Meryll A. Hortiz of DTI- Batanes interviews ASN Rubio of Philippine Coast Guard.

In a special monitoring conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), it was revealed that most of the basic and prime commodities such as sardines, mineral water, bath soap, etc. in establishments within Batanes are no longer available. Frozen products such as dressed chicken and hotdogs are no longer available and hardware and construction suppliers no longer have cement and wood.

According to Mr. Andres B. Bermudez Jr., a hardware store owner, the last delivery of goods was last June 11. He assured though that even if they no longer have enough supplies, the prices of their goods will remain the same.

Mr. George D. Peralta of GDP Trading, a major hardware and construction supplier said that they still have enough supplies for other materials except wood and cement. “All hardware and construction suppliers no longer have wood and cement. Although there was a vessel that is able to transship materials, their load was limited to aggregates. They could not accommodate other materials like cement and wood.”

ASN Rubio of the Philippine Coast Guard said that the last Notice of Arrival that they received was that of Saver 4 cargo vessel, which is expected to arrive today. “However, that is still subject to change if the weather would not allow transshipment of goods, then we really cannot do anything but to wait.”

Despite the scarcity of supplies, DTI Batanes ensured consumers that the commodities available will still be sold at reasonable prices even during calamities and scarcity.