intensify its monitoring and enforcement activities on the prices of basic goods in the market, including N-95, N-88, and other similar face masks,” DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo said.

Business establishments caught violating the price freeze shall be fined P5,000.00 up to P1,000,000.00 and/or imprisonment for a period of one (1) year up to ten (10) years.

Consumers are enjoined to report business establishments that sell basic necessities beyond the price freeze by calling the One-DTI (1-384) Hotline or sending an email to, (Rommel F. Lopez)