Malacañang clarified on Wednesday that lugaw (hot rice porridge) is one the items considered “essential” during the present enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) covering Metro Manila and four nearby provinces.
As an essential item, the transporting of lugaw in the ECQ areas must remain unhampered.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this reminder after a video of a GrabFood rider being barred from delivering lugaw went viral.
“A video, which has been circulating online, has come to our attention. Lugaw, or any food item for that matter, is considered an essential good,” Roque said in a statement.
Roque on March 27 said delivery and courier services transporting essential goods will be allowed during the ECQ.
“Delivery of food items must remain unhampered 24/7. Let’s not stop them at checkpoints,” he added.
In a Facebook live video early Wednesday morning, rider Marvin Igancio was apparently scolded by a female personnel from San Jose del Monte City government in Bulacan at a quarantine checkpoint, saying the lugaw is a non-essential item.
“Is lugaw an essential? No, because people can live without it,” she was videoed as saying in Filipino.
She cited the curfew in areas under ECQ from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. by showing the rider a copy of guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
However, she seemed to have forgotten that authorized persons outside residence (APORs), workers, cargo vehicles, and public transportation are exempted by the said curfew.
She said the rider should explain the IATF guidelines to the company he works for.
“Tell that to Grab. What about the rules we need to implement?” she said.
Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal are currently under ECQ until April 4 to curb the spike in Covid-19 cases nationwide. SOVEREIGNPH