A SUPERMARKET association is calling for improved delivery of goods to retail outlets and organizations preparing relief goods amid the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association (Pagasa) President Steven T. Cua said in a mobile message on Monday that a store had to be shut for the day on Sunday as stocks thinned and workers encountered difficulties manning the establishment.
The Luzon lockdown suspended public transportation, leaving many workers unable to reach their places of employment.
“Because we weren’t expecting any delivery yesterday, we cannot add on to the supply levels, inventory levels,” Mr. Cua said about the temporarily closed Welcome Supermart near the border of Quezon City and Manila. He is also the chief executive officer of Welcome Supermart.
Pagasa last week expressed concerns about the delayed movement of supplies through checkpoints or customs. The Department of Trade and Industry has since clarified that all cargo must pass unhampered through checkpoints.
Some of the delayed or unreplenished goods from the previous week started coming in Monday morning, Mr. Cua said.
“A pleasant surprise that some BNPCs (basic needs and commodities and prime commodities) arrived this [morning] to some supermarkets,” he said.
Mr. Cua said there is a “strong need” to free up access and delivery of goods to retail outlets and foundations that are preparing food and relief goods for those who have become jobless and without savings during the lockdown. He added that not all goods have been delivered to stores yet.
“I’m sure it’s checkpoints. I’m sure it’s also because of clogs sa (at the) Bureau of Customs,” he said, referring to the cause of delay.
Meanwhile, Century Pacific Food, Inc. (CNPF) in a statement on Monday said it can offer adequate supply of products to meet consumer demand during the lockdown.
The listed company said it has sufficient raw materials and ingredients for sustained production during the quarantine, adding that trade partners, distributors, and retailers also have ample supply.
“Thanks to the support of the Department of Trade & Industry and the Inter Agency Task Force, we are able to maintain a smooth flow of goods. Our factories are continually operating with enough capacity despite the use of a skeletal workforce,” CNPF President Teodoro Alexander T. Po said.
“Thus, we currently have sufficient stock of products in our warehouses so there is no need to panic or worry that supply might run out,” he added.
The food and beverage company manufactures canned goods Century Tuna, Argentina, 555, Swift, as well as Birch Tree Fortified Milk. — Jenina P. Ibañez