Stop hoarding key commodities or face arrest, Palace warns
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday warned that individuals hoarding basic and key commodities amid the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) menace will be arrested.
“The Office of the President hereby gives warning to those hoarding vital commodities, which create a hike in the prices, as well as selling them beyond their regular prices, that their actions will be dealt with accordingly in pursuance of public safety and order,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“Those who unscrupulously take advantage of the health crisis will also be arrested and dealt with in accordance with law,” he warned.
Panelo earlier called on the public to refrain from panic-buying and advised to “buy only what they need” following reports of hoarding.
DTI earlier said there is no need to panic-buy and assured that the government is ready even in the scenario of a lockdown.
DTI like reminded merchants of the strict implementation of the 60-day price freeze on all basic commodities as the country faces threats of the COVID-19.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier declared a state of public health emergency amid the spike in COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.
Issued through the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH), the proclamation mobilizes governmental and non-governmental agencies to respond to the threat.
As of Wednesday, DOH said there are 49 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in Wuhan, China.
The virus causes mild symptoms such as fever and cough for most people but can cause serious illness such as pneumonia for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.
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