Enough supply amid enhanced ECQ extension

April 24, 2020

THERE is enough food supply even as the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is extended to May 15 in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Regions 3 and 4A.

​This was the reassurance made by Agriculture Secretary William Dar saying that based on their inventory for basic food commodities, there are more than enough supply this year.

​ “We always reiterate this to avoid panic among our citizens,” Dar said.

During the meeting of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) with President Rodrigo Duterte, last Thursday, Dar presented the food supply outlook for 2020 with most commodities ending with a surplus at year-end.

​“At the end of December, we have rice supply good for 94 days; corn - good for 234 days; fish - good for 2 days; vegetables - good for 6 days; and chicken - good for 253 days," Dar reported.

​“As we will experience some contraction in pork supply of around 43 days, we encourage consumers to shift to other alternative sources of protein like chicken, ducks, eggs, and processed meat products,” he said.

The DA earlier reported that the country's meat supply remains stable amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

​For their part, commercial hog raisers said there is actually an oversupply at the moment, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao, adding that cold storage facilities are brimming with pork, and there may even be no need to import this year.

​“Like any other food commodity, we just need to bring the supply from the source to the areas where they are needed most. ​That is what we are doing now, and we remain hopeful for better projections in the coming days as we also implement projects to boost local production, under our Plant, Plant, Plant Program or the Ahon Lahat, Pagkain Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19,” Dar added.