PNP to ensure passage of farm products, cargoes through quarantine control points
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said they will ensure unimpeded passage of all agribusiness and agricultural products and personnel in all quarantine control points.
In a statement, PNP chief Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa reiterated these guidelines in support of Inter Agency Task Force for the Management Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) Resolution No. 14 passed last March 22.
Gamboa cited Paragraph C of the resolution that provides, “To avert any threat of shortage of basic food, essential hygienic products and medical products, the IATF reaffirms its earlier resolution to ensure the unimpeded movement of all types of cargo (food and non-food), and allow the passage of personnel of business establishments permitted to operate during the Enhanced Community Quarantine, subject to the presentation of proof of employment, and residence”.
The PNP chief made the statement after reports that cargoes and food delivery truck were not allowed to pass some checkpoints more than one week after the government declared enhanced community quarantine in Luzon to curb the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
According to the guidelines by the PNP through the Joint Task Force CV Shield, they categorize Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR) during the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine Period from March 17, 2020 to April 15, 2020.
Specifically identified documented Agribusiness and Agricultural Workers as among Authorized Persons entitled to unhampered passage in quarantine control points subject to mandatory biosafety protocols are farmers, farm worker, fishers; employees of agricultural supply stores and outlets, and veterinarians and employees of veterinary clinics.
Gamboa said these PNP guidelines augur well with the latest pronouncements of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año in support of Memo Circular No. 9 of the Department of Agriculture that provides, “All farming and fishing activities shall continue to ensure sufficient food supply across the country. These activities include, but not limited to land preparation, planting, crop maintenance, harvesting, threshing, drying, milling, sorting, packaging and trading.”
The same DA memo circular provides that all farmers, farm workers, fisherfolk and agribusiness personnel shall be exempt from home quarantine provided that they do not exhibit symptoms, the number of working farm personnel is at minimum and safety protocols are ensured and social distancing is observed in the workplace. Ella Dionisio/DMS