Public urged to stop panic buying, price freeze pushed

HOUSE leaders appealed to the people to remain calm and at the same time asked the national government to strictly enforce a price freeze amid reports of panic buying in supermarkets due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) scare.

Deputy Speaker and 1PACMAN Rep. Mikee Romero asked people not to resort to panic buying, most especially hoarding, as this will only worsen the situation.

On Thursday night, President Rodrigo Duterte addressed the nation and declared a lockdown of the National Capital Region (NCR).

Amid the subsequent panic buying and hoarding, Vice chairman of the appropriations committee and Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas asked the Department of Trade and Industry for the strict enforcement of a price freeze.

Vargas expressed fears that panic buying and hoarding would lead to shortage of commodities.

“We can already see re-sellers of face masks and disinfectants – alcohol and hand sanitizers – post the same in social media at a higher price range. There are also reports of panic buying in nearby provinces outside Metro Manila. Let us all practice prudence in buying only those items that we need for ourselves and our families,” Vargas said.

“Let us help each other by making sure that everyone has the chance to purchase the necessary items that will keep us all safe from COVID-19,” he added.

Romero agreed and appealed particularly to the rich Filipinos to help by refraining from buying in bulk.

“Let us not resort to bulk buying especially of face masks, hand sanitizers and other products that will protect us from coronavirus disease or Covid-19. Hoarding will only deprive others of the things they need to shield themselves from this disease,” he said.

“The poor cannot do that, because they don’t have large amounts of cash to hoard goods. It is they who will suffer from panic buying and hoarding,” he added.