Shopping & Services

How Many Bottles of Alcohol and Other Supplies You Are Allowed to Buy During Quarantine

According to DTI.

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Amid reports of panic buying due to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has released a memorandum circular on Thursday, March 19, to strictly limit the items each consumer can buy from groceries and supermarkets.  

"It has been observed that consumers have resorted to hoarding and panic buying, and that retailers have allowed the happening of the same in retail stores," wrote DTI in its Memorandum Circular No. 20-07. 

"This consumer behavior, if allowed to continue, not only will cause more fear and prevent other consumers from purchasing what they need, but will also cause artificial shortage and cause prices to soar."

The following products for shall be limited in quantity:

Non-food items 

  • 70% solution antiseptic or disinfectant alcohol: two pieces regardless of volumeHand sanitizer: two pieces regardless of size
  • Disinfecting liquids: two pieces regardless of size
  • Bath soap: two pieces regardless of size
  • Toilet paper: 10 pieces (if sold per roll) or one pack (if sold as pack)
  • Face mask: five pieces N88 (surgical) any type or brand; five pieces N95 (industrial) any type or brand
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Food items

  • Locally produces instant noodles (mam, pancit canton): five pieces per type, per brand
  • Locally produced canned sardines: five cans per type, per brand (regular size); three cans per type, per brand (big size)
  • Canned regular milk: five cans per type, per brand (small); two cans per type, per brand (other than small)
  • Powdered milk in sachet: two bundles per brandInstant coffee in sachet: two bundles per brand
  • Mineral water: 10 bottles any brand (small), eight bottles any brand (medium), five bottles any brand (large), two bottles any brand (extra large)
  • Loaf bread: four packs any kind, any brand (half loaf); two packs any kind, any brand (whole loaf)
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According to DTI, these shall be good enough to "meet their needs only for a maximum of seven days."

Anyone caught violating the anti-hoarding and anti-panic buying circular will face fines and jail time. DTI states, “Without prejudice to the penalties prescribed under relevant ordinances issued by local government units, any person or entity found violating the provisions of this Circular shall, if circumstances warrant, be further charged with appropriate violations of the said laws such as Illegal Act of Price Manipulation, particularly hoarding, punishable under the Price Act with a fine ranging between P5,000.00 and P2,000,000.00 and imprisonment of not less than five years, but not more than 15 years."

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