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Hoarding, profiteering of flu meds punishable by law: QC gov't

Image from: PNA (File photo)
MANILA – Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Thursday warned hoarders and profiteers of flu medicines in various drugstores that they may be prosecuted if found guilty.
"We will not hesitate to prosecute anybody found hoarding and profiteering these medicines. They are preventing citizens na gusto lang bumili ng gamot para sa kanilang pamilya (who only want to buy medicines for their family). We won't let them get away with this," Belmonte said in a statement.
QC legal officer lawyer Nino Casimiro said all persons who engage in the hoarding of medicines and other basic necessities and prime commodities will be prosecuted for violating Section 15 of Republic Act (RA) No. 7581 and 7394, or the Consumer Act.
RA 7581 provides protection to consumers by stabilizing the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities, and prescribing measures against undue price increases during emergency situations.
Under Section 15 of RA No. 7581, hoarding and profiteering may be imposed with a criminal penalty.
On the other hand, the Consumer Act imposes criminal liability on, among others, unfair and unconscionable sales acts.
The criminal penalties prescribed by both laws are without prejudice to administrative sanctions as warranted under the circumstances.
The Quezon City government has urged residents to report individuals or businesses doing acts of hoarding paracetamol and other related drugs amid alleged scarcity of medicines for treating flu-like symptoms.
They may call Helpline 122 or file a report through the QCitizen Watch on the Quezon City government website.
Meanwhile, limits on selling basic necessities during calamities and emergency situations are defined under City Ordinance No. SP-2914 S-2020 as amended by SP-2948 s-2020, which also penalizes profiteers.
QC Health Department (QCHD) officer-in-charge Dr. Esperanza Anita Escano-Arias reminded residents there are free medicines in the city's health centers, as they have directed medicine suppliers to stock up medicines particularly for fever, colds, and cough.
"With the help of our new pharmacy management system, hindi na tayo umaabot sa punto na nauubusan ng gamot para sa mga nangangailangan na residente (With the help of our new pharmacy management system, we assure that we will not run out of medicines for residents in need of them)," Arias said. (PNA)

Last Modified: 2022-Jan-06 17.23.00 UTC+0800