DA extends food pass validity and assures sufficient rice supply
The Department of Agriculture is ensuring nationwide accessibility to produce despite the extended community quarantine
Apr 16, 2020
In line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon up to Apr. 30, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has now extended the validity of all issued food pass stickers and now assures that the Philippines will have enough rice supply for the next months.
Last Apr. 14, the DA issued Memorandum Circular No. 11 which extends the legitimacy of the intended priority lane passes for vehicles transporting essential commodities to the National Capital Region. These include suppliers and truckers of food, rice, vegetables, fruits, meat and processed products, as well as farm, fishery and livestock inputs, raw materials and equipment.
To date, the DA has issued a total of 73,189 food passes with 4,109 of it distributed in the central office of Quezon City and 69,080 at the DA’s remaining regional field offices nationwide.
“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,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.
Thereon, all DA food passes issued on Mar. 18 and succeeding days remain valid until Apr. 30 allowing trucks and cargo vehicles to pass through quarantine checkpoints as long as they have the proper ID cards and required documents with them.
The department now calls on their DA regional field offices 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.
Meanwhile, Dar also says that by the end of June, the country will have sufficient rice supply that will last for the next months as part of their Plant, Plant, Plant Program which aims to boost the wide scale food production in the country under a variety of programs. “We earlier said that we have rice supply for the country for 75 days. With the implementation of the Plant, Plant, Plant Program, we are optimistic to produce an additional 9-day supply going into the lean months of July to September,” Secretary Dar said.
The Rice Resiliency Project (RRP) aims to boost palay production by the end of 2020 to 22.12 million metric tons (MMT), equivalent to 13.51 MMT of rice with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases recent approval of an P8.5 billion fund for the RRP under the Plant, Plant, Plant Program.
With this, right after the current dry season, the DA under its RRP will urge farmers to plant more areas by providing them quality seeds, fertilizers, and appropriate technical assistance.
Header photo courtesy of Inquirer.net
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