Sen. Bam to DTI: Look into Overpricing of Construction Materials in Yolanda-hit Areas

Senator Bam Aquino has called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to intensify monitoring on cost of construction materials in Eastern Visayas after receiving reports of overpricing in areas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.

“The DTI should double its monitoring efforts because some unscrupulous businessmen are taking advantage of the situation in Tacloban and nearby areas,” said Aquino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

“We should punish these merciless traders for preying on our countrymen who have already suffered much because of the typhoon,” he added.

Aquino said traders should not use supply as issue with routes already passable and shipping operations now back to normal.

“The super typhoon happened four months ago. Delivery delays cannot be used as reason since all the routes going to Tacloban and other areas have opened,” Aquino said.

Aquino received reports from concerned citizens in Tacloban and nearby areas that some hardware stores sell ¼-inch plywood between P370 to P400, from its previous price of P290 to P300.

“From its old price of P550 per cubic meter, sand is being sold at P800 per cubic meter while gravel is now at P1,350 per cubic meter, P400 higher than its previous cost,” the senator said.

Aquino also revealed that price of hollow blocks doubled from P9 to P18 while ply board is now P965, from P845 to P900.

The senator said Portland cement, which usually costs around P222, now sells at P235, tie wire at P1,475 from P1,190 and 10-millimeter steel bar at P130 from P123.

“Even those hardware stores from nearby areas which were not affected by the typhoon also sell overpriced construction materials,” Aquino said.

The senator added that Tacloban residents opt to travel more than 100 kilometers to Ormoc City where construction materials are cheaper.


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