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MANILA – Administration Senator Imee Marcos has urged the Department of Trade and Industry to once again implement a price freeze in areas that were reverted back under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).

Marcos expressed concern that some traders may exploit the 15-day lock policy imposed by Malacañang and increase the prices of basic commodities in the market.

“Price freeze ang dapat na ipatupad ng DTI! Tiyak na sasamantalahin na naman kasi ng mga salbaheng negosyante ang sitwasyon at itataas nila ang kanilang mga paninda kahit naghihirap na ang mga kababayan natin,” said Marcos.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday placed Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan under MECQ following the appeal of various medical groups for a two-week timeout from the rising number of COVID infections in the country.

The price freeze was first implemented when the National Capital Region (NCR) and other regional/provincial financial hubs were placed under the stricter ECQ policy last March.

Marcos warned that there will be definitely some retailers who will try to exploit the situation, especially only a limited number of establishments are allowed to conduct businesses under MECQ.

“Kahit 15 days lang ang MECQ, sasamantalahin pa rin ito ng mga salbaheng negosyante. At price freeze pa rin ang katapat nila, pero siyempre kailangan kumilos at magtrabaho ang mga taga-DTI para tingnan ang presyo ng mga basic commodities,” Marcos explained.

She added that prices of primary commodities such chicken, pork, fish, oil, noodles, rice, canned goods and other basic necessities should be monitored well during this 15-day quarantine period.

“Hirap na hirap na talaga sa buhay ang bawat pamilya dahil sa COVID, kaya dapat bantayan ang presyo ng mga basic commodities. Kailangang mapahinto ang mga negosyanteng ito at ipakulong ang mahuhuling nagtataas ng presyo ng kanilang paninda,” Marcos said.

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