DAR to issue quarantine passes to farmers

MANILA — The Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Saturday granted the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) request to authorize the issuance of quarantine passes to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) to continue supplying agricultural products in areas affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The request for authorization was initiated by DAR Secretary John Castriciones, a few weeks ago upon seeing the need to ensure the delivery of food and other agricultural commodities to markets, especially those located in critical areas where people cannot buy food because of the ECQ.

“This move kills two birds with one stone because this (objective) will help contribute to food sufficiency and also help our farmers survive Covid-19 by earning income through assisting them in selling their agri-products,” Castriciones said in a press release.

DAR is now crafting a memorandum circular to guide the department and ARBs in properly implementing the endeavor.

“We thank the IATF-EID for this authorization. This will speed up the process of selling and distribution of agri-commodities to critical areas nationwide,” Castriciones said.

He said the authorization would also accredit suppliers and truckers of agricultural products to be given incentives such as truck-ban exemptions, ease of passage in checkpoints and immediate assistance from local government units (LGUs) during deliveries.

The issuance of quarantine passes, or food passes is being implemented under the Foodlane Project where DAR and other government agencies converge to institutionalize efficient and seamless distribution of agricultural and fishery products from the production sites to market centers. (PR)

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