To those who dare question, it is finally settled—lugaw (rice porridge) is essential.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, “A video which has been circulating online, has come to our attention. Lugaw, or any food item for that matter, is considered an essential good.”
He added, “Delivery of food items must remain unhampered 24/7. Huwag natin harangin sa checkpoints.”
Roque was referring to a Facebook Live video of food delivery rider Marvin Ignacio that shows a female personnel from the city of San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan stopping him from passing through due to the enhanced community quarantine.
In the video, the female personnel explains to Ignacio that he is not allowed to enter the barangay to deliver the customer's order, which is lugaw, because the food item is “not essential.”
The personnel is seen pointing to the copy of the IATF rules printed on pieces of paper as she explains them to Ignacio. She says repeatedly, “Hindi essential si lugaw” and further explains “mabubuhay tayo na walang lugaw maghapon.”
As the personnel insists that the humble rice porridge is a non-essential item, at some point, she started to enumerate what kinds of food are essential like water, milk or groceries.
Ignacio interjects, “Pagkain po ‘yun (lugaw) eh.”
“Hindi nga, eh di sana lahat ng pagkain bukas,” insists the personnel, who also pointed out to Ignacio, who was set to deliver an order at around 1 a.m., that the 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is being implemented in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.
The Inter-Agency Task Force’s Resolution No. 106-B states that during the duration of ECQ, food preparation establishments such as commissary restaurants, and eateries are allowed to operate but they are limited to take-out and delivery.
After all the confusion, in the end, the humble lugaw prevailed.