MANILA, Philippines – The Pasig City government has devised a way to lessen people’s need to leave their homes to buy food during the coronavirus lockdown: roving stores.
On Tuesday, March 24, the city government began a Mobile Palengke (market) effort, sending cargo trucks with market goods to sell around Pasig.
Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto posted photos of the project’s test run on his official social media accounts.
“Upang mabawasan ang dami ng tao sa Pasig Mega Market at mga talipala, inilunsad namin ang Mobile Palengke. Presyong palengke, mas malapit sa mamimili, at tulong na rin sa mga maninindang Pasigueño,” Sotto said in a message accompanying the photos.
(To cut the number of people at Pasig Mega Market and at community markets. we launched Mobile Palengke. Prices are at public market rates, it’s closer to buyers, and it’s also a way of helping Pasigueño vendors.)
The city’s 5 roving stores will cover different areas of the city every morning, and the schedule will be posted on the Pasig Public Information Office’s Facebook page.
Upang mabawasan ang dami ng tao sa Pasig Mega Market at mga talipala, inilunsad namin ang MOBILE PALENGKE. Presyong palengke, mas malapit sa mamimili, at tulong na rin sa mga maninindang Pasigueño. (Sa Pasig PIO FB ipo-post ang schedule ng 5 Mobile Palengke.) #SocialDistancing pic.twitter.com/oKb9iVmktx — Vico Sotto (@VicoSotto) March 24, 2020
All the meat, fish, and produce that will be sold on the Mobile Palengke will be sourced from vendors at the Pasig Mega Market, to sustain their income during the “enhanced community quarantine.”
The roving stores are a “parallel effort” to the distribution of some 400,000 food packs to the city’s poor communities, Sotto said.
The distribution of the grocery bags, which began on Monday, March 23, will take 7 days, he added.
Each bag contains 3 kg of rice, and 2 cans each of sardines, corned tuna, corned beef, and meat loaf. The food pack project is worth an estimated P158.8 million. (READ: Pasig City to punish hoarders of food, goods)
The effort to bring food to residents’ homes is a way to ensure food security while promoting physical distancing, or “social distancing” as the government calls it.
People must be at least a meter apart of one another order to avoid the contagion.
Pasig Mega Market, the city’s bustling main public market near city hall, ordinarily draws shoppers even from outside Pasig because of its sheer size and affordable prices.
Sotto earlier said the Mega Market will remain open throughout the lockdown, but the number of shoppers will be limited to maintain physical distancing. The building is disinfected for an hour daily.
On Sunday, the mayor noted the relatively high number of people seen around the talipapa or community market in Barangay Rosario along Ortigas Avenue. Because going out to buy food is allowed during the lockdown, Sotto said the only thing to do was to limit the number of people in an area at one time, and to make sure only one person per household is out to market.
With the Mobile Palengke and the food pack projects, Sotto hopes to cut the crowds at public markets. – Rappler.com
JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.