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DA: Avoid panic buying

 

DO NOT PANIC A customer browses produce in a stall at Nepa Q Mart in Quezon City on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. The Department of Agriculture urged the public not to go into panic buying and assured there will be no shortage of food as Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces are on Alert Level 3 following a new surge of Covid-19 cases. PHOTO BY ENRIQUE AGCAOILI 

AGRICULTURE Secretary William Dar appealed anew to Filipino consumers to avoid panic buying, assuring that the country has enough food supply.

He made the call as the government imposes stricter movement, particularly in Alert Level 3 areas, to prevent and reduce Covid-19 infections.

“Buying more food than what we require deprives others, thus causing an artificial shortage and price spikes,” Dar said in a statement on Saturday.

“Our inventory for basic food commodities, particularly rice, shows that we have more than enough supply that will last for more than the next three months,” he added.

As of Jan. 8, 2022, the country’s rice supply is good for the next 115 days, enough until the next harvest season in April, according to the DA’s Philippine Integrated Rice Program.

The same situation holds true for lowland and highland vegetables, which are at 85 percent and 107 percent sufficiency levels, respectively. Dar likewise appealed to local government units to ensure unhampered and continuous flow of food and agricultural inputs to and from production and consumption areas, particularly those affected by Typhoon “Odette.”

He stressed that there should not be any unnecessary restrictions in the movement of goods, services and people.

“We will see to it that food supply lines are kept open, in partnership with the LGUs (local government units), and ensure continuous delivery of major food items and temper prices,” Dar said.

“We already went through similar situations during previous community lockdowns and we were able to make it through with everybody’s cooperation. Thus, we reiterate anew that we should not be overzealous but simply adhere to the required health and medical protocols. Once again, let us remain calm, conscientious and understanding,” he said.

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