Act No. 4164

An Act To Prevent The Excessive Increase In The Price Of Certain Prime Necessities Of Life On The Occasion Of A Public Calamity, Penalizing The Violation Thereof, And For Other Purposes

Act No. 4164

Price Control Law

By authority of the United States, be it enacted by the Philippine Commission, that:

Section 1. Whenever the Governor-General 1 shall certify in a proclamation that a public calamity exists in any given locality within the Philippine Island as a result of any typhoon, earthquake, or other acts of God of a similar nature, it shall be, unlawful for any person, firm or corporation in such locality, from and after the last date of the publication of said proclamation as hereinafter provided, and during the existence of such calamity, (1) to sell or offer for sale palay, rice, or corn, building or construction materials, and other prime necessities of life to be specified in such proclamation, at prices higher by twenty-five per cent or more over and above the average current local price of such commodities one month previous to the occurrence of such public calamity as may be determined by the Director of Commerce; (2) to aggravate the crisis by refusing for the purpose of profiteering to sell at the legal price or by hiding, concealing or hoarding the goods, or commodities for the same purpose. As soon as the Governor-General 2 shall become satisfied that the existence of a public calamity as certified by him in a proclamation has already ceased, he shall, by like proclamation, declare the cessation of such public calamity and upon such proclamation the effects of this section with regard to the locality or localities affected shall thereby cease.

Section 2. The Governor-General 3 shall cause the proclamations required in the preceding section to be published in the Official Gazette and for three consecutive issues in two daily newspapers of general circulation in the Islands, one in Spanish and another in English, which, in opinion may be best fitted to apprise the inhabitants of the locality affected with the terms of said proclamations.

Section 3. The Governor-General 4 may, during the period of emergency, herein provided for, if in his judgment public order so requires, order the seizure of a commodity or material or merchandise or prime necessity, sell it to the public at the price herein authorized, and reimburse to the owner of the same its legal price.

Section 4. Any person, firm or corporation violating the terms of this Act shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred pesos nor more than two thousand pesos, or by imprisonment for not less than two months nor more than two years, or both, at the discretion of the Court; and the forfeiture of the corpus delicti. In the case of a firm or corporation, the manager or administrator thereof, shall be criminally responsible for the violation of this Act by such firm or corporation.

Section 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.