Fishing, farming allowed during coronavirus lockdown, gov't task force says

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2020 04:14 PM

Farmers in Benguet load cabbage onto a truck to be sold in different markets on Feb. 28, 2020. Photo taken before the 1-month lockdown of Luzon, which will last until April 12, 2020. Alren Beronio, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA – Farming and fishing can continue during the Luzon-wide COVID-19 lockdown provided they operate on a skeletal workforce and that physical distancing measures are observed, according to government guidelines released Wednesday. 

All healthy farmers, farm workers, fishers and agri-business personnel are also exempted from the Luzon-wide restrictions which are in place until April 12, the Inter-Agency Task Force said in a resolution dated March 24

Agriculture supply stores and veterinary clinics are now allowed to operate during the Luzon-wide lockdown, it said.

"The IATF approves the following recommendations of the DA, subject to implementation of skeletal workforce and social distancing measures," the resolution stated.

The movement of agriculture supply as well as packaging and manufacturing materials should remain unhampered, it said. The government also approved the reactivation of the Local Price Coordination Council, it said.

Programs to support food availability, accessibility and price stability will be enhanced as well as the Agriculture department’s Ahon Lahat, Pagkain, Sapat (ALPAS) kontra COVID-19, it said.

The Department of Trade and Industry earlier assured the public that the movement of cargo would be unhampered despite heightened travel restrictions during the Luzon-wide lockdown. 

Agriculture Secretary William Dar earlier said food and agriculture supply to Metro Manila from the provinces were enough to meet the demand during the lockdown.