‘Odette’ wrecks 405 Southern Leyte biz establishments

Typhoon Odette destroyed about 405 business establishments in Southern Leyte, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported Thursday, citing initial survey results.

The team from the DTI surveyed the establishments in the province and found that 57 percent were wrecked and 43 percent were damaged.

Those surveyed account for 10 percent of firms operating within the commercial districts of Maasin City and the towns of Padre Burgos, Liloan, Sogod, and Macrohon.

“The surveyed establishment, including available stocks, infrastructure, other assets, and the expenses for cleaning up the debris, incurred a total of PHP61.95 million worth of damage and losses,” the regional DTI office here said in a statement.

The business establishments need financing assistance that may be accessed through loan grants and livelihood restarter kits, according to the trade department.

The initial legwork done in the typhoon-hit province will serve as input for the DTI in preparing for the response for badly-hit businesses.

Meanwhile, the DTI also reported that there was no price increase among basic commodities in Southern Leyte, complying with the price freeze directive in typhoon zone areas.

An automatic price freeze is imposed in areas placed under a state of calamity.

Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act provide that “prices of basic necessities in an area shall automatically be frozen at their prevailing prices or placed under automatic price control whenever that area is proclaimed or declared a disaster area or under a state of calamity; and a price ceiling may be imposed on any basic necessity or prime commodity considering the impendency, existence, or effects of a calamity.”

Basic commodities refer to rice; corn; bread; fresh, dried, and canned fish and other marine products; fresh pork, beef, and poultry meat; fresh eggs; fresh and processed milk; fresh vegetables; root crops; coffee; sugar; cooking oil; salt; laundry soap; detergents; firewood; charcoal; candles; and drugs classified as essentials by the Department of Health.

Violators may face imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than 10 years, or a fine of not less than PHP5,000 but not more than PHP1 million.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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