Teodoro warns against hoarders, price manipulators as PH braces for La Niña

MANILA. Department of National Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.
MANILA. Department of National Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.Photo from DND

THE Presidential Task Force on El Niño has warned of intensified monitoring against hoarders and manipulators as the country transitions to the La Niña weather phenomenon.

In a statement, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr., the task force’s chairperson, vowed to go after hoarders and manipulators who will prey on consumers by providing support to agencies involved in the price monitoring of basic necessities and prime commodities.

He committed to protecting consumers from profiteering amid the weather phenomenon.

“Access to affordable basic commodities such as rice is exceptionally crucial to millions of Filipino consumers. Any sudden fluctuation in the price of rice resonates in the daily lives of Filipinos,” Teodoro said.

“Whatever support is needed by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture, rest assured we are here ready to assist them,” he added.

The task force was activated on the orders of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to develop a comprehensive disaster preparedness and rehabilitation plan for El Niño and La Niña, and to provide “systematic, holistic, and results-driven interventions” to help the public cope with and minimize the weather phenomenon’s devastating effects.

Earlier, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said the El Niño phenomenon may end by June as it urged the public to brace for a “wetter” season due to the La Niña phenomenon.

The weather bureau said the La Niña phenomenon, which is associated with above-normal rainfall conditions, may develop between June to August.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said as of May 13, the estimated damage and losses to agriculture due to El Niño is P6,347,868,375.

A total of 67 cities and municipalities were placed under a state of calamity due to the dry spell. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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