IATF tells LGUs to let food cargoes pass amid COVID-19 lockdown
Despite the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country, the Philippines’ Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-IED) called upon local government units (LGUs) to allow unhampered passage of food and agricultural commodities and personnel to, from, and through their localities.
This is following the Department of Agriculture (DA) and President Rodrigo Duterte’s appeal to avert the threat of hunger to the country.
The IATF-IED passed Resolution No. 14 amending further the government strategies in managing the COVID-19 situation. In Section C, it reiterates “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.”
For his part, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said the DA has been continuously appealing to the local government units to help ensure unhampered movement of all cargoes, agriculture and fishery inputs, food products, and agribusiness personnel nationwide.
“In the last 10 days, we have observed increasing prices in some agricultural commodities, mainly attributable to the restricted movement of supplies in some areas,” Dar said.
“We would like to always emphasize that the threat of hunger is as real as the threat of COVID-19. I believe my colleagues in the Task Force agree with me on the matter, hence our unified call to conquer this threat by allowing free movement in the food value chain,” he added.
The DA earlier reported that the supply of food, specifically rice and other basic commodities, remains enough to feed the Filipinos for the year.