Solon calls for price freeze in typhoon-affected areas
Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao on Friday urged Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to order a price freeze in typhoon-affected areas in Northern and Central Luzon instead of merely warning the public about possible price increases due to Typhoon “Ompong” (international name: Mangkhut).
In a statement, the opposition lawmaker said Piñol’s warning that the prices of basic goods would further rise due to “Ompong” somehow “manifests insensitivity to the plight not only of typhoon-affected communities as well as consumers.”
“Instead of simply warning of possible further price increases, the DA in coordination with the trade department should order the freezing of prices in typhoon-hit areas in anticipation of the effect of Typhoon Ompong. This is to prevent unscrupulous traders from exploiting the situation,” Casilao said.
“With the coming effects of Typhoon Ompong to properties and livelihoods, it is only just to call for a price freeze. Controlling the prices of basic goods especially in times of calamity is as important as preparing the people for the upcoming natural calamity. The Duterte government should order the DA, DTI and other concerned agencies to also prioritize controlling the prices of basic goods,” Casilao added.
According to the United Nation Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), an estimated 1.9 million individuals in Batanes, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, and Apayao would be affected by the radius of Ompong’s projected track.
Farmers and consumers alike for months have been bombarded by the high prices of basic goods and services due to inflation.
Casilao said Central Luzon farmers under the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon would stage a “lakbayan” protest that would start from Pampanga going to the National Capital Region over the weekend to raise issues affecting farmers and indigenous peoples of the region.
They will demand the Duterte administration to raise the palay price of local farmers, and to stop massive land grabbing and conversion of agriculture lands of both farmers and IP areas for private and government projects,” the lawmaker said.
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