Anti-hoarding, anti-panic buying ordinance passed
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Buying more than you can consume and hoarding goods for profit can now be penalized in Cebu City as the Cebu City Council passed an Anti-hoarding and Anti-panic buying ordinance amid the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The ordinance was proposed by majority floor leader Councilor Raymond Garcia and was passed by the council during a special session on Friday afternoon, March 20, 2020.
In the ordinance hoarding of basic commodities such as rice, corn, root crops, bread, fish, pork, beef, poultry, salt, soap, detergents, liquified petroleum gas, and medicine, can be penalized at first offense with P5,000 fine and revocation of business permits.
Read more: City Legal Office goes after 5 rice traders
Prime commodities are also covered including alcohol, face masks, sanitizer, and other personal protective equipment that can be used to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
The ordinance also obliges all establishments to post a list of items and the limitations of the purchase at a conspicuous place in the store for customer perusal.
Each person can only purchase a limited amount of products per day such as 3 bottles of alcohol or hand sanitizers, 6 cans of sardines, 1 kilogram of milk, a maximum of four packs of coffee, maximum 1 gallon of disinfectant, and 1 bottle or up to 100 pieces of Vitamin C.
Sari-sari stores, retailers, restaurants, and hotels will also be regulated when stocking goods to avoid hoarding.
Each store owner can buy per day only 48 cans of sardines, 24 can each kind of canned meat, a maximum of 10-kilogram milk, maximum of 30 packs coffee, up to 30 bottles of alcohol, 20 bottles of hand sanitizer, 96 rolls of paper towels, up to 6 gallons of disinfectant, and 500 pieces of Vitamin C.
The ordinance would also order Mayor Edgardo Labella to immediately form a special task force to implement the ordinance and ensure that no individual or establishment in the city will be hoarding goods in these times.
The ordinance, which was already pre-approved by Mayor Edgardo Labella, will be immediately effective upon ratification.
Garcia said the ordinance hopes to protect the “best interest” of city’s constituents amid the crisis and economic consequences of the Covid-19./dbs
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