Bangsamoro government employees check the prices of goods in a store.
The STAR/John Unson
BARMM government reports stable prices amid COVID-19 quarantine
John Unson ( - April 2, 2020 - 2:25pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — The Bangsamoro government on Thursday again reminded sellers that they face sanctions if they either hoard or increase prices of commercial goods during a region-wide anti-coronavirus quarantine.

Regional officials said Thursday prices of food supplies and other commodities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are stable and traders are maintaining the availability of commodities as consumers face the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BARMM covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both in mainland Mindanao, the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Lamitan and Marawi.

Abuamri Taddik, BARMM’s minister for trade, investments and tourism, said personnel are going around to remind traders of Republic Act 7581, or the Philippine Price Act, and a regional price freeze order meant to ease the plight of residents affected by the government’s anti-coronavirus campaign.

"By and large, the business sector in BARMM is cooperating with our efforts to lighten the situation of residents whose means of livelihood and mobility were unduly curtailed by this quarantine process," Taddik said.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana of the Western Mindanao Command said Thursday that troops have been helping the Ministry of Trade, Investments and Tourism monitor the prices of food supplies in the region.

"We are helping the Bangsamoro government prevent abusive traders from taking advantage of the situation," Sobejana said.

Taddik said consumers can report overpricing of commercial goods to their field offices.

"These traders are aware of what the ministry is capable of," he said. 

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