P.O. Box 1161, QCCPO, NCR, Philippines 1100
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Facebook: Laban Konsyumer Inc.
Website : www.labankonsyumer.com
May 15, 2020
Ms. Jingle Concon-Allam
Committee on Trade, Commerce and Enterpreneurship
Subject : SBN 1454 and 1473
The Laban Konsyumer Inc. is a non-stock and nonprofit consumer organization created under Philippine laws, is a registered local consumer organization of the Department of Trade and Industry under CPAB Recognition No. 2019 -0001 and a full term member of the Consumers International under Membership No. F-3058.
We fully support the above Senate Bills as we continue to learn lessons from the Covid 19 pandemic.
We respectfully submit our position paper as follows:
1. The Committee may consider to adopt the pandemic and calamity definition of terms in SB No. 1454 in the definition of state of calamity in SB 1473. That makes the above Bills synched in their coverage and application.
2. We also propose that the Three Gives payment plan be considered minimum installment periods as the duration of the existence and impact of a pandemic is unpredictable and the implementing agencies should be empowered to prescribe the duration, terms and conditions of an instalment plan. Utility bills incurred during the pandemic period should be free of interest, penalties and charges.
3. SB 1454 on amendments to the Price Act as amended should include Test Kits in the enumeration of basic necessities.
4. In the LKI letter to the Committee dated March 16, 2020 on the same subject matter to the Committee, our proposal is to include Health Protective equipment as additional items in the enumeration of basic necessity in times of the pandemic calamity. As such, the retail prices are automatically frozen on the date of the declaration of the existence of the calamity.
5. The duration of the effectivity of the price freeze should be coterminous to the period of the declaration of the pandemic calamity until lifted, and could be more than 60 days, without need of further extension beyond 60 days.
6. The implementing agencies should set the Suggested Retail Prices of the proposed additional items in the Price Act as proposed in the Bill, including charges and fees of laboratory testing facilities.
We are ready to be a resource person in the event a Technical Working Group is formed for the purpose.
Finally, we appreciate the opportunity extended by the Committee to submit a position paper on the above powerful Bills filed by Senator Francis Tolentino and Senator Joel Villanueva.
Very truly yours,
Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba, AB, LLB, LLM