By Genalyn Kabiling
There will be no Holy Week break for the National Food Authority (NFA) to ensure the continued rice supply in the country.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Wednesday that there will be uninterrupted operations of the NFA this Holy Week.
NFA offices and warehouses will stay open to meet the rice withdrawals of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units to meet the requirements of their constituents as well as serve farmers and cooperatives selling their harvest.
The continued operations of the NFA have been relayed by NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal, Nograles added.
“May mga ahensya ng gobyerno na tuloy-tuloy po ang trabaho sa Holy Week. Kasama po dito ang National Food Authority. Ina-nounce po ni NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal na mananatili silang bukas sa mahal na araw (There are government agencies that will continue work during the Holy Week. The National Food Authority is one of them. NFA Administrator Judy Carol Dansal announced they will stay open during the Holy Week),” Nograles said during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
“Apart from rice issuances, NFA warehouses will also continue to serve farmers and cooperatives selling their summer harvest and undertake full-blast milling operations of palay stocks to maintain our rice buffer stocks,” he said.
“Maraming salamat sa mga kawani ng NFA (Thank you to the NFA personnel),” Nograles said.
Nograles also appealed anew for the unimpeded movement of cargoes during the extended Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. He said the unimpeded flow of goods will ensure the supply of food and other essential goods in the markets.
“Tuloy po ang pakikipag-ugnayan ng DILG sa ating mga frontliners sa mga kalsada para matiyak na tuloy-tuloy na daloy ng cargo sa ating mga checkpoint (The DILG will continue to coordinate with our frontliners on the road to ensure the unimpeded movement of cargo at our checkpoints),” he said.
He noted that the Philippine Ports Authority recently issued Memorandum Circular No. 14 s. 2020 on allowing passage of truck drivers to pass to and from ports.
The memorandum states that “truck drivers and helpers shall be allowed unhampered access to and from the ports to enable them to proceed to their final destination, subject only to safety and health measures being implemented by the PPA.”
The health precautions include thermal scanning, disinfection, and referral of symptomatic person to the Department of Health or Local Government Unit Health Office.
The government had earlier said that asymptomatic drivers and crew of cargo delivery trucks should not be required to undergo a 14-day home quarantine.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) issued the reminder to local government units and local health units not to impose such requirement that may only hamper the movement of cargoes during the Luzon-wide quarantine.