The Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have advised Metro Manila residents to free themselves of fears that the region would run out of food and other basic supplies during the monthlong community quarantine that will begin on Sunday.
The two departments said supply will not be a problem in Metro Manila, so there is no need for the public to engage in panic buying that will only worsen the situation by creating artificial shortage.
“The Department of Agriculture assures all Filipino families that there is enough food for everyone,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.
“Wag mag panic buying dahil lalo ho talaga mag-artificial shortage, artificial pag may namamakyaw. ‘Yan po ay siguradong marereplenish dahil maraming stocks ang mga manufacturers,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
The DA regulates the sale of agricultural products, while the DTI oversees the manufactured goods.
Dar said for rice, Metro Manila’s inventory is good for at least 9 months, and this will be augmented with the scheduled April harvest. The region consumes at least 26,241 metric tons (MT) of rice per week.
Meanwhile, the region’s requirement for vegetables and root crops, estimated at 5,000 MT per week, will be supplied Cordillera, Benguet, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Southern Luzon.
Also, the needed 7,934 MT of poultry and meat supply weekly and 8,000 MT fish demand will be met easily.
“Again, reiterating our call to the public, don’t hoard too much food. There is enough food supply that you can buy during this time of health emergency,” Dar said.
DTI, which chairs the National Price Coordinating Council, has already asked the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to help ensure hoarders, profiteers and those who will sell fake medicines and medical supplies will be dealt with accordingly.
“Ipapahanap namin kayo lalo na kung ang ibinebenta niyo mga medical products at illegal po ‘yun. Unang una hindi kayo certified seller, hindi kayo drug store at ang ibinebenta niyo ay walang FDA seal,” Lopez said.