Lawmen keep close tabs on commodity prices

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THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said that it will strictly enforce and monitor the price freeze of basic and essential commodities following Malacañang’s declaration of state of national calamity.

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President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday declared a state of national calamity, three days after Super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) barreled its way leaving a trail of death and destruction in the Visayas region.

PNP chief Director Gen. Alan Purusima has issued a directive putting to task all regional commanders, especially in areas affected by Yolanda to monitor the prices of basic and essential commodities.

“They are directed to monitor prices of basic commodities and ensure implementation of the price freeze order in close coordination with local government units and local trade and industry officials,” Purisima said.

The PNP chief said that all police units in the country were also alerted against possible price control and trade violations of unscrupulous businessmen that may try to take advantage of the calamity situation.

“The PNP is also on alert against traders and businessmen that may try to take advantage of the situation, especially in typhoon-hit areas, to hike the prices of basic and essential commodities,” Purisima said.

Basic and essential goods, whose prices are to be monitored by the police, local government’s and DTI’s personnel are rice, corn, bread, fresh, dried and canned fish and other marine, poultry, meat, dairy products, vegetables, sugar, coffee, salt and other medicines.

“The PNP believes that its involvement in carrying out this law is vital in maintaining public welfare and efficiency in the execution of the price freeze is key in preserving peace and order,” Purisima said.

President Aquino on Monday issued Proclamation 682, declaring a State of National Calamity to accelerate the efforts of government to save, to render aid, and to rehabilitate the provinces that were ravaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

The president said the declaration of state of national calamity is important to ensure control over the prices of basic commodities and services and to avoid overpricing and hoarding of vital products.

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