By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) Among the effects of Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero's Saturday evening executive order declaring a state of public health emergency is a prohibition on price gouging.
"Price Gouging. Effective immediately and throughout the duration of this Executive Order or within any time period allowed by law, whichever is longer, it shall be an unfair trade practice for any merchant or landlord to increase the price of any goods, services, or dwelling rentals on the basis of shortage anticipated or caused by this public health emergency." - Executive Order No. 2020-03, Section 5
Section 5 of the 11-section Executive Order No. 2020-03 began a prohibition against businesses increasing prices on goods, services, and rentals based on the Coronavirus impact on business.
While the executive order is silent on how to report instances of price gouging, the laws of Guam do indicate that such reports can be made to the Office of the Attorney General.
The governor's authority to make unilateral decisions was granted to her office 20 years ago by the Guam Legislature through Chapter 19 of Title 10, Guam Code Annotated, also known as the Emergency Health Powers Act.