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MANILA, Philippines – The government assured the public the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has already taken measures to ensure the steady flow of cargo containing food and essential goods around Luzon during the lockdown.
In a statement released Saturday, March 21, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said various agencies had been tasked to address the delays encountered by cargo trucks transporting goods and raw materials
The Philippine Association of Meat Processors earlier warned of “severe” shortage of meat products by April because vehicles transporting raw materials for processing meat get stuck at checkpoints. (READ: Meat shortage looms in April if checkpoint issues persist)
“The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Friday issued a memorandum circular explicitly stating the movement of all cargo in Luzon should continue unimpeded to ensure that supply chains are not interrupted,” Nograles said. This includes the transport of raw materials needed by meat processors.
He added the DTI was continuously reviewing and monitoring the list of inventory of goods and raw materials for food production. He said the Department of Agriculture (DA) is also working to guarantee continued supplies for consumers in Luzon.
“The DA has already prepared a supplemental circular that will complement the DTI issuance and ensure the unhampered movement of agriculture and fishery inputs as well as agribusiness personnel nationwide,” Nograles said.
Nograles also said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will continue to work with local government units to ensure that cargo trucks do not encounter bottlenecks in the different checkpoints around Luzon.
As of March 21, the Philippines has 262 confirmed coronavirus cases and 19 deaths due to the new virus. – Rappler.com