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GOVT TO ENSURE STEADY SUPPLY OF FOOD, ESSENTIAL GOODS IN THE MARKET — NOGRALES

The government is assuring the public that it is continuously monitoring and addressing issues involving the transport of raw materials needed by meat processors in Luzon which is now under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Saturday stressed that measures had already been taken by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to ensure the unhampered flow of cargo around Luzon in order to maintain adequate supplies of food and essential goods.

“The DA has already prepared a supplemental circular that will complement the DTI issuance and ensure the unhampered movement of agriculture and fishery inputs.”

According to Nograles, delays encountered by cargo trucks transporting goods and raw materials were among the issues initially raised during the early stages of the ECQ in Luzon, which is why various agencies had been tasked to address the various aspects of the concern.

“The Department of Trade and Industry on Friday issued a memorandum circular that explicitly states that the movement of all cargo in Luzon should continue unimpeded to ensure that supply chains are not interrupted,” said the Palace official.

In a memorandum circular issued by DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez on March 20, Lopez reiterated that “the movement of all types of cargoes (Food and Non-Food) within, to and from the entire Luzon shall be unhampered.”

The DTI chief emphasized: “If subjected to random inspection (with cargo before delivery or empty after delivery), the movement of cargoes shall not be delayed, upon presentation of the cargo manifest or delivery receipt indicating the destination, nature and quantity of the loaded goods/cargoes.”

Nograles said that in addition to the DTI directive, “the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will continue to work with our LGUs and the pertinent authorities to ensure the consistent application of ECQ guidelines so that cargo trucks do not encounter bottlenecks in the different checkpoints stationed around Luzon.”

“The government’s primary objectives during the ECQ are to keep our citizens home and out of harm’s way.”

Nograles also stressed that the DTI is continuously reviewing the list of inventory of goods and raw materials for food production, as well as monitoring supplies of these among manufacturers in order to guarantee continued supplies for consumers in Luzon.

“Nakatutok po ang DTI dito, kasama na din po ang Department of Agriculture. The DA has already prepared a supplemental circular that will complement the DTI issuance and ensure the unhampered movement of agriculture and fishery inputs as well as agribusiness personnel nationwide,” explained the former lawmaker.

Nograles also pointed out that “the government’s primary objectives during the ECQ are to keep our citizens home and out of harm’s way and to ensure that they have uninterrupted access to essential goods like food. The IATF meets regularly upon the direction of the President so that our efforts to ensure the former do not hamper our measures to guarantee the latter.”

“Basta magtulungan ang gobyerno, LGU, at private sector, malalampasan po natin ang krisis na ito. Paulit-ulit iginigiit ni Pangulong Duterte: kung magkanya-kanya tayo, di tayo magtatagumpay; together, we can beat Covid-19; together, we heal as one.”

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