Ensure Supply, Prices of Goods in Typhoon-Hit Areas – Sen. Bam to DTI, LGUs

Senator Bam Aquino has called on concerned government agencies, led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to strictly monitor the supply and prices of basic goods, especially in areas devastated by Typhoon Mario.

“Ensuring supply and prices will keep unscrupulous traders who might take advantage of the situation in check,” said Aquino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

Aquino also urged the local government units to closely coordinate with the DTI in monitoring businesses in typhoon-hit areas.

“I also urge the public to report businessmen who will unjustly hold supply and jack up prices in typhoon hit areas so they can be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law if guilty,” said Aquino.

According to latest reports, Mario has affected 258,976 families or 1,160,050 people in 1,126 barangays in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central and Southern Luzon, Bicol, Central Visayas, Cordillera, and Metro Manila.

The death toll remained at 11 with 12 injured and two still missing while at least 81 roads and six bridges remained impassable in Ilocos, Central Luzon, and Metro Manila.

In addition, the lawmaker called on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to speed up the repair of damaged roads and other infrastructure so as not to hamper the delivery of goods to typhoon-hit areas.

Usually, Aquino said prices of basic products in areas devastated by typhoons and other calamities increase because of supply problems.

In addition, Aquino said Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act imposes an automatic price freeze in areas placed under state of calamity to ensure that goods remained at prevailing prices until the state of calamity is lifted.

Among the products covered by the price freeze are basic non-agricultural necessities, including canned fish and other canned marine products, processed milk, coffee, laundry soap, detergents, candles, bread, and salt.

Also included in price freeze are fresh vegetables, roots crops, sugar, cooking oil, firewood, charcoal and medicine classified as essential by the Department of Health.

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