‘LUGAW’: Essential or non-essential? Palace, IATF confirms food services allowed 24/7


A few days ago, after the NCR bubble in the Philippines was implemented, new curfew hours became among the restrictions the people had to endure once again due to ECQ.

People are not allowed to go out of their houses for any reason unless for emergency reasons.

Food delivery services became the most significant assistance in these times of pandemic restraints. People who order food outside their home rely on the service for many reasons.

However, Harmony Hills 1 Subdivision, Barangay Muzon, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, the local law enforcers, did not allow the food delivery service provider to pass through and transport the food client.

23-year-old delivery rider, Marvin Ignacio, arrived at a “lugaw” store around 1 AM on March 30, Tuesday. The moment he arrives at the location, he immediately notices a bustle between the local law enforcers and the store owner.

Ignacio quickly took the step to record the situation, took out his phone, and initiated a Facebook live. 

In the video, a few police officers and “barangay tanods” were questioning the stores’ operation and continuous flow of delivery riders despite the knowledge of curfew. 

Ignacio then explained to the local law authorities that they are essential workers, and since lugaw is food, then, of course, it is also necessary. However, the replies of the enforcers were shocking as they adamantly rejected the explanation. What’s more, they went on threatening the riders and store owner of violation tickets.

The Facebook live became viral immediately, calling the attention of all citizens in the Philippines who could not believe the incident.

The lugaw store owner opted to close the business in the meantime.

At the same time, Ignacio temporarily leaves their home within the exact location due to fear that authorities would go after him.

Now, he no longer has any means to give his family financial support as the unfortunate incident put on his livelihood on hold. 

Essential: Food Services and Establishments are Allowed beyond curfew hours

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF made it crystal clear that all food establishments and services should be allowed during and beyond the curfew hours. 

Lugaw, or any food item for that matter, is considered an essential good. Delivery of food items must remain unhampered 24/7,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque clarified in a statement.

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