By Ellaine Kryss Hubilla
The Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar discussed the Food Resiliency Action Plan for Metro Manila, as the place was put under community quarantine which will start on March 15 and last until April 14, 2020.
The community quarantine is the response of the government to prevent the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. However, the month-long lockdown worries consumers due to the number of goods available in the market.
The Food Resiliency Action Plan tackles the basic commodities of people in Metro Manila and where these commodities will come from when the community quarantine starts.
Determination of food supply for Metro Manila
According to the data presented by the secretary, Metro Manila commodities revolves around rice, vegetables, poultry and meat, fish, eggs, and sugar.
The demand for rice is around 26,000 metric tons per week; the supply of rice is more than enough to cover even for nine months.
For vegetables and root crops, the demand is around 5,000 metric tons per week. 17,000 metric tons of supply are available, and will be outsourced from Cordillera, Benguet, and from regions 2, 3, and 4A.
For poultry and meat, the demand is 7,000 metric tons per week, with 11,074 metric tons of supply coming from regions 2, 3, and 4A.
The demand for fish is 8,000 metric tons per week and the available supply is 10,264, which will come from regions 1, 3, and 4B.
For eggs, the demand is 25 million pieces per week, and the supply is 42 million. The demand for sugar is 5,250 kilograms per week, with more than 1 million available supply per week.
“We have determined that there is enough supply of all the items traded in manila,” Dar says. But although there is enough supply of goods, he reiterates to the public not to buy too much food they don’t need.
He also ensures that all cargo goods will pass through without any interference because the trading system will remain as is, even with the implementation of community quarantine in Metro Manila.
On the other hand, within the Department of Agriculture, security measures are also being implemented to prevent an outbreak. Employees with a salient role in the operation of the department must still go to work during the community quarantine period, provided that they be constantly monitored through proper sanitation and thermal scanning.
Employees or even visitors with a 37.8 degrees celsius body temperature will be advised to immediately consult their doctors.
Employees who can work from home are not required to go to work.
The secretary advised that everyone stay at home as much as possible. He hopes for everyone to cooperate with the movements of the government as he believes that cooperation is key to quickly eradicating the virus.