DTI tells food factories: Produce goods to last 2 months then pause to lessen workers out in streets | Inquirer Business
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DTI tells food factories: Produce goods to last 2 months then pause to lessen workers out in streets

/ 05:21 PM March 19, 2020

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez is asking food manufacturers to shut down operations if they already have one to two months worth of inventory, despite the unpredictable behavior of the market during a health crisis.

At a press conference on Wednesday (March 18) night, Lopez said companies that have more than enough supply should call off work so that there would be fewer people who would have to travel during the quarantine.

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“Actually, we will encourage you to even stop operation and let your [existing] inventory to supply the requirements of supermarkets,” he said.

“So those that have one month [or] two months [worth] of inventory of finished goods, I suggest the company would take a holiday first and let the [existing] inventory get used up so that we could reduce operations outside [of home],” he added.

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He said the same should go for raw material suppliers of these food manufacturing operations.

While President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the entire country under a state of calamity, he has put Luzon, home to more than 50 million Filipinos, under enhanced community quarantine, forcing people to stay home to help curb the spread of SARS-Cov-2, the coronavirus that causes the pneumonia-like disease COVID-19.

The Department of Health has so far listed more than 200 COVID-19 cases with 17 fatalities.

On Thursday, the Department of Trade and Industry has released a circular dated March 19, which gave additional guidelines on what businesses are exempted from the Luzon-wide quarantine that had many companies close shop in the meantime.

Apart from business process outsourcing companies, retail stores like supermarkets and convenience stores, the list now also inclided makers of hygiene products such as diapers.

It also included companies that are in the business of distribution and logistics that support manufacturing, such as cargo handling, warehousing, trucking, and port operations.

To help further facilitate the transport of exempted workers, the circular said the DTI would issue an Inter-Agency Task Force ID for each of the workers starting March 22.

“In the meantime, they’ll bring their corporate IDs,” Lopez said.

Edited by TSB

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