Different quarantine measures in Region 10 causing delays in delivery of agri products

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 15 April) – Different versions of the enhanced quarantine measures implemented by various local government units in Region 10 have caused major concerns on the supply of agricultural products and movement of workers.

A stevedore carries a box of tomatoes at the Bulua vegetable landing area in Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday (14 April 2020). Northern Mindanao supplies four shiploads a week to Cebu and other areas in the Visayas but recent quarantine measures set up by various local government units against COVID-19 are causing delays. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Carlota Madriaga, Department of Agriculture-10 Regional Technical Director, said they have received complaints from vegetable farmers of not being able to pass through quarantine control points set up by municipal local governments and the police.

This despite Madriaga’s statement that they have set up fast lanes along highways to ensure the unhampered flow of basic food.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) said LGUs who have set up enhanced quarantine protocols should ensure the free movement of farmers, fishers, workers in food processing and manufacturing firms, and food supply chain logistics providers.

Madriaga said reports from the ground, however, indicated that LGUs in Bukidnon are stopping trucks laden with food supplies to check on the drivers and their assistants.

Bukidnon Gov. Jose Maria Zubiri imposed stricter quarantine last Monday after a barangay official from Valencia City was tested of COVID-19.

Department of Interior and Local government Region 10 director Arnel Agabe said there was nothing wrong to the order of Gov. Zubiri but maintained this should be in accord with IATF protocols.

Vegetable traders complained that Bukidnon quarantine checkpoints no longer allow the reentry of their drivers and their assistants to Bukidnon after delivering supplies to Cagayan de Oro.

These traders ship a total of four boatloads of vegetables a week to Cebu and Bohol.

In Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, strict quarantine rules require all workers to secure a health permit from Cagayan de Oro.

The permit costs P225 at the Cagayan de Oro City Health office.

Affected by the measure are workers of Gardenia bread manufacturing plant and other food companies in Phividec Industrial Estate in Tagoloan town. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)