DTI warns traders exploiting Albay Calamity

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LEGAZPI CITY — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regional office here Bicol has warned traders not to increase the prices of basic commodities amidst current heavy rains pelting Albay in the past two weeks.

In a press briefing Saturday afternoon (January 8), Ching Olaguer, chief of the Consumer Welfare Division of DTI Bicol, explained trades should not increase the prices of basic commodities within 60-day period upon declaration of a state of calamity for which Albay is under since the New Year.

Olaguer told Albay Gov. Joey Salceda and the local media here that instead of conducting weekly price monitoring, the agency has opted to do the rounds on a daily basis.

“We have so far not noticed any exorbitant increase in prices in public markets or stores in Albay, but we will not let up in filing the appropriate charges before the courts,” Olaguer said.

Salceda meanwhile told the media that in case of shortage of any particular goods, the province shall seek other provinces to fill the gaps by asking manufacturers to augment products directed to Albay.

Basic goods under the supervision of the DTI include sugar, coffee, rice, canned goods and other manufactured food products.

Health concerns

Dr. Luis Mendoza, provincial Health Officer has also reported some evacuees getting sick and assured prompt delivery of medicine and health services.

“So far the highest number of illnesses is cough and colds with a total of 127 mostly in Manito town with 55 cases,” Mendoza said.

All across the evacuation centers in the province there were also 26 cases of headaches, 12 athletes foot and four cases each for asthma and fever.

A nebulizer kit was also provided to Malilipot to assist the asthmatic patients in the evacuation centers there.

A hygiene kit containing toiletry, female underwear and a pail with basin cover are also provided to some 500 families that are still staying at the evacuation camps due to threats of landslides. “The hygiene kits are for women of reproductive age especially the pregnant mothers,” Salceda explained adding that mothers need these assistance because they also take care of children.

Said hygiene packs are called Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) from the United Nations Population Fund Agency (UNFPA).

Mendoza said that P1.3 million worth of assistance in form of drugs and medicines were provided by the Department of Health while Salceda also said that the province allocated P2.5 million as counterpart.

Weather

Landrico Dalida Jr. of Pagasa explained that the province will continue to experience light to moderate rains until Sunday while there will be a break (possible with sunshine) on Monday and more rains on Tuesday.

“During the 24-hour monitoring of the rainfall (8am Thursday-8am Friday) there had been 21.2 millimeter rainfall in Legazpi while there was 86.4 mm in Virac and 33.8 mm in Juban rain gauge observation points,” Dalida said.

But dalida revealed that during the 6-hour period from 8 am to 2 pm Friday, there was a recorded 14.4 mm in Legazpi; 9 mm in Virac and a high 99 mm in Juban.

Bacause of the hike in Juban rains, Salceda instructed Apsemo chief Cedric Daep to double check the situation in Manito because “we are basing the Manito response to the reading of Juban rain gauges.”

Relief Operations

Distribution of some 200 relief packs to Cagraray Island was also hampered by heavy rains this morning.

But persevering pilots of the Phil. Air Force managed to find a safe landing site beside a beach in Cagraray Island in the afternoon.

The two helicopters landed with relief goods from the donations provided by the Office of the Vice President Jejomar Binay combined with packs from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office. (PNA Bicol/PIA/mal)

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