"Food Production Will Continue" Amid Extension Of The Enhanced Community Quarantine

The quarantine is extended until May 15, 2020 in select provinces in the Philippines.

IMAGE Majoy Siason

The Malacañang Palace announced that the enhanced community quarantine is extended in select provinces until May 15, 2020 in a nationwide address today, April 24, 2020. 

ECQ is extended in Metro Manila, Benguet, Pangasinan, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecijia, Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales, Batangas, Cavite, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Albay, Batanes, Antique, Iloilo, Cebu, Cebu City, and Davao City.

Secretary Ramon Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) says that the production of essential goods will continue during the extended community quarantine to keep supermarkets stocked with essentials, like canned sardines, milk, soap, shampoo, and alcohol.

He adds, "Yung mga hindi essential, hindi muna mag-o-operate dahil gusto po natin na, ang mga taong-bayan, as much as possible, ay nasa bahay" (For those that are not essential, they are not allowed to operate for the meantime because we want the people, as much as possible, are inside their homes).

Lopez says "Wag mag-panic!" (Don't panic!), because even though we are under ECQ, we have more than enough food.

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Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar also shared that "we are at an optimum level for the agricultural sector." He said that the sufficiency level will be at 94% for domestic rice production by the end of the year. 

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The government is now allowing manufacturing of basic essentials to have more than 50% of the workforce, compared to the previous 30% skeleton workforce. This is to ensure that the production rate can go up by 80 to 100% with no shortage.

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