By Adora Rodriguez, DA-AFID
With the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon up to April 30, 2020, as declared by President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Agriculture (DA) likewise extended the validity of all issued ‘Food Pass’ stickers and related documents nationwide.
“We immediately issued DA Memorandum Circular No. 11, on April 14, 2020, extending the legitimacy of the ‘Food Passes’ we issued through our Agribusiness Marketing and Assistance Service (AMAS) to suppliers and truckers of food, rice, vegetables, fruits, meat and processed products, as well as farm, fishery and livestock inputs, raw materials and equipment,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.
“The extension aims to ensure the seamless and smooth transport of food, cargoes, and agri-fishery inputs essential to food production and processing, including the movement of our frontliners — farmers, fishers, and workers in food processing facilities — across the country,” he added.
Thus, all DA food passes issued on March 18 and succeeding days thereafter remain valid until April 30, 2020, allowing trucks and cargo vehicles to pass through quarantine checkpoints as long as proper identification and other required documents are presented.
“We are calling on all DA regional field offices (RFOs) to coordinate with their respective local government units, including the Philippine National Police to ensure that the extension will be honored at all checkpoints nationwide,” Secretary Dar said.
To date, the DA has issued a total of 73,189 food passes: 4,109 at the central office in Quezon City; and 69,080 at the DA RFOs nationwide.
This is on top of the food passes issued by the DA’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for fish products, the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) for meat products, and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) for live hogs, poultry, and other farm animals.