Overpricing Cebu establishments warned of closure

Published December 20, 2021, 4:20 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – Establishments jacking up prices of basic commodities, including water and fuel, will face closure.

This was the warning issued by City Mayor Michael Rama amidst reports of skyrocketing prices of water and fuel.

“On the part of the Cebu City Government, close the business, that’s it, of course we have to give them due process,” Rama said on Monday, Dec. 20.

In the aftermath of typhoon Odette, motorists lining up in gas stations have been a common sight.

The long lines were caused by limited availability of gas stations as only those with generator sets were able to remain open.

With limited gas stations, some have jacked up their prices with diesel fuel being sold as high as P75 per liter and unleaded fuel at P90 per liter.

In several gas station, some individuals can be seen buying fuel in containers and resell them by the road for as high as P120 per liter.

With the current situation, the city government has created a price control council.

Rama likewise said he is hoping that national agencies, such as the Department of Trade Industry, would intervene to address unauthorized price increase.

Rama also wrote managers and proprietors of fuel stations to put up express lanes for utility service vehicles.

Rama said vehicles of the Visayan Electric and its accredited private contractors, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Davao Light Power Corporation, Metropolitan Cebu Water District and the city’s service vehicles should be prioritized.

“We need to emphasize how these government utility vehicles are crucial and indispensable to our relief and recovery effort. In view of the foregoing, you are hereby directed to extend top priority to these vehicles in providing fuel services. They shall not be made to line up or queue along other private vehicles,” read a portion of Rama’s letter.

The city was badly hit by typhoon Odette with several power lines getting toppled, cutting water and communication lines.

Power in some areas where hospitals are located have already been restored.

At least 15 persons were also killed during the typhoon.