Speaker warns of possible price gouging in wake of dengue scare

Vice Speaker Tina Muna Barnes (PNC file photo)

Speaker Tina Muna Barnes has issued a warning about possible price gouging in the sale of insect repellants in the wake of the dengue scare caused by the two recent cases of local dengue.

“I’ve been informed by several concerned residents that the price of insect repellent may be on the rise due to price gouging,” the Speaker said in a statement.

Guam does have a price-gouging law but the wording in the law seems to limit it only to times of disaster like typhoons and earthquakes and it is unclear whether the current dengue problem would be covered by this law.

“While it is true that Guam’s price gouging law was built for typhoons and earthquakes, we live in a far different world with new and changing threats,” the Speaker said.

She added that she is now working with the Office of the Governor and her colleagues to clarify Guam’s price-gouging statutes.

“At the end of the day, our laws must give us the ability to protect this community when there is a clear and present danger,” the Speaker said.

The Office of the Attorney General has issued the following statement on the matter: “The Governor has issued a state of emergency. Guam’s price gouging laws cover Condition of Readiness rather than state of emergencies. All residents of Guam are urged to adhere to all advisories issued by Guam Homeland Security and the Department of Public Health and Social Services as this is an island emergency that affects us all.”