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Business resumes today under ‘new normal’


The price freeze on basic and prime commodities automatically expired before midnight of May 16, supplies of face masks, sanitizers, and personal protective equipment are getting back to their almost normal levels, and most businesses are opening their operations partially, signifying the start of the new normal.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the SRP system allows retailers to change their prices to maximum SRP, set six months ago, September 30, 2019. This means there could be spikes in prices.

The 60-day price freeze automatically took effect from the start of the declaration of public health emergency.

Lopez, however, said the difference in prices in the maximum SRP is only minimal at 10 centavos to 20 centavos only.

Based on their monitoring prices of basic and prime commodities, Lopez maintained that most retailers comply with the price freeze. Although the SRPs apply to both supermarkets and wet markets, Lopez suggested for shoppers to go to supermarkets and groceries where SRP is strictly observed.

On face masks and PPEs, supplies have eased significantly. With the help of the DTI, some factories engaged in electronics manufacturing have repurposed their facilities to produce ventilators and PPEs. Other garment firms have also repurposed their plants to produce medical grade coveralls and face masks.

In fact, Lopez said, drugstores have requested for DTI to unbundled the 5-piece face mask volume limit to 10 pieces.

The DTI has also launched the Control Business and Reboot Now program enabling enterprises to continue operating via online platform. There will be more online expos to be launched in partnership with private e-commerce platforms.

As businesses are allowed to partially open, he said workers can now go back to work using company shuttle service or drive their own vehicles to work as public transport is still not allowed.

“It is important that people go back to work to help start the economy running again,” he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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