The agriculture department said Thursday it was seeking the exemption of veterinarians from a home quarantine of all households in Luzon aimed at curbing the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Some veterinarians who are responding to the aftermath of Taal Volcano's eruption in January, cases of bird flu in Nueva Ecija province and swine fever were reportedly barred from passing through checkpoints.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said he approved Wednesday a memorandum circular in which "essential farm personnel who work at the production area bearing proper documentation are also requested to be accorded passage at the quarantine checkpoints."
"These include veterinarians, farm hands, and other farm and fisherfolk," he told reporters.
The group will be issued necessary IDs "in due time," said Dar.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the quarantine also exempted cargo planes, trucks and sea vessels that deliver raw ingredients and food supplies.
"Ang ating default talaga dapat nasa bahay tayo para mabawasan, mapatay na talaga itong pagkalat ng COVID. Subalit binabalanse natin dahil kailangan din may kakainin tayo," he said in the same press conference.
(Our default set-up is we should stay at home so that the spread of COVID-19 can be arrested. However, we are balancing that because we need to have food suppllies.)