No disruption seen to farm logistics during ECQ

PHILSTAR

AGRICULTURE Secretary William D. Dar said farming and food logistics are not expected to be disrupted by the one-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) declared over Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Mr. Dar told BusinessWorld by mobile phone that there are no restrictions on the movements of food and agricultural inputs.

“Farming and fishing will continue. Let us just observe all health and quarantine protocols,” Mr. Dar said.

At a briefing Saturday, the President’s spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. announced that President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force to place Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal under the strictest form of quarantine between March 29 and April 4.

ECQ imposes a curfew between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Mr. Roque said mass gatherings of more than 10 people will also be banned for the period, including religious gatherings for the Easter holiday.

Mr. Dar said food remains sufficient to supply the locked-down population.

He added that food producers and farmers transporting their products during the lockdown only need to present identification cards (IDs) and food passes that the government issued earlier in the pandemic.

“There is enough food. Food producers just need to present their IDs and food passes,” Mr. Dar said.

Last year, quarantines raised the level of food wastage in the farms because produce could not be brought to market. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave