MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has lifted limits in the purchase of essential items such as face masks, alcohol, and some food items as inventories of these products have normalized.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez noted there was a shortage in some items particularly face masks during the first weeks of quarantine in March since even some countries have imposed export restrictions.
“Now we have an abundant supply of masks, and that’s the reason why just recently, about two days ago we are removing these limits in purchases,” he said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum on Wednesday.
“Remember, naglagay tayo ng limits sa number of food products, essential products, and even alcohol and masks. We have also increased the limits, let’s say, on mask purchases to one box of 50 [pieces]. Dati ‘yan five pieces lang. We have removed the limitations in buying canned goods, instant noodles, and all the food and other essential items,” he also said.
DTI has urged local manufacturing firms to “repurpose” their facilities to produce face masks, ventilators, and personal protective equipment to augment the country’s supply during the coronavirus crisis.
Lopez said that strict quarantine measures have overcome a potential shortage of food and essential products.
“In other words, there was no food shortage and in fact, we were able to manage a healthy inventory level for raw materials as well as finished goods inventory of basic food and essential products,” he said.
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