DARAGA, ALBAY – Jerome L. Tan, owner of JLT Banana Trading in Davao City left Montevista, Davao de Oro at 12 noon of Saturday, March 21, 2020 to deliver 15 tons of saba banana to Albay and Valenzuela, Metro Manila.

With the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon, Tan and his personnel had to pass through approximately 30 checkpoints and comply with curfew hours set by local government units (LGUs) along the way.

At 6 a.m. today, they arrived at this municipality and hurried to unload the bananas to catch the allowed public market window time between 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. only. Compliance with the ECQ protocol was rigorous compared to the usual routine, said Tan, but with the Department of Agriculture’s implementation procedures for food pass accreditation, he was able to deliver his products on time.

“Dahil sa proseso ng DA, medyo hindi na kami naantala sa checkpoint. Naharang lang kami sa checkpoint sa Samar kahapon at on-process pa yung sticker buti natawagan namin sa DA sa Davao at may dala kaming Certification galing sa Municipal Agriculture Office,” Tan said.

Tan is among the suppliers and truckers who benefit from the Food Pass accreditation procedure being implemented by the DA during the enhanced community quarantine period.

Christopher L. Seva, a banana trader who also delivers products in neighboring towns of Camalig, Guinobatan and Legazpi City, also lauded the initiative saying, “Para sa kalusugan naman natin itong ECQ. Okay naman po pagdating sa checkpoint hindi gaya nung nakaraan. Mas madali na po ngayon ang proseso. Maganda pag tuloy-tuloy kasi pag naantala ang saging, bumababa ang presyo. Ngayon, hindi na masyadong naaantala sa checkpoint, medyo dire-diretso na rin. Sana pagdating sa pagkain wag masyadong higpitan kasi kailangan ng tao yan.”

A food pass is a privilege given to suppliers and truckers that go to, from, and/or pass through Metro Manila and other regions during the ECQ period to ensure unhampered movement of all cargoes, agriculture and fishery inputs, food products, and agribusiness personnel nationwide. Online application through http://agribusiness.da.gov.ph is encouraged to minimize interpersonal contacts during the ECQ. Application form and requirements can be downloaded via https://bit.ly/3aYJkBQ and https://bit.ly/38Z71sc , respectively. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-RAFIS V)