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Price freeze imposed on basic goods in Luzon following state of calamity

 

LUZON island

LUZON island

By GENALYN KABILING

A price freeze on rice, eggs, fresh pork and beef, essential medicines, household Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), and other basic goods and commodities will be enforced in the entire Luzon after being placed under a state of calamity.

The calamity declaration, which seeks to hasten relief and rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-hit communities, will remain in effect until lifted by President Duterte.

“Under a state of the calamity, there is an automatic price freeze of basic commodities for all implementing agencies of the Price Act for all areas declared under a state of calamity,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

Among the basic goods under price freeze are rice, corn, cooking oil, dried and other marine products, fresh eggs, fresh pork, beef and vegetables, root crops, sugar, and fresh fruits.

Prices of canned fish and other marine products, processed milk, coffee, laundry soap, detergent, candles, bread, salt, potable water in bottles and containers, and locally-manufactured instant noodles will also be placed under control in the calamity areas.

Roque said firewood and charcoal, medicines classified essential by the Department of Health, household LPG, and kerosene will also be under price freeze.

Malacañang has released Proclamation No. 1015 declaring a state of calamity on the entire Luzon island group following the devastation caused by the recent powerful typhoons “Quinta,” “Rolly,” and “Ulysses.”

Under the proclamation, all government agencies are directed “to implement and execute rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation work in accordance with pertinent operational plans and directives.” They must also coordinate and augment the basic services and facilities of affected local government units.

The President has also directed law enforcement agencies, with the support from the military, to take measures to ensure peace and order in the affected areas.

“The Executive ensures that all departments and concerned agencies are working together towards the rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation of affected areas and residents,” Roque said.

Apart from the price control measures, the calamity declaration will also afford the national government and LGUs ample leeway to use calamity funds and provide basic services to the affected people.

Duterte has also signed Executive Order No. 120 creating the task force that will strengthen the rehabilitation and recovery in areas hit by Rolly and Ulysses.

The “Build Back Better Task Force” will be chaired by the Environment and Natural Resources Secretary with the Public Works and Highways Secretary as co-chair. The body will have 22 members, including the Secretaries of Defense, Housing, Transportation, Interior and Local Government, Energy, Trade and Industry, Budget, Finance, Education, Labor and Employment, and Science and Technology.

The task force will serve as “overall and central body to ensure whole-of-government implementation and monitoring of post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation efforts of the national government in typhoon-affected areas.”

It will also prepare and implement post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery plan, ensure adequacy of  basic services such as power, water, telecommunications, and health services, rebuild or repair disaster-resilient houses, restore and strengthen economic activities in typhoon-hit areas, and ensure climate-resilient infrastructure.

The two latest directives were signed by the President last Nov. 18.

 

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