Freeze Prices of Basic Goods in Areas Hit by Odette, Senators Urge Government

As survivors plead for food, water and supplies.
Photo/s: Victor Kintanar, Agence France-Presse

Senators on Tuesday urged the national government to order a price freeze on basic commodities in areas badly hit by Typhoon Odette as survivors pleaded for food, drinking water, and other supplies.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the government should be quick in stopping unscrupulous business owners from taking advantage of the situation and jack up prices of basic goods and supplies.

Importante na laging alerto ang mga opisyal ng gobyerno sa mga pang-aabuso na maaaring maganap sa gitna ng krisis. Hindi na kailangan pa ng dagdag na pasanin ng ating mga kababayang nawalan na ng kaanak at bahay ng dahil sa bagyong Odette," he said.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan said ordering a price freeze would ensure that people would be able to buy goods at their current prices and will not shell out more funds while in a dire situation.

Sotto and Pangilinan are both running for vice president in 2022.

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While RA 7581 or the Price Act automatically imposes price control in areas declared under a state of calamity or emergency, the Department of Trade and Industry should not wait for an actual declaration to impose a price freeze in areas hit by the typhoon, he added.

"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," Pangilinan said.

"Sinalanta na ng bagyo ang mga kababayan natin, huwag na silang mabiktima pa ulit ng mataas na presyo ng bilihin," he added.

At least 375 people were killed and 56 are missing, while 500 more were injured due to the onslaught of Typhoon Odette, the Philippine National Police said.

More than 380,000 people fled their homes and beachfront resorts as Odette slammed into the country last week.

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