Goods can still be brought to Metro Manila, DTI exec says

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2020 04:35 AM

Metro Manila can still accept goods from outside cities and provinces to sustain the supply in the Philippine capital, Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said Thursday. 

"The goods can still come to Metro Manila para masiguradong stable pa rin ang supply natin dito," she told radio DZMM.

Guidelines for drivers and delivery personnel in vehicles transporting the goods are in the works in line with the "community quarantine" announced by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Travel - whether by land, sea, or domestic air - in and out of the National Capital Region will be prohibited starting Sunday, following the “sustained community transmission” of the novel coronavirus in the country.

Castelo said they are coordinating with local government units and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to ensure that necessities of residents in Metro Manila can be provided. 

She added that the DTI will also ask supermarket owners to regulate the practice of social distancing in their stores and replenish goods from time to time.

"'Yung social distancing kailangan i-practice pa rin ng mga supermarkets at any given time. Pwede naman 'yon laluna't we are in a place of public health emergency," 

The outbreak, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has killed some 4,000 people and infected 110,000 others worldwide, prompting the World Health Organization to declare a global pandemic.

As of late Thursday, the Philippines has recorded 3 new fatalities from the said virus, raising the total death toll to 5, with 52 cases at hand.