The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has assured that checkpoints will not block those delivering food and agricultural products following the implementation of stricter quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.
According to DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, essential workers and goods will be able to freely pass through the checkpoints so that the deliveries experienced when the enhanced community quarantine was first implemented by 2020 will not be repeated.
“We can assure the agriculture sector that they will be allowed passage through the borders. It was made very clear to the PNP (Philippine National Police) na ‘yong essential movement of people is allowed,” said Malaya.
“Kung truck ang dala mo at may dala kang kargamento papasok o palabas ng Metro Manila, you will be allowed to pass through the checkpoints,” he added.
This is after the Tugon Kabuhayan group was concerned that what happened at the beginning of the lockdown last year might be repeated, where it was difficult for those delivering agricultural products to travel.
“Baka ang intindi na naman, halimbawa, ng ngi-implement, ‘pag cargo, cargo truck. Kasi ‘yong ibang mga sinasakyan nito ay hindi naman truck,” said Kabuhayan convenor Asis Perez.
So far, Malaya has not received any reports that anyone has difficulty delivering or passing through checkpoints.
Food product deliverers will not be blocked at checkpoints: DILG
It is possible to allocate a special food lane again in case of problems.
Meanwhile, Tugon Kabuhayan is also worried about the impact of the dine-in ban on eateries.
“Para maiwasan ito, dapat ‘yong LGUs (local government unit), kung magbbgay sila ng pagkain sa mga affected ng localized lockdown, kalimitan pinamimigay nila delata. Ibigay na lang natin [ay] isda, fresh produce para ‘yong perceived effect in the decline in consumption as a result of closure ng mga dine-in restaurants ay ma-compensate,” said Perez.
“This time, we have not closed the economy, we are just restricting the movement of some people and the economy continues to move,” said Malaya.