• Palace warns price freeze violators


    Malacañang on Tuesday warned that those who will violate the price controls of basic goods in Yolanda-devastated areas will be charged and prosecuted.

    Presidential Communications Secretary Hemrinio Coloma Jr. issued the statement after prices of some food items in the areas hardest hit by the typhoon reached double-digit inflation. This was despite the earlier declaration of a state of calamity.

    Coloma said that all concerned agencies are already monitoring the prices of basic goods in typhoon-affected areas to ensure that the price controls are followed.

    “Tinututukan po yan ng Department of Trade and Industry, ng Department of Agriculture, at ng iba pang mga ahensiya ng pamahalaan at gagawin po ang lahat para huwag nang tumaas pa etong inflation rate na ito [This is now being monitored by the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, and other concerned government agencies. We will do what we can to ensure the inflation rate does not increase further],” he said.

    “At kung meron ngang napansin na spike doon sa mga calamity areas, gagawin po ang lahat para maibalik po doon sa normal na range ng inflation at ng price movement sa mga lugar na ‘yan [And if indeed there are recorded price spikes in calamity areas, we will do everything we can to bring back the inflation and price movements to the normal range],” he added

    On Tuesday, the Statistics Office reported that the country’s inflation quickened to 4.1 percent in December from 3.3 percent in November.

    The National Economic and Development Authority attributed the increase to the devastation of typhoon Yolanda in November.

    In Eastern Visayas, prices of vegetables increased by 11.3 percent in December 2013 from 5.8 percent of November 2013 while in Central Visayas, prices of rice increased by 12.2 percent from 9.4 percent, 11.2 percent from 7.8 percent for fruits, and 11.3 percent from 6.6 percent for vegetables.

    Also, in Western Visayas, vegetable prices surged by 11.8 percent from 2.3 percent in November 2013. CATHERINE S. VALENTE


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