SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – A total of 868 Food Lane Vehicle Pass cards have been issued by the Department of Agriculture Regional Office No. 5 to producers, truckers and suppliers of agricultural and fishery products in Bicol, a week after President Duterte declared the whole of Luzon under Community Quarantine.

At the regional office, Food Lane passes for agricultural products and agri inputs are being approved by DA RFO 5 Regional Executive Director (RED) Rodel P. Tornilla and issued by the staff of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division headed by Adelina A. Losa. While the food pass for fishery products are being issued by the provincial offices of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

The issuance of foodlane pass is embodied in DA Memo Circular No. 9 issued by Secretary William Dar, which expands the coverage of the Food Resiliency Protocol on the unhampered movement in food supply chain for the entire country.

Local producers or suppliers are using the food pass to be accorded passage at the various quarantine checkpoints in land, air and water as they transport their perishable agricultural commodities like rice, fruits and vegetables; live animals and frozen meat; fishery products; processed food products and agricultural inputs to other municipalities within Bicol or even to Metro Manila.

According to the guidelines, these passes are valid until the duration of the quarantine period. All types of delivery vehicles such as trucks, delivery vans, pick ups, and jeepneys are allowed. For light vehicles such as pick ups, maximum of two passengers (1 driver and 1 helper is allowed).

To serve more viajeros even from the island provinces, RED Tornilla, over the week, issued a memorandum authorizing the Superintendents and APCOs of the DA-operated Research Outreach Stations in the other five provinces of the region to approve foodlane passes. 

The DA RFO 5 frontliners are also putting their lives at risk as they have to deal face-to-face with clients to facilitate unhampered delivery of agricultural goods and services amidst the threat of COVID-19. (Lovella P. Guarin / photo credits: Eduardo Collantes, Jr.)