Malacañang on Thursday slammed people who hoard supplies of basic commodities over coronavirus fears, saying they may face jail time for their actions.
Consumers continue to stock up on necessities such as disinfectants and food following a surge in the number of cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.
Aside from the supply of alcohol, canned goods, vegetables and meat products almost run out in a grocery store in Quezon City, according to a 24 Oras report on Wednesday.
Incidents of panic buying have also been observed in Bulacan, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Davao City and Zamboanga City, the report said.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday declared a state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines, allowing the government to impose price freeze on all basic commodities for 60 days.
“The Office of the President hereby gives warning to those hoarding vital commodities, which create a hike in the prices, as well as selling them beyond their regular prices, that their actions will be dealt with accordingly in pursuance of public safety and order,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
“Those who unscrupulously take advantage of the health crisis will also be arrested and dealt with in accordance with law.”
Duterte has already instructed the Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation to monitor the price of face masks and alcohol to prevent cases of hoarding. —KBK, GMA News