Cebu Province must stand on its own as the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic’s end is still uncertain.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia expressed this during the meeting of the Provincial Price Monitoring Council (PPMC) on Tuesday, March 24 led by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 Regional Operations Group Assistant Secretary Asteria Caberte.
Caberte said that the PPMC is the first of its kind in the country that she knows of and that she is thankful of the proactive approach of the governor in handling the crisis.
“We assure the Cebu Provincial Government that we (DTI Central Visayas) will abide by local issuances,” she said pertaining to the governor’s executive orders issued to protect consumers.
Garcia pointed out she already met with International Pharmaceuticals Inc., a local company that manufactures rubbing alcohol to help supply the “Tindahan sa Kapitolyo” (bagsakan center) which will be established soon in the Cebu’s 44 towns and seven component cities. (See separate story)
In the Executive Order (EO) No. 12 regulating the supply of rubbing alcohol in the province, Garcia encouraged all manufacturers of rubbing alcohol operating within the Province of Cebu to limit their sales of rubbing alcohol to each of their retailers or buyers to a predetermined volume of supply equivalent to the retailer’s average sales volume for 2019 plus an additional margin volume of only 10 percent.
This aims for fairness in the distribution and sales of one of the most in-demand products now that the nation is in a state of public health emergency.
The EO took effect on March 21.
As for face masks, Garcia informed the council that she already directed the Provincial General Services Office for the production of the masks through the 1,800 inmates of the Cebu Provincial Rehabilitation and Detention Center.
“The inmates are to make the masks which we will be buying at P5 each,” Garcia said.
Garcia added that preemptive measures would include importing directly basic commodities from Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, among others.
She said that Cebu has to make sure it is self-sufficient as the length of the crisis is uncertain.
“We have to be independent and self-reliant. Maningkamot ta diri kay for sure Manila will secure themselves. So the question is how much we can stand alone here,” Garcia said. (Eleanor Valeros)