MANILA, Philippines – Bottled water should be declared a basic necessity to allow government to control its price during calamities, a lawmaker proposed on Saturday.
Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo believes that supplies of bottled water, as with rice, milk, and sugar, need to be secured during disasters.
“(Kailangan ito) para pag may emergency, calamity, may kapangyarihan ang gobyerno na makontrol ang presyo ng bottled water,” he explained.
His constituents were among the hardest hit during the onslaught of Typhoon “Ondoy” last year.
Some unscrupulous traders reportedly cashed in on the disaster by raising the price of bottled water.
Lorelyn Barajas, a Pasig City resident, said her family tried to buy bottled water in the typhoon’s aftermath because the water that came out of faucets was contaminated.
“Pinilit namin na mga bata lang ang iinom (ng bottled water), kami sa NAWASA,” she added.
Trade and Industry Undersecretary Zeny Maglaya said she is supporting Romulo’s proposal.
“Kami ang tagapagpatupad ng price control. Kapag may price freeze, huli ang lalampas sa presyo,” she said.
Maglaya, however, assured bottled-water companies that they have nothing to fear about the proposal because it will only cover their sales during calamities and other events when the government needs to control the prices of basic commodities. -- with a report from Wheng Hidalgo, ABS-CBN News