Philippine President Arroyo on Monday warned unscrupulous traders that they will be punished if they overprice basic commodities following the trail of devastation left by typhoon "Ondoy."
The President said in a televised message that she has ordered the Department of Trade and Industry to ensure continued food supply in affected areas at "reasonable prices."
"I have ordered the DTI to ensure the continuous supply of food and other prime commodities at reasonable prices. I also directed the DOE to secure the availability of LPG and other similar products under normal terms. Those who take advantage of the situation would be punished," she said.
The President said that the focus of government operations now would be relief efforts which will be pursued "until every one of our countrymen in peril is accounted for."
"We will begin repair on our damaged infrastructure and help our people in rebuilding their homes and returning to normalcy," she said.
The President described typhoon "Ondoy" as a "once-in-a-lifetime typhoon."
"Typhoon 'Ondoy' was an extreme event that has strained our response capabilities to the limit. But it is not breaking us," she said.