MANILA, Philippines – Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Friday, March 13, assured the public that the transport and supply of basic necessities and essential goods into Metro Manila will continue unhampered despite a lockdown of the mega-city.
Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases will likewise be drafting guidelines on how this will take place specifically, given that domestic land, sea, and air travel will not be allowed to and from the Metro Manila starting Sunday, March 15.
“We would like to stress that the transport of goods to Metro Manila from the provinces and vice-versa will remain subject to guidelines. This means that residents of NCR should not worry about the supplies of produce, foods, and other goods in our markets, groceries, and retailers,” Nograles said at a Malacañang briefing on the government measures against the coronavirus outbreak.
Nograles made the announcement the morning after President Rodrigo Duterte delivered a briefing on measures taken to combat the coronavirus crisis in the Philippines.
With assurances goods will remain available to residents of Metro Manila, Nograles appealed to the public to refrain from panic buying and wiping store shelves.
“Ulitin natin, huwag po tayong maghoard…. ‘Di po tao mauubusan. Tuloy-tuloy po ang supplies natin dito sa Metro Manila,” he said.
(We repeat, please do not hoard…. We will not run out (of goods). Supplies will continue to be transported to Metro Manila.)
Duterte earlier declared “community quarantine” measures will be imposed on the entirety of Metro Manila starting midnight of Sunday, March 15. It will last until April 14.
The measure was imposed to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus disease called COVID-19.
Nograles said details of how this will be enforced will still be drafted by the IATF during its scheduled meeting later on Friday. – Rappler.com