Governor Torres strengthens price freeze declaration to include medicines, medical equipment, and housing rentals

On Friday, Governor Ralph DLG. Torres issued the Amended Executive Order 2020-03, strengthening the price freeze to include all medicines, medical equipment, and housing rentals and to further protect CNMI residents during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and the unexpected economic downturn.

Under the declaration, the prices of the following items are frozen:

1.     Gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, natural gas, and all other chemical fuels, whether in gaseous, liquid, or solid form;

2.     All foods and foodstuffs, including water, bottled water, beverages, and ice;

3.     All clothing;

4.     Flashlights, lamps, lanterns, candles, light bulbs, and other means of illumination;

5.     Generators, cables, wires, electrical batteries of every sort, and similar equipment for the generation and/or transmission of electrical power;

6.     All appliances used in the storage and/or preparation of food, including, but not limited to, stoves, barbecue grilles, ovens, refrigerators, and coolers;

7.     Tools typically used for construction, ground clearing, or home repairs, whether electrically powered, chemically powered, or manual, including, but not limited to, saws, machetes, hammers, drills, shovels, rakes, and brooms.

8.     All bedding items, including pillows, futons and blankets;

9.     All medicines, medical equipment, and personal protective equipment (PPE), including but not limited to masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers;

10.  All housing rentals including apartments and condominiums.

“Under this declaration, prices for the aforementioned items shall not increase,” said Governor Torres.

He clarified that businesses are not inhibited from selling items at prices lower than prices at current levels.

Governor Torres noted on Thursday that protecting the health and safety of our residents includes protecting their ability to provide for their families during this unanticipated economic downturn as a result of the coronavirus.

In addition to this price freeze, Governor Torres wrote letters to all CNMI banks last week respectfully requesting them to consider providing a three-month grace period for all loans, mortgages, promissory notes, and other monetary obligations owed from residents on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

Lt. Governor Arnold I. Palacios reiterated the call for the whole Commonwealth to come together and help each other out.

“This is an unprecedented economic crisis, and as a government, we will continue to protect our residents so they can meet their basic necessities. Now more than ever is the time to come together as one Commonwealth and look out for each other,” he added.

Office of CNMI Governor and Lt. Governor
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