Friday Apr, 10 2020 04:17:08 AM

Local execs focus on  sustaining food supplies amid COVID-19 problem 

HEALTH • 15:30 PM Sat Mar 21, 2020
227
By: 
John M. Unson
Few went to the public market of Upi, Maguindanao Saturday, the traditional municipal market day, due to the coronavirus scare. (John Unson)

COTABATO CITY --- Officials on Saturday tasked agriculturists to focus on increasing production of short-term food crops as contingency in case of prolonged anti-coronavirus quarantine.

Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr. said Saturday he has directed the Provincial Agriculture Office to estimate the optimum volume of food crops local farmers can produce in the next four weeks and their retail prices in the markets.

“This is a contingency preparation. We are also focused on preventing undue increases of food supplies being sold in commercial establishments and in public markets,” Adiong said. 

Prices of fishes from the Lake Lanao are also being monitored, according to Adiong.

“We are anticipating constraints on transport of commercial goods from outside so we have to ensure the adequacy of food and fish supplies from local producers while ensuring the continuity of inbound shipment of supplies, ” Adiong said. 

North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco told reporters Saturday she has tapped the help of barangay officials in ensuring the productivity of local farmers amid her administration’s enforcement of a province-wide anti COVID-19 quarantine.

“For now our assessment is that there will be enough food in the province in upcoming weeks, beyond the 14-day quarantine that started this week. Just the same, we need accurate estimates by our provincial agriculturist,” Catamco said. 

Lanao del Sur covers 39 towns and more than 90 barangays in its capital, Marawi City. North Cotabato has 17 towns and covers more than 40 barangays in Kidapawan City, the provincial center. 

Local government units in some towns in Maguindanao, a component province of the Bangsamoro region, went viral on social media for their “bayanihan” style COVID-19 containment campaigns. 

In the upland Upi town, there is an anti-Covid-19 checkpoint manned by soldiers, policemen, barangay residents and health workers led by physician Carmelo Esberto, who are so strict in compelling passersby to submit to examination as part of their quarantine process.

The main frontliners in Upi ---- combined personnel of the municipal government, the Regional Police Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and the Army’s 6th Infantry Battalion under the 603rd Brigade ----  first explain politely to passersby the need for them to comply with the municipal anti-coronavirus drill.

The LGU of Datu Blah Sinsuat, a fledgling, small seaside town in Maguindanao, also hit the social media for focusing on a town-wide coronavirus containment while anticipating possible shortage of rice as a consequence of the COVID-19 problem besetting the country.

The office of Datu Blah Mayor Marshall Sinsuat has started stockpiling rice in their municipal government operations center as part of their contingency measure.

Volunteers on Saturday transported five tons of rice their LGU procured from a supplier outside to a warehouse in the town proper of Datu Blah Sinsuat.

Members of the municipal council and local police personnel have been touring for three days now the 13 barangays in Datu Blah Sinsuat to monitor the availability of food in local stores and to educate constituents on prevention of coronavirus infection. 

 

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