Consumer group pushes wider coverage of price freeze

Published November 19, 2020, 2:28 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Consumer advocacy group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) has urged the government to expand the price freeze to include gasoline, diesel, and construction materials following Malacanang’s declaration of a state of national calamity in the entire island of Luzon.

In a letter to the Departments of Trade and Industry, Agriculture, Energy, and Health, LKI President Victorio Mario Dimagiba pushed for some suggestions to ensure prices, not just of basic necessities and prime commodities remained stable but also fuel, construction materials, and other essential goods.

 Aside from the expansion of the price freeze coverage, LKI also urged all implementing agencies to publish the list of basic necessities and their prevailing prices as soon as possible to ensure unscrupulous traders do not take advantage of the situation.

“Prevailing prices should be lower than the suggested retail prices,” said Dimagiba.  Declaration of a state of calamity automatically freezes prices of basic necessities and prime commodities for a period of 60 days or until lifted by the President.

LKI urged to include manufactured and processed products, agricultural, marine products, essential medicines, LGP, and kerosene.

 In addition, the consumer advocacy group has urged all agencies to enforce the price freeze continuously for the period of the state of calamity with the participation of the local price coordinating councils.

 On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte he declared the entire Luzon under a state of calamity after the successive typhoons that ravaged the country’s largest island and following the proposal of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).Malacañang released a copy of Proclamation No. 1051 Wednesday night.

Under the proclamation, all departments and other concerned government agencies are directed to implement and execute rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation work following pertinent operational plans and directives.

Law enforcement agencies, with the support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, are directed to undertake all necessary measures to ensure peace and order in the affected areas.

The state of calamity will remain in force and effect until lifted by the President.