NegOcc seeks price cap for drinking water, construction supplies

The Negros Occidental Provincial Price Coordinating Council (PPCC) has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to impose a price ceiling on basic necessities and prime commodities urgently needed by Negrenses affected by Typhoon Odette.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who chairs the council, said in a statement on Tuesday night the recommendation is stated in a resolution approved by the PPCC during its meeting on December 27.

The resolution mentioned necessities such as potable water, poultry, and livestock as well as prime commodities like G.I. sheets and other construction materials, solar panels, and generator sets, among others.

“This is to ensure that said commodities are adequate, affordable and accessible to all Negrenses throughout the duration of the state of calamity brought about by Typhoon Odette,” it said.

The council’s initial price monitoring showed current retail prices of basic and other prime commodities have dramatically increased.

“The imposition of price ceiling provides effective and sufficient protection to Negrense consumers against hoarding, profiteering and cartel with respect to the supply, distribution, marketing and predatory pricing of goods,” the PPCC added.

In the cities of Kabankalan and Sipalay, which are among the worst-hit by Typhoon Odette in southern Negros, the local government units have been conducting special price monitoring together with the Department of Trade and Industry in the wake of “Odette”.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) a price freeze should already take effect in Negros Occidental after Lacson’s declaration of state of calamity last week.

“With the Executive Order 21-59, series of 2021 issued by the governor declaring the province under a state of calamity, automatic price control or price freeze for the concerned establishments shall be observed,” the DTI-Negros Occidental said in a separate statement.

Current prices of products should be the same as before the typhoon hit the areas, it added.

Establishments violating the price freeze could face administrative or criminal cases with penalty and imprisonment.

“We continue to appeal to all business owners to avoid illegal price manipulation such as hoarding, profiteering and cartel,” the agency said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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