PRRD warns profiteers, hoarders amid ‘Odette’ aftermath

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MANILA – President Rodrigo R. Duterte has warned business owners profiteering from consumer products in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette may be jailed.

Duterte threatened to order the arrest of business owners implicated in the overpricing of essential products and construction supplies in areas impacted by the typhoon.

“Tell us if there has been a violation during this time because we will identify them and the Philippine National Police, we will ask them to arrest the hoarders and people who are taking advantage of the situation,” Duterte told Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

He stressed the significance of addressing profiteering, pointing out that people are already suffering.

“We have to put a stop to this and probably we can go ahead and cap the prices of the goods available especially medicine,” he added.

Lopez affirmed that business owners were absolutely taking advantage of those afflicted by the disaster.

He stated that he has already requested the PNP to monitor the businessmen raising the prices of goods.

“Ang order sa ating mga enforcers ay mag-aresto ng overpricing (Our order to enforcers is really to arrest those overpricing),” he said, noting that there have been many apprehensions made, particularly in Bohol and Cebu.

As of now, Lopez stated that the DTI has so far urged these businesses to explain the hike in the prices of basic goods while others were issued letters of inquiry (LOI).

He also said that those who were detained soon reverted their pricing.

On Dec. 21, Duterte signed Proclamation No. 1267 declaring a state of calamity in areas battered by Typhoon Odette, particularly Mimaropa (Region 4-B), Western Visayas (Region 6), Central Visayas (Region 7), Eastern Visayas (Region 8), Northern Mindanao (Region 10), and Caraga (Region 13).

Proclamation No. 1267 is intended to expedite the rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts of the government and the private sector, as well as any international humanitarian assistance.

The proclamation also aims to effectively control the prices of basic goods and commodities in the affected areas and afford the national government, as well as local government units (LGUs), ample latitude to utilize appropriate funds for the rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation of and the continued delivery of basic services to affected populations.

When Typhoon Odette ravaged regions of Visayas and Mindanao on December 16, it inflicted severe devastation and damages, killing over 389 people and displacing over 1 million families.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.