The Department of Agriculture (DA) is easing its rules on food pass issuance to ensure seamless movement of food and agri-fishery products and inputs within Luzon, especially in Metro Manila and other metropolitan areas.
“We have announced publicly that what is just needed meanwhile for them to move their agri cargoes is an inventory of the items being trucked indicating origin and destination signed by the owner of the cargo. The acquiring of food passes will be secured afterwards for swifter movement and assistance,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said.
Food pass applicants may also download, fill out, and email scanned documents including the vehicle’s official receipt and certificate of registration to DA, DA-RFO, or the bureau concerned. After receipt and checking of documents, the DA will email back the food pass with QR code which the applicant should print as reference.
The DA is closely coordinating with the Philippine National Police and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the implementation of its food resiliency protocols at the designated checkpoints. The agri department is also developing a system with local government units on the issuance of food pass accreditation and sticker through their provincial, municipal, and city agriculturist offices to ensure the unhampered movement of agricultural commodities to, from, and through the National Capital Region and other areas in Luzon island during the lockdown.
“We wish to reiterate that the food pass accreditation and sticker are free of charge. We will accept downloaded forms that are completely filled-out, properly signed, and bearing the DA logo as temporary pass pending the approval of the application,” Dar added.
DA and DILG will come up with the final list of exit and entry points during the enhanced quarantine period. Authorized DA personnel will be posted in major thoroughfare entry and exit points to facilitate and provide needed assistance, if any.
The checkpoint personnel, however, will require the normal regulatory documents to ensure that food deliveries are safe from diseases. Additionally, truckers and food logistics operators will still need to submit documents, including veterinary health certificate for live animal products and certificate of meat inspection for imported meat.
“During this difficult time, unhampered and unimpeded movement and delivery of agriculture products, food and agri-fishery input products for residents of Metro Manila and nearby communities is our utmost priority,” Dar said.
“Now, more than ever, we appreciate and will continue to bank on the commitment and cooperation of our local chief executives as the country’s “food security czars” ready to serve and uphold the welfare of their respective constituents during this trying period, along with other government agencies and agri-fishery stakeholders and partner,” he added.
The DA will continue to monitor the implementation of its food resiliency protocols intended to help in addressing food concerns on the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
For permits, checkpoints and food transport/distribution concerns, DA COVID-19 Hotlines may be contacted: 0933 667 1701, 0933 428 9300, 0926 133 7106, 0915 517 8015, 0932 431 4265, 0917 596 2648, 0923 263 2521, and 0917 843 4851.