‘Don’t panic, basic goods enough,’ DTI says amid Russian invasion of Ukraine

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 07 2022 01:55 PM

A family shops at a grocery store in Quezon City shops with a child on Nov. 14, 2021. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News
A family shops at a grocery store in Quezon City shops with a child on Nov. 14, 2021. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The supply of basic goods in the Philippines is sufficient and there is no need to panic, the Department of Trade and Industry said on Monday, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

Retailers and manufacturers keep stock inventories that last for 30 to 90 days, varying per product, said DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo. 

“We’re looking at the next 3 months bago po mag-epekto ‘yong nangyayari sa Europe dito sa ating bansa kaya sana matapos para hindi tayo talaga maapektuhan, ang presyo natin,” she said in a televised public briefing. 

“We have enough supply, hindi po kailangan mag-panic ng mga tao,” continued the official. 

(We're looking at the next 3 months before our country is affected by what is happening in Europe, so we hope this will end soon so that we are not affected, our prices. We have enough supply, people need not panic.) 

Fuel and flour prices are expected to go up due to the war in Ukraine, Filipino businessmen and analysts earlier said. 

Russia provides 7 percent of global oil supply. Ukraine and Russia account for about 29 percent of wheat exports.
 
Since the Ukraine-Russia conflict flared, the DTI has received only one price hike request, but this was related to the supply of fish, said Castelo. 

“We want to assure the public na ang presyo po ng mga pangunahing bilihin, naiintindihan natin na kahit sa ayaw natin at sa gusto, magkakaroon at magkakaroon po ng impact sa atin. Pero hindi pa ‘yan immediate, hindi pa ‘yan sa ngayon," she said. 

(When it comes to the prices of basic goods, we understand that whether we like it or not, this will have an impact on us. But it will not be immediate, it won't take effect now.) 

“And we’ll communicate also with the manufacturers na medyo hinay-hinay lang din sa pag-request [ng taas-presyo] dahil kailangan nating siyempre magtulong-tulong na naman… Iyong private sector cooperation and support talaga ring inaasahan natin,” the official added. 

(They should ease off on requests for price hikes because, of course, we need to help each other out. We are also expecting private sector cooperation and support.) 

The DTI is discussing the possible stockpiling of imported frozen pork and chicken, Castelo said. 

“We encourage that, mag-stockpile... Marami tayong poultry supply dito, pero puwede tayo nang mag-umpisang mag-stockpile,” she said. 

(We encourage that, stockpiling. We have a lot of poultry here, but we can start stockpiling already.)

Russia's invasion has been condemned around the world, sent more than 1.5 million Ukrainians fleeing abroad, and triggered sweeping Western-led sanctions aimed at crippling the Russian economy.

But fighting stopped evacuation efforts over the weekend, with no sign that international sanctions were deterring Moscow from its invasion of Ukraine.

Oil prices soared to their highest levels since 2008 in Asian trade after the Biden administration said it was exploring banning imports of Russian oil. 

Moscow has repeatedly denied attacking civilian areas and says it has no plans to occupy Ukraine.

The civilian death toll from hostilities across Ukraine since Moscow launched its invasion on Feb. 24 stood at 364, including more than 20 children, the United Nations said on Sunday, adding that hundreds more were injured. 

— With a report from Reuters