The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) issued on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, Memorandum Circular Number 140, directing all its officials and selected employees to strictly follow health protocols in issuing quarantine accreditation passes to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) nationwide.
The directive from DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones was given soon after the DAR was given the authority by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to issue quarantine accreditation passes to ARBs so they could supply agri-food products to critical areas affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
The memorandum urgently reminds the selected DAR workforce to follow the required health protocols issued by the Department of Health.
“To continue the DAR’s service to the ARBs, non-ARBs and to the community, the issuance of quarantine passes must be done properly and with utmost care by protecting the employees first. They must adhere to health protocols so they will not get infected by the virus and spread it to the ARBs and to others,” Castriciones said.
The DAR workforce are instructed to follow these health protocols: only designated personnel issued with quarantine passes will be allowed to leave their homes; they must wear the requisite face mask, face shield and gloves; they must desist from touching their face, eyes, nose and mouth; they must observe proper hand-washing and carry alcohol to disinfect their hands.
Upon returning home, they must dispose their used protective gears, change clothes and disinfect the clothes and shoes they wore. Bathing is also a required for disinfection.
The memorandum also states that it is the duty of the DAR personnel and the concerned DAR official to ensure that ARBs, agrarian cooperatives and agrarian reform communities, in any DAR activity, should comply with the health protocols.
“At present, we are focusing our efforts within the national emergency situation, to ensure the welfare of ARBs, farmers’ cooperatives/organizations and agrarian communities. We want them safe and at the same time, earning for their families,” Castriciones said.
The Secretary said that the IATF-EID also issued on April 6 IATF Resolution No. 21, series of 2020 which states that “All agriculture and fishery stakeholders must be considered frontliners and their movement shall remain unhampered.”
“As the ARBs stand in the frontline of the battle against Covid-19, we at DAR, stand united in helping the famers provide food to the people and support the government in their aim to sustain food security in the country,” Castriciones noted. (www.dar.gov.ph)