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Noodles and bottled water now under Philippine Price Act

The Philippine Senate passed on third and final reading amendments to the Price Act (Republic Act No. 7581), that will include bottled water and locally manufactured instant noodles in the list of basic items considered as prime commodities to add teeth in the protection of consumers from unscrupulous traders and merchants who jack up prices of goods during emergency situations.

Senators Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Manuel B. Villar  authored Committee Report No. 444 , recommending the approval of House Bill Bill No. 4801 and taking into consideration Senate Bills 669, 1306,  1612 and 3527 was approved with twelve affirmative votes, zero negative votes and zero abstentions.

In sponsoring Committee Report No. 444, Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce, noted the prevalence of merchants increasing the prices of bottled potable water and instant noodles during times of calamity.

“In the aftermath of typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng, Milenyo, Pedring, the Habagat monsoon and now Pablo, instant noodles and potable water in containers have become two of the most in demand and has the biggest tendency to be overpriced to the detriment of the citizens,” Villar said.

A humanitarian measure, the Price Act, according to Villar, was enacted to stabilize the prices of basic items especially during emergencies such as floods, typhoons, and other calamities.

“The prevalent public consumption of instant noodles and potable water in containers has placed it in the ranks of basic necessities such as rice, corn, bread, fish, pork, poultry, bee, etc. Even during relief operations in times of calamities and emergencies, instant noodles and potable water in containers are the basic goods distributed,” he added.

“Approval of this measure extends to our people the much needed lifeline that our people expect from their government in times of need,” Villar also said. (YVONNE ALMIRAÑEZ, PRIB)