“Lugaw” or rice porridge is categorized under essential goods, as far as the Philippine National Police (PNP) is concerned.
“The position of the PNP is that any kind of food that is legitimately delivered upon orders by residents during the period of ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) in the NCR Bubble is considered as part of essential goods,” PNP Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana told reporters Thursday, April 1.
“This is contrary to an act of a barangay tanod (village watchman) from one locality which became viral in social media,” he noted.
Usana was referring to a video recorded by the GrabFood delivery rider who was halted from delivering lugaw by barangay officials in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.
A female individual in particular lectured the hapless rider that lugaw wasn’t essential and thus he can’t be permitted to complete his delivery.
“We say again, unless for any other reason in violation of law, the delivery of food to a requesting party on quarantine at their residence is essential and must not be subject of issuance of LGU (local government unit)-sanctioned ticket done within the NCR Bubble,” Usana said.
He added that any complaints of this nature may be referred to the nearest police station.
The NCR Bubble or NCR-plus is the collective term used for the areas of the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal. NCR-plus has been under ECQ–the strictest lockdown protocol–since Monday, March 29.
After the viral incident, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Sec. Ramon Lopez came out with statements reiterating that food delivery services were “allowed 24/7 and even past curfew”.
On March 27, Roque said that delivery and courier services transporting food, medicine, or other essential goods will be allowed amid the ECQ implementation.