Nationwide round-up

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Price freeze on basic goods in effect until May 15

THE GOVERNMENT has ordered a price freeze on basic goods and commodities until May 15 after President Rodrigo R. Duterte declared a nationwide state of calamity due to the rising cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The circular containing the directive states: “Following the declaration of a State of Calamity on 16 March 2020, prices thereof shall not increase in the retail market for any reason or for any purpose, for the next sixty (60) days upon its declaration or until 15 May 2020, unless sooner lifted by the President.” Meanwhile, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Thursday called on universities and colleges to halt the collection of tuition and other fees. CHED Chairperson Prospero O. De Vera said he received complaints from parents who were forced to settle payments despite the current enhanced community quarantine. — Gillian M. Cortez

DFA suspends visa issuance

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THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is suspending the issuance of visas until April 13 while the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon is in place. “We are stopping the issuance of visas from all posts abroad and here. This goes one imperative step forward: a total ban on incoming foreign visitors of all nationalities no exceptions,” Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. said in a social media post, Thursday. “Outgoing foreign visitors should be given all the help to get out. Idiotic to detain them.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan