Philippines trade department backs stockpiling goods amid Russia-Ukraine war

The department encouraged the stockpiling of agricultural products but said the country had sufficient inventory of manufactured items.

Leila B. Salaverria and Tina G. Santos

Leila B. Salaverria and Tina G. Santos

Philippine Daily Inquirer


In this file photo, vegetable vendors arrange fresh produce in Commonwealth Market in Quezon City. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE)

March 8, 2022

MANILA — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) encourages the stockpiling of agricultural products amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it said the country’s inventory of manufactured items was enough and there was no reason for people to panic.

Ruth Castelo, undersecretary of the DTI, also said the impact of the conflict on the prices of goods would not be immediately felt.

The invasion has spurred fears of higher prices of commodities since Russia is an oil-exporting country.

“It will not happen now. We’re looking at the next three months before events in Europe would have an effect on the country, so we are hoping that these would be over so that our prices would not be affected,” Castelo said at the Laging Handa briefing.

The country has enough manufactured goods, she said.

Retailers and manufacturers have a stock inventory that would last for 30 to 90 days, she noted.

“We have enough supply, the people don’t need to panic, and we’re also tempering any price increases,” she said.

According to her, rising fuel prices should not affect the prices of existing inventory as these are finished products.

“These were manufactured even before the conflict started, so these should not be affected by the conflict that is happening now,” she said.

So far, the DTI has only received one request for a price increase for a manufactured product, she said.

The request was not based on rising fuel prices but on the increase in fish prices, she added.

“We do not see that we will have a price adjustment as of now.”

The DTI would also ask manufacturers to go slow in asking for price increases as the country is still recovering from the pandemic, she said.

“We also depend on private sector cooperation and support,” she added.

Meanwhile, due to the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Ukraine, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has raised the crisis alert level for all areas in Ukraine to alert level 4 (mandatory repatriation), the Philippine Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, said.

Under crisis alert level 4, the Philippine government undertakes mandatory evacuation procedures at government expense.

“Filipinos in Ukraine will be assisted by the Philippine Embassy in Poland and the Rapid Response Team, which are currently assisting Filipino nationals for repatriation and relocation,” the embassy said.

It added that the DFA continues to closely monitor the political and security developments in Ukraine.

The Philippine Embassy’s 24/7 contact details are as follows: 1. Emergency Phone Number: +48 604 357 396 (Also receives viber and whatsapp calls). 2. Assistance-to-Nationals Phone Number: +48 694 491 663 (also receives viber and whatsapp calls).

More Filipinos from Ukraine have arrived in Manila, according to the DFA.


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