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Bill seeks to impose price controls on building materials during calamities

A HOUSE BILL is seeking to add construction materials to the list of basic goods and commodities, effectively keeping sellers from raising prices during calamities.

House Bill No. 16464 adds plywood, cement, hollow blocks, and steel bars to the list of items subject to price controls during emergencies, to allow for rebuilding unhampered by undue price increases.

“This Bill would protect survivors of disasters from predatory pricing and some sellers exploiting the need for construction materials in rebuilding shelter and livelihood,” Dinagat Islands Rep. Alan 1 B. Ecleo said in a statement. 

The inclusion of the construction materials to the list of basic necessities and prime commodities under Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act would stabilize the prices of such products against price surges during emergencies, Mr. Ecleo, who chairs the House Committee on Disaster Resilience, added.

Basic goods under the Price Act include flour, canned goods, dairy products, chicken, meat, and toiletries, among others.

Construction materials “are essential to consumers in times of emergencies,” he said, as they are vital in rebuilding their homes. — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio