COVID-19

Retailers defy ‘price freeze’ in Marawi, Lanao Sur

By MASIDING NOOR YAHYA

MARAWI CITY: Prices of basic commodities here keep surging despite a price freeze of basic goods and commodities imposed by the Bangsamoro government and the provincial government of Lanao del Sur amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Photo shows a cooperative in operations set up by UN Habitat to ensure that food supply is not disrupted under the enhanced community quarantine issued by the local governments of Lanao del Sur and Marawi City to deter COVID-19 transmission. (UN Habitat photo)

Reports reaching Ranao Star revealed that prices of fruits and vegetables keep on soaring high. “Banana is sold at P300 per excerpt or bunch,” said one consumer. Another consumer said a kilo of Galunggong fish is sold at from P180 to P200.

Meanwhile, the UN Habitat project has set up cooperatives to ensure that food supply is not disrupted by continuing operations under these extraordinary times when the whole province and the city are placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

In a meeting on Tuesday, the Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCC) of Marawi discussed complaints on the alleged overpricing of basic goods for about a month.

“All complaints raised by consumers were seriously considered and all possible remedies were explored and presented properly in the meeting,” LPCC member city local government officer Masbud “Skip” A. Gaima II told this writer.

Gaima said the Council will create a city task force to monitor prices of basic commodities in the city and halt overpricing. “It will also create mobile stores to serve the public with basic commodities need,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) said in an update there are still 7 confirmed cases in Lanao del Sur — 1 is admitted, 3 has recovered and 3 died. There are also 28 suspects or probable cases in the province, it said.

IPHO noted: PUMs continue to decrease with more patients completing the mandatory 14-day home quarantine. However, new PUMs in 5 areas were reported and are being monitored by the respective RHUs and BHERTs. No new case. No new death, no new CPVID-19 probable or suspect. Though globally and nationwide, positive cases continue to increase. (RSP)

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