Trade chief: Supplies in supermarkets enough even if gov't extends lockdown again


Posted at Apr 18 2020 12:44 PM

MANILA - There is enough supply of goods in supermarkets even if authorities decide to again extend the lockdown in Luzon, the country's trade chief said Saturday.

Trade secretary Ramon Lopez said in an interview on DZMM radio that manufacturers produce supplies “on an everyday basis” to ensure that stocks in supermarkets are replenished. 
The Department of Trade and Industry also monitors the production capacity of manufacturers, Lopez added. 

“Twice a week may monitoring kami sa kanila how is their production capacity utilization. So mino-monitor natin ang kanilang imbentaryo, production capacity, pati 'yung mga raw products and finished goods so that we would know na ang level ng ating mga imbentaryo ay [maayos],” Lopez said. 

(Every week, we monitor how is their production capacity utilization. So we monitor their inventory, production capacity, even their raw products and finished goods so we would know that they have the right level of inventory.)

Grocery shoppers who have gone out to replenish their stocks have witnessed long lines and seemingly empty shelves, attributed to panic buying amid the lockdown that restricts movement and limits store hours. 

Lopez had earlier said the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has allowed manufacturers to operate on at least a 50 percent capacity to ensure stocks in supermarkets. 

The DTI had also set limits on the number of essential products that could be purchased to assure enough supply for grocery shoppers. 

"Basta kumpleto ang production and ang distributors' system ay moving then very efficiently wala po tayong problema d'yan, that’s on the manufacturing side," Lopez added. 

(As long as production is complete and the distributors' side is moving then very efficiently, we have no problem there, that's on the manufacturing side.)

The Luzon lockdown, which was originally set to end on April 12, was extended to April 30 to further curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

National Action Plan Against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said there is a possibility of extending the quarantine in select parts of Luzon after April 30.