ILOILO CITY – While prices of basic commodities have so far remained stable, the Department of Trade and Industry on Thursday reported an increase in demand in Western Visayas, one of the hardest-hit regions by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng.
In a statement, DTI Region 6 OIC Regional Director Ermelinda Pollentes said the demand was significantly high in the province of Antique since many private organizations and local government units mobilized their respective groups to conduct relief operations.
“Though BNPC (basic necessities and prime commodities) prices are stable, the demand has significantly increased especially in the Province of Antique due to bulk buying by private organizations and local government units for their relief operations,” said Pollentes.
The demand is particularly high for instant noodles, canned sardines, and bread, she added.
Pollentes also said the deliveries of the BNPC from Iloilo City to Miag-ao and San Joaquin in Iloilo and 10 municipalities in Antique were hampered due to damage in major infrastructures in those areas.
“The Oyungan Bridge, which connects the towns of Miag-ao and San Joaquin in southern Iloilo province was damaged while the northern and southern districts of Bugasong in the Province of Antique were cut off due to the destruction of the Paliwan bridge,” she said.
The agency, Pollentes added, has been coordinating with other national government offices and retailers to ensure that the demand for the needed goods is met and the delivery is not hampered.
She said the Office of the Civil Defense has committed that a sea vessel has already been tapped to assist in the delivery while retailers from northern Panay and Roxas City are expected to provide supplies in the northern portion of Antique.
The regional office, she added, has intensified its monitoring of prices as soon as the price freeze was imposed shortly after Western Visayas and three other regions were placed in a state of calamity.
Monitoring teams have been deployed in supermarkets and grocery stores to look into the availability and stability of prices. (PNA)