PNP Chief, Police General Archie Francisco F Gamboa (FILE PHOTO)
CALOOCAN CITY, March 26 (PIA)--The Philippine National police will ensure safe and unimpeded passage of all agribusiness and agricultural products and personnel in quarantine control stations in accordance with existing policy of the Inter Agency Task Force for the Management Emerging Infectious Disease ( IATF-MEID).
PNP Chief, Police General Archie Francisco F Gamboa reiterated these guidelines in support of IATF-MEID Resolution N0. 14 passed on March 22, 2020.
Gamboa cited Paragraph C of Resolution No. 14 that provides, "To avert any threat of shortage of basic food, essential hygienic products and medical products, the IATF reaffirms 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.
Guidelines issued by the PNP thru the Joint Task Force CV Shield that categorize Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR) during the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine Period from March 17, 2020 to April 15, 2020 specifically identified documented Agribusiness and Agricultural Workers as among Authorized Persons entitled to unhampered passage in Quarantine Control Points subject to mandatory biosafety protocols, including farmers, farm worker, fishers, employees of agricultural supply stores and outlets, and veterinarians and employees of veterinary clinics
These PNP guidelines is in line with the latest pronouncements of DILG Secretary Eduardo M Ano in support of Memo Circular No. 9 of the Department of Agriculture that provides, "All farming and fishing activities shall continue to ensure sufficient food supply across the country. These activities include, but not limited to land preparation, planting, crop maintenance, harvesting, threshing, drying, milling, sorting, packaging and trading."
The same DA Memo Circular provides that all farmers, farm workers, fisherfolk and agribusiness personnel shall be exempt from home quarantine provided that 1. One does not exhibit any one of the COVID-19 symptoms, 2. The number of working farm personnel is at a minimum, and 3. Safety protocols are ensured and social distancing is observed in the workplace. (PNP-PIO/PIA-NCR)