Iloilo Representative Janette Garin on Wednesday, Jan. 15, urged pharmacy chains to sell medicines and vital supplies at a discounted price to help thousands of people affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.
She also appealed to businessmen not to engage in unethical profiteering, stressing that it is “morally unacceptable and legally punishable” under existing trade and industry laws to increase prices especially in times of calamities.
“Calamities are sometimes seen by some as an opportunity to profit more, especially in situations where they see captured customers who have no other option but to buy from them. Medicines and supplies should even be sold at a discounted price considering that the expense is unexpected,” said Garin in a statement.
Garin, a former health secretary, said the eruption and the subsequent ashfall that is continuously taking over half of Luzon pose grave health issues for all affected.
“Prolonged exposure to the ashfall might cause lung problems, eye, and skin irritation. It would be wise to stay indoors if you are in the affected area. Everyone is also encouraged to wear protective gear like masks to prevent volcanic ash inhalation when going outdoors,” she said.
Garin told the public to use social media responsibly and stop the spread of fake news, which could cause unnecessary fear and panic.
“To our netizens, let us be cognizant of fake news. Many recent posts proliferate hate and false information. In times like this, let us refer to official pages and accounts of government agencies primarily involved in monitoring the situation like NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council) and Phivolcs (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology),” she said.PNA