Smoother movement of supplies seen after some food truckers caught in checkpoints
MANILA, Philippines – The movement of supplies to Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon would move faster in the coming days, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said after food truckers were caught in the heavy traffic due to checkpoints.
DA Secretary William Dar said in a statement on Tuesday that they are still fine-tuning their protocols. DA last Monday proposed the creation of “food lanes,” back when it was only Metro Manila under a community quarantine.
President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine on Monday night, due to the rising cases of COVID-19.
“The Department of Agriculture is currently fine-tuning our food resiliency protocol, pursuant to the latest announcement by President Rodrigo Duterte, to ensure every Filipino household in the country, which are dependent from outside sources of food, will have access to safe and affordable food,” Dar explained.
“Delays and confusion among personnel at checkpoints are expected considering that this is the first day of implementation, which also coincide with the exodus of people going to provinces after the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine,” he added.
According to Dar, they will be talking with authorities including those from the Philippine National Police, the Department of Interior and Local Government, and other local government units to facilitate the smooth transportation of food supplies.
However, he clarified that only trucks and suppliers accredited with DA would be allowed to use the special lanes.
“All vehicles carrying essential food commodities, agri-fishery products and inputs bearing government-issued stickers must be allowed passage at quarantine checkpoints through these food lanes,” Dar noted.
Dar on Monday clarified that there are enough goods for the National Capital Region through the 30-day quarantine imposed by Duterte. As of Tuesday, COVID-19 cases in the Philippines are still seeing a continuous rise, now at 187 with 12 dead.
Another six patients were allowed to go into a home quarantine, while four have recovered from the ailment.
The COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019.
The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2.
Coronavirus is a family of viruses, whose surfaces have a crown-like appearance. The viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces. Worldwide, over 168,000 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, with at least 6,506 dead.
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