Bread shortage looms during ADB meeting?

Posted at 04/30/12 6:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Bakers on Monday warned that a bread shortage looms in Metro Manila, as a result of the temporary truck ban to be implemented by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) from May 2 to 5.

The MMDA had earlier announced it will implement a modified total truck ban in Metro Manila from May 2 to 5, as a way to ease traffic for the Asian Development Bank Board of Governors Annual Meeting, which will be held at the PICC in Manila. 

"The possible shortage of breads is due to the 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. truck ban imposed by the MMDA in Metro Manila this May 2 to 5," Simplicio Umali, president  of the Philippine Baking Industry Group (Philbaking), said in a statement.

Philbaking, which claims to represents 70% of the retail bread market, said the 4-day truck ban will affect deliveries of bread to bakeries around the metropolis.

Umali said they have asked the MMDA to exempt bakeries' delivery trucks from the ban.

"We have written the MMDA to exempt bakeries from the  truck ban as bread, which is also perishable, needs to be delivered fresh to stores daily just like agricultural and fishery produce which are already exempted from the truck ban", Umali said. 

"We appeal to Chairman Francis N. Tolentino of the MMDA to exempt all bakery deliveries to and passing through Metro Manila during the ADB Annual meeting this May and ensure our countrymen including the ADB delegates of a steady supply of fresh bakery products.  This way we can prevent an unnecessary bread shortage," he added.

Umali noted the allowed time for trucks, which is 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., is impractical since supermarkets, groceries and retail stores are closed for deliveries during this time.

"The big bread feeder trucks transporting this perishable bakery products to North Luzon via Metro Manila streets will not be able to maintain its daily deliveries as their one-way travel time takes 4 to 8 hours  making it impossible for these trucks to return within the allowable 7-hour MMDA window.  This will reduce bread stock availability by 50% already as these trucks can now make only every other day deliveries instead of the usual daily shipments", Umali said.