‘Food shortage caused by aborted deliveries’
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Thursday allayed concerns over the “temporary” shortage of some basic commodities like noodles in parts of Metro Manila the past days.
In a press briefing, Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo explained that the shortages, noted mainly in the Camanava area (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela), were due mainly to the inability of food manufacturers to make their deliveries due to the floods spawned by the heavy rains of Tropical Storm “Maring.”
Also contributing to the inadequacies were the bulk buying made by various organizations for their relief operations, he added.
As a remedy, Domingo said he would ask the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to exempt food manufacturers and the baking industry from the truck ban and number coding scheme to ensure timely deliveries to supermarkets and groceries.
He has likewise requested manufacturers to supply to the supermarkets more than their normal deliveries, as well as to put up a dedicated center for bulk purchases for relief operations.
Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba, officer in charge of the consumer welfare and business regulation group at the DTI, also requested the retailers to extend their operating hours to accommodate more consumers.
Meanwhile, the prices of basic commodities remained generally stable across Luzon, even in areas that were not placed under a state of calamity. Slight increases were noted in the prices of vegetables in certain areas that Domingo did not identify.
A price freeze is automatically in effect in areas that are placed under a state of calamity. These areas include the cities of Pasay, Parañaque, Muntinlupa, Malabon and Marikina, Pateros town, four municipalities in Ilocos Sur, four areas in Pangasinan, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.
Goods covered by the price freeze include sardines, processed milk, coffee, detergent soap, bread, candles, salt, rice, corn, cooking oil, fresh pork/beef/poultry meat, fresh/dried fish/marine products, eggs, fresh milk, vegetables, root crops and sugar.
Meanwhile, Domingo said he expected Maring to have had minimal impact on businesses outside the agriculture sector.—Amy R. Remo
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