UNSCRUPULOUS traders and retailers run circles around the country’s laws, rules and regulations during man-made and natural calamities, like typhoons, floods and earthquakes.
Why they do that? These “economic saboteurs,” described by various quarters as greedy and heartless, want to earn big money at the expense of the suffering Filipino people.
Note that in impoverished and graft-prone Philippines, staying healthy even during normal times costs an arm and a leg because of the high prices of medicines and medical services.
Thus, as expected, the Department of Health (DoH) has ordered a “price freeze” on medicines and other essential medical commodities in areas affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.
Covered by the state-decreed “price freeze” include N95 masks, analgesics, anti-allergics, anticonvulsants/antiseptics, antidotes and antibiotics, according to the health department.
In a related development, the DoH has sent medicines, such as eye drops and asthma medication, water containers, water purification tablets and hygiene kits to Taal Volcano victims.
In fact, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III has bolstered support to DoH regional offices by augmenting resources in response to the recent Taal Volcano eruption.
“We are continuously monitoring the developments of the eruption and will respond to the health needs of the people,” said the DoH secretary from vote-rich Pangasinan.
Like other well-meaning Filipinos, notably the poorest of the poor not only in areas affected by the Taal Volcano eruption but throughout the country, we support the price freeze.
And concerned government authorities should waste no time in going after erring traders and retailers.