By Genalyn Kabiling
The government is committed to ensure the prices of basic necessities remain affordable to the people, following the implementation of a price freeze on these consumer goods.
The latest price freeze of basic goods also aims to prevent anyone from taking advantage of the calamity situation and engaging in overpricing and hoarding of food and other essential items, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
The trade, agriculture, and health departments earlier issued a joint memorandum circular freezing the prices of basic necessities for the next 60 days or until May 15. It was issued shortly after President Duterte declared a state of calamity across the country due to the spread of the new coronavirus disease.
“The price freeze covering basic necessities is being done to ensure that food and essential goods remain affordable to all. It is also being done to ensure that no one takes advantage of anyone,” Nograles said in a Palace press briefing Wednesday night.
As price control measures have been put in place, Nograles called for public cooperation to overcome the latest health emergency.
He said the government would continue to monitor prices of basic good to curb any profiteering and hoarding.
“Nasa gitna po tayo ng krisis; isang pagsusubok na malalampasan natin kung tayo po ay magtutulungan. Gayunpaman, hindi po tayo papayag na pagsamantalahan ang krisis na ito para pagkakitaan ang taumbayan. Walang lamangan dito. Walang gulangan sa panahong ito (We are in the middle of a crisis. This is a challenge we can surpass if we will help one another. Nonetheless, we won’t allow anyone to take advantage of the crisis to profit from the people. There will be no taking advantage of others at this time),” he said.
Nograles noted that Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has issued Memorandum Circular No. 77 that directs all government agencies and local government units to implement and ensure compliance with the price control measures on essential medicines and supplies and selected agriculture and fishery commodities.
Concerned agencies have also been ordered to continuously monitor and review the prices of basic commodities within their respective jurisdictions and enact price control measures.