To ensure unhampered movement of food and essential goods, the DILG Region 10 reiterated that all farmers and farm workers, fisherfolks and agribusiness personnel shall be exempted from home quarantine.
However, only those who do not exhibit any of the symptoms of COVID-19 are exempt, and the number of working farmers/fisherfolks/farm personnel must be at a minimum. The DILG said safety protocols must be ensured, and social distancing must be practiced in the work place.
DILG 10 Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe emphasized that “all farming and fishing activities shall continue to ensure sufficient food supply across the country; because aside from seeing to it that we will be able to contain and prevent COVID-19 in our respective areas, our government makes sure that ‘hunger’ would not add up to our various concerns.”
Such activities include, but are not limited to land preparation, planting, crop maintenance, harvesting, threshing drying, milling, sorting, packaging, and trading.
“With this, we are calling our local government units to be guided and to adhere to these protocols. Harmonizing our efforts will go a long way, especially during this crisis,” Agabe added.
Said provisions are based on Department of Agriculture (DA) Memorandum Circular No. 09 series of 2020, entitled ‘Supplemental Circular Based on the Memorandum Issued by the Executive Secretary on Enhanced Community Quarantine, Ensuring Unhampered Movement of all Cargoes, Agriculture and Fishery Inputs, Food Products and Agribusiness Personnel Nationwide’.
Moreover, these are set forth by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), and pertinent issuances by the various national government agencies.