DA: Food supply enough
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - August 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government yesterday advised Filipinos not to resort to panic-buying as the food supply is enough for the entire country even as Metro Manila is reverted to modified enhanced community quarantine for two weeks.

In a virtual press briefing, Agriculture Secretary William Dar cited latest monitoring and analysis of the department showing that the country’s food supply is enough for the population.

Dar issued the statement after consumers rushed to supermarkets and grocery stores on Monday to buy food and other necessities that will last for at least two weeks.

The incident occurred a day before Metro Manila and the nearby provinces were placed under stricter quarantine measures due to increasing cases of coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) urged the public to just buy enough food and avoid hoarding.

“We have enough supply from rice, vegetables, fruits, chicken and fish,” Dar said.

Data from the DA showed that the supply of rice, the country’s main staple, is good for 89 days.

The DA said the supply outlook for other major food commodities is favorable and could sustain the demand until the end of the year.

The supply of corn is good for 237 days, chicken for 182 days, vegetables for 20 days and fish for 10 days, the agency  said.

“What we need to monitor is the movement of food supply to ensure that there will be no delay and problem at the checkpoints,” Dar said.

He reiterated his call for local government units (LGUs)to ensure unhampered movement of food supplies from the provinces to the metropolis.

“We had initial feedback in Benguet where traders are having difficulty in passing through the checkpoints. We have to help them so the vegetables will not rot and be wasted,” Dar said.

Agriculture Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan said the DA wanted to ensure continuous movement of supply, food accessibility and stability, and sustainable amelioration for producers.

“The LGUs should be consistent in ensuring unhampered food production and movement. Our farmers are also frontliners,” Cayanan said.

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