MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday recommended that supermarkets extend their operating hours to allow shoppers more time to go through the shelves while observing social distancing.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said he recommended this to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to allow shoppers to get their groceries while maintaining a safe distance from each other given the allowed limited time and strict quarantine rules.
“‘Yun po ang ating recommendation dahil pag iniklian ang store hours, nagkukumpol ang mga tao. Konti na lang yung window hours para bumili,” Lopez said in a televised briefing.
(That’s our recommendation because if you shorten the store hours, there will be crowding because of the limited hours to shop.)
“Kaya importante na kahit hindi man katulad nung dati pero mas mahabang oras sa pamimili para hindi maipon ang tao.”
(That’s why it’s important to give them more time to buy to avoid crowding.)
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier urged the local government units (LGUs) to lift the window hours for their constituents to shop for groceries visit markets.
The IATF only advises that each household designate one member to buy the items.
Supermarkets and groceries are among the establishments being allowed to operate while the enhanced community quarantine is being enforced. The strict quarantine measures are expected to be lifted at midnight on April 13.