Issue of March 29, 2020
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DA-CAR continues issuance of passes to transporters of food
by Janice B. Agrifino

SANITIZING FOOD HANDLERS -- Farmers and traders transacting at the Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center get checked prior to entering the area and their vehicles are sanitized as a protocol against the Covid-19.The Department of Agriculture has reiterated that the movement of food should be unhampered to provide for the needs of the country in this crisis. -- Ofelia Empian

To ensure unhampered movement of essential food and non-food products, the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera continues to issue food passes to all qualified truckers and suppliers in the region.

Since March 18, the Department has already issued 1,211 food passes through its two processing stations located at the Regional Field Office and Agri-Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) Sub-Office at the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center in La Trinidad, Benguet.

Online applications for food pass in the provinces are also being facilitated by the designated agriculture programs coordinating offices.

With the bulk of clients coming in everyday, the DA ensured that its AMAD personnel and clients observe proper health and safety protocols as prescribed within the processing/working stations such as wearing of face mask at all times, maintaining a distance of at least one meter, and individual use of pens.

The food pass is issued to suppliers and truckers who carry essential commodities particularly rice, agricultural commodities such as fresh fruits and vegetables, livestock and poultry, frozen meat and processed food products, feeds, fertilizers, and other agricultural inputs and fishery commodities.

As per DA Memorandum Circular 09, truckers and suppliers with food pass are prioritized in the cargo lane, one of the designated lanes by the Philippine National Police in quarantine checkpoints.

This is important considering that the Food Resiliency Protocol now covers not only Luzon but the entire country after it was placed under a state of calamity.

The DA memorandum circulars emphasizing the unhampered movement of all cargoes, agriculture, and fishery inputs, food products and agribusiness personnel nationwide were circulated to various agencies and local government unit partners for their guidance.

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