By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Agriculture (DA) issued on Wednesday a set of protocols to ensure that Luzon, particularly the high-density metropolitan areas, will have unhampered access to safe and affordable food during the community quarantine.
Under the Food Resiliency Protocol approved by DA Secretary William Dar, food items that must be allowed unhampered and unimpeded transit at all quarantine checkpoints are rice; brown and refined sugar; all fruits including coconut; all vegetables and spices; fresh, frozen, chilled, and dried fish and aquatic products; live hogs and poultry; all live carabao, cattle, goat, and sheep; fresh and salted eggs, including balut; milk and dairy products; fresh, frozen, and chilled meat; processed and semi-processed meat products; canned food products; and cooking oil.
These food items are allowed entry in all quarantine checkpoints provided that proper documentation is presented to the authorities.
DA is issuing a food lane pass or sticker at its concerned bureaus and agency namely the Bureau of Plant Industry for vegetable and root crops, Bureau of Animal Industry for live animals, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for fish and other aquaculture products, and National Meat Inspection Service for frozen products.
The pass or sticker can also be secured at the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) at the DA Central Office in Quezon City.
Dar said farm inputs that are necessary to support the production of rice, crops/vegetables, fisheries and other aquatic products, and livestock, poultry, and milk should also be allowed unhampered passage through designated quarantine checkpoints.
These are day-old chicks, breeder pigs, and semen and semen straw; corn, soya, flour, rice bran, wheat, copra meal, all pre-mixes including enzymes and probiotics, and cooking oil including used cooking oil; vaccines for poultry and livestock, vitamins and mineral supplements, and test kits and reagents for animal and poultry diseases; disinfectants, chlorines, farm machineries, and machineries for cold storages and meat processing plants; fry or fingerlings, feeds, and fertilizers; seedlings, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, irrigation equipment, and mill supplies and machineries.
In addition, Dar said all relevant DA personnel bearing proper mission orders and identifications are requested to be provided proper facilitation at the designated quarantine checkpoints to ensure they are able to perform their operative duties relevant to the objectives of the Food Resiliency Protocol.
Likewise, essential farm personnel who work at the production area and are bearing proper documentation are also requested to be accorded passage through the quarantine checkpoints.
This will include veterinarians, farm hands, and other farm and fisherfolk.
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