Cebu City limits purchase of basic commodities

THE Cebu City Council has passed an ordinance limiting the volume of basic goods during purchase to stop the public from hoarding and panic buying.

The Anti-Hoarding and Anti-Panic Buying in a State of Calamity Ordinance of Cebu City, authored by City Councilor Raymond Garcia and passed on Friday, March 20, 2020, will take effect immediately given its urgency.

The ordinance only allows consumers to purchase the following goods in limited numbers: canned sardines (six cans); other canned goods such as meat loaf, corned beef, tuna (three cans each); powdered milk (one kilo of one box), powdered milk sachets (maximum of 12 sachets); milk formula (one box or can); coffee refill (one pack if 200 grams and above and maximum of four packs if below 200 grams); 3-in-1 coffee (maximum of 12 sachets); instant noodles (12 pouches); eggs (one dozen); cooking oil (two liters); sugar (two kilos); rice (maximum of 50 kilos); alcohol (two bottles if 500 ml, three bottles if below 500 ml and one bottle if more than 500 ml); hand sanitizers (three bottles if 100 ml); toilet paper (six rolls or one wrapped packaging); kitchen towels (three rolls); bath soap (six bars); liquid hand soap (two bottles if 500 ml and three bottles if below 500 ml); disinfectant solutions like Lysol, Domex, Clorox and the like (maximum of one gallon); face masks (10 pieces); and multivitamins like Vitamin C (one box or 100 pieces or one bottle).

The indicated limits are for per person per day.

The ordinance also provides a limited purchase of goods for consumers per outlet or store per day: canned sardines (48 cans); other canned goods (24 cans for each kind); powdered milk (maximum of 10 kilos); powdered milk sachet (10 ties); milk formula (10 boxes or cans); coffee refill (20 packs if 200 grams and above and 30 packs if below 200 grams); 3-in-1 coffee (20 ties); instant noodles (96 pouches); eggs (10 dozens); cooking oil (10 liters); sugar (25 kilos); rice (300 kilos); alcohol (30 bottles for 300 ml, 20 bottles for 500 ml and 10 bottles if more than 500 ml); hand sanitizers (20 bottles); toilet paper (96 rolls); kitchen towels (20 rolls); bath soap (48 bars); liquid hand soap (20 bottles); disinfectant solutions (six gallons); face masks (200 pieces); and multivitamins (10 boxes for 500 pieces or 10 bottles).

Registered retailers, sari-sari stores, restaurants, hotels and the likes must present a copy of their valid mayor’s and/or business permit.

Manufacturers, producers, pro-duct distributors and local government units are exempted from the ordinance.

The ordinance stipulates a P5,000 fine and closure or revocation of the mayor’s permit and business permit of erring establishments.

All establishments are directed to post the list of items and limitations regulated by the ordinance.

The ordinance also mandates that only those 13 years old and above are allowed to make purchases.

In the Province, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia signed Executive Order (EO) 11 to create the Price Control Task Force after receiving reports of overpricing of basic commodities by several establishments.

The task force will inspect stores and retailers to make sure these comply with the price ceiling on basic commodities set by the Cebu Provincial Price Coordinating Council.

The task force will be composed of members from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, National Food Authority, Sugar Regulatory Administration, Food and Drug Administration, Provincial Social Welfare and Development, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Retailers Association and Cebu Provincial Prosecutor.

It will be headed by the Department of Trade and Industry.

On Friday, March 20, the Capitol announced that it planned to set up “bagsakan centers” in town or barangay gyms around the province where basic commodities like canned goods, cooking oil, rice and milk, among others, will be sold at much cheaper prices. However, there will be limits as to how many items the customers can purchase.

The governor said she already asked the Cebu-based International Pharmaceutical Inc. (IPI) to concentrate on manufacturing products the public would need to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“I talked to IPI. I told them you know that this is abnormal. Help us so that the poor can also afford to purchase alcohol,” Garcia said in a mix of Cebuano and English on Saturday, May 21. (JJL / ANV / PJB)


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