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Mar 25, 2020 @ 11:36

Group lauds DA, DTI for tweaking food resiliency rules

Action for Economic Reforms (AER) has lauded the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) for easing the movement of cargo and agricultural products while the enhanced community quarantine is placed over the entirety of Luzon.

“We thank these agencies for initiating efforts in order to ensure the easier movement of essential products that the Filipino people need during this public health emergency. We must continue to make steps like these as a means to prevent panic and stem further uncertainty for the Filipino people,” AER president Jessica Reyes-Cantos said.

Ka Ed Mora, President of the Pambansang Kaisahan ng Magsasaka ng Pilipinas added that it is essential that farmers and fisherfolk are allowed to continue working.

“This is not only because this is their source of livelihood, but also because there is a need for a continuous supply of food that will also be delivered to different cities. We are thankful that the DA have now released guidelines to help clear up any previous confusion on the implementation of these measures,” Mora said.

The DA’s Supplemental Circular Number 9 calls for the unhampered movement of all cargoes, agriculture and fishery products and inputs and agribusiness personnel.

It says that all agricultural supply stores/outlets nationwide and animal clinics must be allowed to operate under a skeletal force; inclusion of copra and other coconut products under food commodities; all farming and fishing activities shall continue; all farmers and farm workers, fisherfolk and agribusiness personnel and exempted from home quarantine provided that one does not exhibit any of the covid19 symptoms.

“We hope that the DA and the DILG [Department of Interior and Local Government] will also closely coordinate with the municipal agricultural officers or mayors in order to effectively spread these guidelines to our farmers and fisherfolk. This is necessary especially given that our smaller producers may not be aware of the updates posted on social media, since internet access may be limited in those areas,” Cantos explained.

Finally, Cantos called for the expeditious release of permits and IDs that are needed from large haulers and the relaxation of the deadline set today.


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