Las Piñas City warns vs hoarding, profiteering amid coronavirus quarantine
MANILA, Philippines — Inspectors have been mobilized by the government of Las Piñas City to monitor the prices of basic commodities in the city in a bid to protect residents against profiteers and unscrupulous traders during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine that was enforced to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In a statement Friday, Las Piñas City Mayor Imelda Aguilar cautioned suppliers, retailers and store owners against overpricing and hoarding of consumer goods.
She warned that she would recommend the filing of charges against those who would be found violating the price freeze imposed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Inspectors from the city’s Business Permits and Licensing Office, Aguilar said, have been mobilized—while still strictly adhering to the health protocol in the discharge of their duties—to ensure that supermarkets, public markets, wet markets, and even sari-sari (variety) stores in the city obey the price freeze.
Among the basic goods covered by price control issued by DTI include rice, bread, salt, milk, instant noodles, canned sardines, coffee refill/3-in-1, laundry soap, and bottled water, she noted.
Aguilar also stressed that under the state of calamity, it is mandated that there should be no increase in prices of basic necessities in the retail market.
Aguilar then urged city residents to remain at home, observe social distancing, practice frequent hand washing, exercise, and cooperate with the local government in the implementation of health protocols.
With the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country, the national government has placed the entire Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine to contain the spread of the disease.
Under the month-long containment, most office work and mass public transportation in Luzon have been suspended.
This measure also called for the implementation of a strict home quarantine; regulation of the provision for food and essential services; and a heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce the quarantine.
To date, the Philippines has so far recorded over 700 COVID-19 cases.
Of this number, 45 have died while 28 patients have so far recovered.
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