Food passes issued in 2020 can still be used by suppliers in transporting their agri-fishery products to Metro Manila during the enforcement of a two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) starting Aug. 6.
Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar clarified that truckers and the so-called “viajeros”–those who transport vegetable and root crops to the metropolis–are allowed to present their food passes at quarantine checkpoints.
“Food passes or IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force task) IDs previously issued by the DA are valid and can still be used by those transporting food and agri-fishery commodities,” Dar said.
The agency’s regional field offices will issue new ones for those who don’t have passes, the secretary added.
As such, agri-fishery traders entering Metro Manila from other regions were reminded to always bring their food passes or any ID that had been issued to them by the DA or any government agency.
Meanwhile, DA regional executive directors were instructed to coordinate with their provincial and municipal local government units (LGUs) to encourage them to buy food from Kadiwa or from farmer and fisherfolk cooperatives and associations in their localities.
The agriculture chief also ordered regional agribusiness and marketing assistance divisions in Luzon to regularly coordinate with the DA-Agribusiness Marketing Assistance (DA-AMAS) to hasten the delivery of food and agri-fishery commodities in Metro Manila markets and Kadiwa stalls.
Regional field offices, on the other hand, should likewise coordinate with their respective Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) counterparts for developments on health and medical protocols.
“Once again, we assure everyone that our regional field offices and other concerned DA bureaus and agencies are ready to assist those who will encounter problems in the transport and delivery of food and agri-fishery commodities,” Dar said.
“We will closely coordinate with the DILG and Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure the smooth flow of farm and fishery products to markets and finally to our respective dining tables,” he added.