Price freeze in effect - SunStar

Price freeze in effect

By Teresa D. Ellera

WITH the devastation brought by Typhoon Odette in Negros Occidental, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson placed the entire province under a state of calamity through an executive order (EO) he issued Monday, December 20, 2021.

Lacson issued the EO based on the recommendations of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).

Lacson, who convened the council Monday, said he will ask the Provincial Board to approve a resolution regarding the matter at their regular session Tuesday, December 21.

The typhoon left at least 33 people dead, destroyed 3,764 houses and damaged 16,477 others, records from PDRRMC showed.

The amount of losses to agricultural crops and livestock in the province is also expected to rise, Lacson said, as more reports are coming in and communication lines are repaired.

Based on the rapid assessment of the PDRRMC, the province incurred damage and losses amounting to almost P6 billion, the governor said.

He pointed out that the agricultural sector, particularly crops, suffered the biggest losses at P4.4 billion.

The remaining amount accounts for the livestock and infrastructure, including school buildings and hospitals, among other structures.

The declaration of the state of calamity will allow local government units (LGU) to utilize their respective calamity funds, Lacson said.

He said, however, mthat part of their calamity fund has been used already as their coronavirus disease (Covid-19) response.

The governor added that under the province’s quick response funds, only P15 million is left.

“We will look for other sources of funds, especially from the savings that we can use,” he said.

Under the EO, a price freeze on basic necessities and prime commodities is also taking effect.

“The SP is further implored to provide in its resolution that a price freeze on basic necessities and prime commodities be imposed over the entire province in order to curb predatory pricing by businesses and hoarding of goods,” it stated.

There have been reports that prices of some goods, especially in southern part of the province, have been rising following the onslaught of the typhoon.

For his part, Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer has assured that the recommendation of the PDRRMC will be approved by the Provincial Board.

Meanwhile, Abang Lingkod Party-list Representative Stephen Paduano said they will give P3.5 million worth of relief assistance to the typhoon victims.

Paduano said they initially distributed 100 sacks of rice and noodles at the Sixth District, which was badly hit by the calamity.

Paduano noted that a businessman, whom he did not name, pledged to donate through their office rice amounting to P3.5 million.

Aside from the Sixth District, the assistance will also be distributed in the Fourth District.

Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), also gathered donations for those who have been affected by Typhoon Odette in Sixth District localities.

Carbon said they are willing to serve as drop off center for the donations.

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