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2 lawmakers to businesses: Please don’t raise prices of hygiene products, protective gear

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TWO House members are appealing to store owners not to “drastically” increase the prices of hygiene products and protective gear in light of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

House Minority Leader Edwin Propst and Rep. Luis John Castro noted the drastic increase in the demand for hand sanitizers, disinfectants, soap, and face masks.

In separate interviews, Propst and Castro said they have been receiving reports from their constituents that some stores are running out of these supplies.

Castro said some businesses may be trying to limit the sale of these products in order to make them available to more people, but added that “there might be cases of price gouging.”

“We live in a small community and a lot of our constituents are still dealing with the disaster caused by Super Typhoon Yutu,” Castro said. “With this new burden, I appeal to business owners to try to work responsibly so consumers can avail themselves of necessary items. We just want to make sure that everyone gets these supplies if needed,” he added.

For his part, Propst said it would be “unthinkable” for businesses to charge more than they usually do for face masks.

He said he heard from his constituents that the prices for these items are rising “astronomically.”

Propst said he was told that some stores are charging three to four times the “normal” price.

“I’d like to tell businesses that we know that these supplies are flying off the shelves in this dire situation, but please bring them in and please charge what they would normally charge,” he added.

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