By Ali Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – Households in Lanao del Sur, especially those without public markets, are now being served by a fleet of “rolling stores”, or trucks filled with essential commodities amid the community lockdowns being implemented in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The Bangon Marawi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) initiated the venture on March 17 at the time the provincial government declared the community quarantine.
BMCCI President Elian Macala said his group initially commissioned eight six-wheeler trucks, which were filled with sacks of rice, and sugar; packs of coffee, noodles; eggs and cooking oil, among other basic goods, to serve as “rolling stores” and sell the commodities at government-regulated prices.
In collaboration with the Marawi City and the provincial government, the venture has been expanded with the group of businessman Jerry Tomawis deploying seven more trucks loaded with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanks being sold also at standard price, Macala said.
Provincial Police Director Col. Madzgani Mukaram and Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade, led by Col. Jose Maria Cuerpo, dispatched three trucks each to spearhead the sale of “tilapia” and other fish products on-wheels.
As of March 31, Macala said his group’s rolling stores has already served Taraka, Maguing, Binidayan, Bacolod-Kalawi and Lumba-bayabao. and Bacolod Kalawi.
The police-manned units has reached Bayang, Buadipuso-Buntong and Poona-Bayabao, while the Army counterpart had served Sultan Dumalundong, Balindong and Madalum, he said.