Buyers can only check out a maximum of two bottles of alcohol and two hand sanitizers at the grocery, announced by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Thursday after reports of panic-buying caused by fears of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Yesterday, in the meeting with manufacturers and retailers ng basic goods natin (of our basic goods), we have agreed na yung alcohol and hand sanitizers will be limited to two bottles per person ang purchase,” DTI USec. Ruth Castelo said in an interview at CNN Philippines.
“Babantayan din natin ang retailers to make sure two bottles lang, (we will monitor our retailers to make sure people will only purchase two bottles),” she added.
Castelo said that the purpose of limiting the purchase was to prevent the public from hoarding and also get rid of those who resell alcohol and hand sanitizers at a higher price.
“And then, of course, we’re stretching the inventory din ng manufacturers and retailers para (so that) everybody will have the chance to buy,” Castelo said.
Despite the rising COVID-19 cases, which is at 49 as of March 11, Palace assured the public that there are enough supplies of basic goods, and there is no need to panic-buy.
The DTI official said the limit on two alcohol and disinfectant bottles would be “regardless of size.”
“So you choose the 60 ml [bottle], dalawa lang pwede (you can only buy two),” Castelo said “Kung gusto mo 500 ml, dalawa lang rin na bote ang pwedeng bilhin ng isang tao (two bottles are only allowed).”
DTI also reminds merchants that the department imposed a 60-day price freeze over basic commodities.