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GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Basic school supplies ran short in General Santos City as thousands of students began face-to-face classes this week for the first time in over two years.
The rush to buy school supplies began last weekend, shortly before the opening of classes in public schools on Monday, August 22.
“They scrambled and took whatever was left on the shelves,” a bookstore clerk at Fitmart Mall told Rappler.
Demand is high for erasers, rulers, notebooks, glue, sharpeners, and pens.
Even the bigger stores in the city’s malls had no more notebooks and other basic supplies to sell.
City Schools Division superintendent Romelito Flores said they registered 154,160 students in all levels in public and private schools in the city as of Monday.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) officials said wholesalers and retailers failed to anticipate the influx of buyers and had thought their old stocks were enough.
“It looks like they had thought that the blended learning setup wouldn’t increase the demand for school supplies that much,” said Eddie de Asis, a DTI officer in General Santos.
He said what the stores had were mostly stocks from the pre-COVID-19 pandemic days that gathered dust for more than two years after the government suspended face-to-face classes to keep the virus from spreading. – Rappler.com