MANILA, Philippines – “Bagsakan centers,” or shops offering basic commodities at the lowest possible prices, will open soon in cities and municipalities across Cebu province, catering exclusively to indigents and displaced workers during the coronavirus crisis. (READ: Over 30,000 coronavirus test kits arrive in Cebu)
At a press conference on Friday, March 20, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said that the centers will provide economically marginalized Cebuanos access to items such as rice, canned goods, alcohol, and detergent, and will be set up in the sports centers of each town.
According to Garcia, the Cebu Provincial Government will coordinate with social welfare officers to determine which residents are eligible to shop at these bagsakan centers. The centers will also impose a purchase quota, such as limiting buyers to only two kilos of rice each.
The governor had noted in previous interviews that commercial establishments in the province have been overpricing basic goods because of panic buying. (READ: Vico Sotto: Stay calm, don’t resort to panic buying)
Also on Friday, Garcia met with Cebu’s large supermarkets such as Prince, SaveMore, Gaisano Grand, Gaisano Capital, and Gaisano Metro to negotiate a plan to directly source the bagsakan centers’ goods from them for the lowest possible prices.
The National Food Authority (NFA) will also provide rice for these centers. – Rappler.com