Press Release
October 5, 2006


Senate President Manny Villar filed two bills to that will help ease the damage and destruction caused by natural calamities such as typhoons that regularly visit the country.

"As an archipelagic country, more than a dozen storms or typhoons visit us every year on top of volcanic eruptions and other natural disasters that occur every now and then. The havoc wreaked recently by 'Milenyo' reminds us that we really should put every precautionary measure in place in order to protect our people," cites Villar.

Villar recently filed two bills that aim to dampen the negative impact of natural calamities or disasters to Filipinos. Senate Bill (SB) 2297 seeks to prohibit price gouging relating to certain goods and services in areas affected by major disasters.

"It's sad and unfortunate that there are shrewd business owners who turn into profiteers during times of emergencies like recently when days after 'Milenyo', many stores and establishments jack up the prices of their goods and services to take advantage of customers' urgent demand for their products or services," says Villar.

Villar adds, "In order to prevent such unscrupulous individuals from taking unfair advantage of consumers, a law must be enacted penalizing their abusive acts or practices and imposing penalties." Villar's bill proposes that 180 days after the date when a major disaster is declared by the President, no supplier shall provide any consumer good or service in an affected area at an unconscionably excessive price. Otherwise the penalty will be one year imprisonment plus a fine of P10,000.

Meanwhile, SB 2348 seeks to provide provisional relief to certain victims of typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or other similar disasters by granting special deductions from income and real property taxes in their favor.

Through SB 2348, Villar aims to provide tax relief to those whose properties sustain destruction or damages by granting them reasonable deduction from their tax liabilities within a specified period as a means to alleviate the adverse economic conditions affecting them and to accelerate the pace of their economic rehabilitation.

Villar's bill proposes the deduction of the total amount of the loss or destruction from the victim's (the individual whose immovable property was lost, totally or partially destroyed by the calamity) income and real property tax liabilities up to a period of five years from the time of the loss or destruction.

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