By Ernie Reyes
MANILA –- Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Monday urged the national government to impose price freeze in the Odette-affected areas to address the scarcity of basic commodities and to halt hoarding by unscrupulous traders.
In a statement, Pangilinan said that this will ensure that the people will be able to buy goods at their current prices and won’t have to shell out extra money amid their dire condition.
“The government should immediately order the freezing of prices in areas affected by Typhoon Odette,” he said.
Pangilinan said that the price freeze will also prevent unscrupulous traders from raking in profit and exploiting the situation.
Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act automatically imposes price control whenever there is a declaration of a state of calamity or emergency.
However, Pangilinan urge the DTI not to wait for the declaration of local government units and immediately impose the price freeze given the wide area affected by the typhoon.
“While normally, supermarkets and stores stock up on supplies during the holiday season, we could no longer guarantee the availability of adequate goods as a number of areas were submerged in floodwaters,” he said.
“In this calamity, the government must act with lightning speed to safeguard the welfare of our people and ensure they access to the basic necessities, especially for families who have lost everything to the flood,” he added.
“Sinalanta na ng bagyo ang mga kababayan natin, huwag na silang mabiktima pa ulit ng mataas na presyo ng bilihin,” Pangilinan ended. (AI/MTVN)