By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is pleased that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (AITF-EID) has heeded its request to issue quarantine accreditation passes for agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs). This will help boost the country’s food supply amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones said that it is critical for people to still buy food during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which has now been extended up to the end of April.
By handing out passes to farmers, Castriciones said they would be able to continue with their livelihoods. “Ang inisyatibang ito ay makatutulong sa dalawang paraan. Una, ito ay bilang suporta upang magkaroon ng sapat na pagkain ang bansa. Pangalawa, ito ay malaking tulong sa ating mga magsasaka na magkaroon ng kita dahil sa patuloy na pagbebenta ng kanilang mga produkto sa panahon ng COVID-19, (This initiative can help two ways. First, it will serve as support so that the country will have enough food. Second, this is a big help for our farmers in order for them to continue making a living through the sales of their products at the time of COVID-19), he said.
Castriciones thanks the IATF-EID for allowing them to hand out passes to ARBs, because this would really help them send out much needed agricultural products to critical places. The passes would be given to suppliers and truck drivers who would be delivering the products. The DAR Secretary hopes that the drivers would be given incentives, such as truck ban exemption, easier access even at checkpoints, and support from local government units (LGUs).