DTI warns traders against price increases after ‘Sendong’

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/22 Dec) – The provincial office of the Department Trade and Industry (DTI) has warned business establishments not to take advantage of the current situation by increasing prices of commodities, especially bottled water as water supply remains limited after Typhoon Sendong damaged many areas in the city and elsewhere in Northern Mindanao.

DTI provincial director Ma. Eliza Pabillore ordered all business establishments to “adhere to the prevailing prices of basic necessities under Republic Act No. 7581 otherwise know as the Price Act.

She said this was in response to the declaration of a state of calamity by President Benigno Aquino III during his visit to Northern Mindanao last Tuesday.

Paragraph 1, Section 6 of the Price Act states that “unless otherwise declared by the President, prices of basic necessities in an area shall automatically be frozen at their prevailing prices or placed under automatic price control whenever that area is proclaimed or declared disaster area or under state of calamity.”

“Any person who shall violate the price control mandated by the law may face criminal and/or administrative charges,” Pabillore said.

After tropical storm Sendong (Washi) hit Northern Mindanao on December 16, water based products and water supply have become limited as some of Cagayan de Oro Water District’s (COWD) booster pumping stations, including its laboratories and production wells, were also badly hit by flash floods. Damage to COWD’s facilities was estimated at P30.5 million.

As of this writing, the COWD is doubling its effort to restore water supply in the city by giving a 31-day time frame to be fully operational.

Meanwhile, the COWD has provided free-flowing water through some faucets with long hoses in three affected barangays in the city, among them Macasandig, one of the worse hit. Other areas were given limited water access.

On the evening of December 16, Sendong flooded and devastated about 38 barangays in the city, including nearby towns of Misamis Oriental as well as Iligan City. As of today, rescuers are still conducting rescue operations while relief operations are ongoing. (MindaNews)