Price manipulators face instant arrest

October 3, 2009 4:35 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 3 – Price manipulators, hoarders, and violators of the price ceilings on food items and construction materials face instant arrest under the country’s state of calamity declared a week after typhoon “Ondoy” devastated Mega Manila.

“Just tell us the complete details and we will go there together with agents from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police. We will arrest them immediately,” said Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila after the Cabinet level meeting of the National Development Coordinating Council (NDCC) at Camp Aguinaldo Saturday.

“What is important is a complainant presents a receipt and we will go after them,” he said, adding advertisements on price-controlled items will be published in newspapers.

Favila said that aside from food and construction materials, price controls have been imposed on oils and lubricants, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), funeral parlor services, and auto repair.

Favila said the Department of Justice (DOJ) found nothing wrong with imposing price controls on gasoline and diesel. “What the price ceiling will be is now being studied by us and the Department of Energy (DoE),” he said.

Favila said some LPG suppliers and dealers have voluntarily frozen their prices so as not to burden further the victims of typhoon “Ondoy”.

He said the Department of Social Welfare (DSWD) gives burial assistance to the poor. “But what is happening is that private funeral parlors charge double what DSWD gives in burial assistance,” Favila said. (PNA)

RMA/OPS/rsm

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