MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has assured the public that there is no need to resort to panic buying as there is enough supply of goods despite Metro Manila and four other provinces are placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
In Laging Handa public briefing Monday, DTI Undersecretary Ireneo Vizmonte said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has allowed 100-percent operation of manufacturing of essential goods such as food, hygiene products, and medical products, as well as their suppliers to ensure stable inventories of these goods in the market.
“Gusto po nating masigurado na ang shelves ng mga supermarkets, public markets, ‘yong mga tindahan, ay may enough supply particularly ng pagkain at essential products. Maaasahan po natin na ‘yan po ay magiging available during the period of ECQ (We want to make sure that the shelves in supermarkets, public markets, and stores have enough supply particularly of food and essential products. We can expect that these are available during the ECQ period),” he said.
He added that compared to the ECQ last year, retail and trade establishments including sari-sari stores, carinderia, hardware, and motorcycle shops, among others, are open.
However, only take-out and delivery services are only allowed for food establishments.
Vizmonte said since the current ECQ is only imposed over the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, its impact to businesses should not be as harsh as the first ECQ at the onset of the pandemic wherein most businesses then were closed.
He said the DTI is ready to assist micro, small and medium enterprises with interest-free loans under the Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program.
“Sana hindi ganong habaan ang ECQ para yung ibang hanapbuhay at negosyo ay makabalik na at kumita (I hope the ECQ will not be so long so that other jobs and businesses can return and earn),” he added. (PNA)