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LKI 2020-013 PRESS STATEMENT
MARCH 16, 2020
LKI CALLS FOR PRICE FREEZE OF HEALTH PROTECTIVE DEVICES AMIDST COVID-19
Regarding the Amendment to the Price Act to add Personal Protective Equipment and Supplies in the list of Basic Necessities, on March 16, 2020, consumer group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) wrote and appealed on the Senate and House Committee on Trade and Industry, proposing “an amendment to the Price Act to include Health Protective Devices and goods like face masks, N95 and surgical, gowns, coverall, aprons, shoe cover, head cover, face shield, goggles, gloves, ventilators alcohol, hand sanitizer, disinfectant and similar goods and supplies in the list of basic necessities that will be subject to price freeze under the Price Act. This will be done for the assurance that Filipinos are well-equipped to protect themselves from COVID-19 and to stop the spread of this infection.”
Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba, in his personal capacity and as President of consumer group Laban Konsyumer Inc. wrote a letter to Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship Commissioner Chairman Senator Koko Pimentel and Congressman Wes Gatchalian saying “in addition, we propose that all online purchases of basic necessities and prime commodities, or BNPC should be subject to and governed by the provisions of the Price Act. In these trying and challenging times when the infections of COVID-19 are spreading at a rapid pace, it is essential that health protective items are made accessible, cheap and readily available for all Filipino consumers so as not to spread the sickness even further. Consumers should not be forced to pay high prices for these essential safety and health products, so it is absolutely crucial that these are monitored and regulated strictly to avoid a spike of skyrocketing prices.”
Coming from a radio interview with Radio Veritas with Fr. Nolan and Angelique Lazo regarding the price freeze, Dimagiba concluded by saying “we are submitting the above proposals as we continue to learn lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, which is hurting our fellow Filipino brothers and sisters, and causing fear and uncertainty for consumers all around the country. We hope that these are acted on immediately as this will better prepare us as well for the future when other such situations arise, concerning health scares and safety crises like the one we are experiencing right now.”
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