Extending Price Freeze -LKI 2020-065 Press Statement

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September 20, 2020


Consumer Group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI), recently stated “Consumers around the country grew encouraged at first by the short decline in daily new positive cases, and there were announcements by researchers and even on the government end that the nation was already flattening the curve. And one could not be blame we grew eager or excited for the New Normal, or for the state of our economy and business to return or revert back to a similar sense of normalcy as before. But alas, the pandemic still continues, and the rising number of cases still grows. While yes, indeed, there are many businesses already trying to go back to their original state, business as usual, it still remains a fact that many millions of Filipinos are still left without a job, struggling and enduring through this general community quarantine with no means to pay for basic goods and necessities. Therefore… the government must aid consumers, especially during the state of calamity. That is why we will continue to push for another round of price freeze of basic necessities across the Philippines for processed, agricultural, and marine and medicine products coterminous with the law.”
Vic Dimagiba, Laban Kosyumer President said “I firmly believe that because the country is in a state of CONTINUING NATIONAL emergency, the law states that continuing measures should address the pandemic. As my consumer group pointed out before even when the pandemic was new and starting, … When it comes to Section 6 OF REPUBLIC ACT 11469 OR the Bahamian to Heal as One Act , continuing measures ensure that there is no hoarding, price manipulation, cartel, profiteering. This is a special law, and the price freeze of LPG AND OTHER BASIC NECESSITIES should continue until the calamity is over. IATF should ensure that the price freeze is continued and strictly enforced and implemented as long as there is a national crisis and pandemic, leading to an ECQ or lockdown. People cannot afford for higher prices in these commodities.”
LKI added “Until the declaration of national emergency is not yet lifted, all the price freezes should continue, with LPG included as well as basic necessity. Basic commodities include food, water, noodles, which is under the amendment of the Price Act. The implementation should be a wide execution, and the price freeze should exceed the minimum period granted. If it is not followed, the punishment should be more than a million pesos. Prices should not be changing during this time of national emergency.”
Dimagiba pointed out that the enactment of Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act as well as Proclamation No. 1021 affirmed the continuing implementation of a nationwide price freeze. “
Another law will kick in once this crisis is over. And we should just wait for that before putting a stop to these measures like price freeze. We must think of the no work, no pay consumers who have no means or way of paying for high prices of commodities and basic goods. The punishment for those who do not follow the price freeze ranges from ten thousand to one million pesos and this should be strictly enforced.”
Dimagiba explained “The spirit of the declaration should be respected and honored, and the word ‘continuing’ is clear in the sense that this is a very special law that should be implemented. The interpretation should be widened and expanded, in consideration of consumers with no work during the GCQ and lockdown. Price freeze should be put on all basic goods and commodities for the betterment and protection of consumers nationwide.”

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