Stop COVID-19 hoarding: Indonesian police and Philippines government order purchase limits
By Pearly Neo
- Last updated on
In March, the Indonesian National Police and Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) both issued orders to limit the purchases of noodles, rice and other staple food items nationwide in hopes of curbing the hoarding and panic-buying induced by the COVID-19 outbreak at the time.
After months of claiming that the country had not seen any COVID-19 cases, Indonesia’s announcement of its first cases at the time led to an immediate spurt of panic-buying across the country, with rice and noodles particularly high on shoppers’ lists.
As of March 30, the number of cases in the country hit some 1,285 with 114 deaths announced, and with waves of panic buying continuing to break out, the police stepped in with orders for retailers to limit purchases and thus prevent hoarding.
The order was issued by the Indonesian National Police’s Food Stability Taskforce to trade associations including the Indonesian Retailers Association (Aprindo), the Jakarta office of the Market Sellers Cooperatives (Puskoppas) and the Indonesian Provincial Government Association (APPSI).
“We have issued a letter [regarding the rationing] to make sure nobody takes advantage of the situation,” taskforce head Brigadier Geneneral Daniel Tahi Monang told Kompas.
“The prices of [food] staples have increased somewhat, but not yet soared, due to rising demand after some panic buying. [There] is enough supply of necessities so there is no need to panic buy.”
In the letter numbered B/1872/III/Res.2.1/2020/Bareskrim, retailers were ordered to limit maximum selling amounts of food items including rice (maximum 10kg), sugar (maximum 2kg), vegetable oil (maximum 4 litres) and instant noodles (maximum two boxes).