There is no hoarding of basic commodities in Negros Oriental even as other areas report about panic buying due to the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Dumaguete-based businessman Edward Du, who is the Central Visayas regional governor of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), on Monday assured that there is enough supply of food and other commodities in the province except for alcohol and face masks.
Du said Governor Roel Degamo had tasked him to facilitate the holding of the Provincial Price Monitoring Council (PPMC) and Small and Medium Enterprises Development (SMED) Council joint meeting to tackle issues and concerns of the business sector.
He said that so far, based on reports from members of both councils, they have not received or monitored matters of urgency, such as depletion of rice stocks, hoarding, and over-pricing, among others.
He added there is a continual supply of food items, processed or fresh, or both at the wet markets, grocery stores and supermarkets.
Du said the business sector believes hoarding here would easily be detected.
Also, there have been no reports of panic buying and the shelves in grocery stores and supermarkets are full, he said.
On rice stocks, two of the province’s leading commercial suppliers, Edward Uy and Danford Sy, have assured there is plenty of supply of the staple, while the National Food Authority here also has enough buffer stock, he added.
Du, co-chair of the SMED council, said that on Friday, the two councils have agreed to conduct an inspection of business establishments here to check on possible overpricing.
The Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration will conduct the monitoring and enforcement of drugstores, grocery stores, the public market, and other establishments for violations.
If there are violations, a report will be submitted to the governor for him to decide on the possible sanctions, Du said. (PNA)