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Another batch of owners and drivers of 10 trucking companies from CALABARZON attended an orientation on Food Lane Project conducted by the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) CALABARZON on March 7, 2019 at Diliman, Quezon City.

The orientation is a collaborative effort between and among the DA, Philippine National Police (PNP), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) of which their roles and responsibilities were discussed to the participants.

It has the aim of ensuring efficient delivery of agriculture and fishery commodities (rice, corn, perishable products, feeds, fertilizers, and other agricultural inputs), and reducing postharvest losses and transportation costs through elimination of additional fees and unnecessary checkpoints along designated thoroughfares, streets, and highways in Metro Manila and in the regions.

“This orientation is just the first step towards expanding and strengthening the implementation of the project in the region and even nationwide. Let us all work together in addressing problems that hinder the delivery of important agricultural commodities to our customers and in helping you with your business,” AMAD Chief Editha M. Salvosa said.

The DA through AMAD expedites the accreditation of the agriculture and fishery suppliers and truckers; will issue the accredited trucks or vehicles a permit and sticker decal, indicating the point of origin and point of destination for easier identification by PNP units conducting checkpoints to avoid delay; and sees to it that the requirements for accreditation are fully met by the applicants.

According to PCInsp. Felipe B. Eleponga of Regional Highway Patrol Unit (RHPU) 4A, the PNP, on the other hand, guarantees the safe passage of suppliers and truckers; will designate a representative to assist in the validation or evaluation of applicants for accreditation; is authorized to flag down vehicles in any of their checkpoints and subject them to inspection at any given time if probable cause exists; and if a police personnel is deputized to enforce city or municipal ordinance, he should issue citation tickets for violation of such ordinances and will provide support in the conduct of investigation of kotong and corruption cases involving government personnel.

“The MMDA, for its part, defines and implements traffic rules and regulations at the food lane…assists in the quick delivery or flow of the agricultural commodities…ensures the complete availability of identified routes and installs appropriate signboards…exercises administrative power to penalize traffic violators…,” Chief Inspectorate Miguel “Mhigz” E. Panal explained.

Meanwhile, Local Government Operations Officer Engr. Emelita V. Danganan of Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS), described that DILG ensures the full cooperation of the local government units (LGUs) by enforcing the provisions in memorandum circulars pertaining to local government imposition and collection of pass-through fees and truck ban implementation; and assists in the monitoring of compliance by the LGUs.

During the orientation, some issues and concerns were raised by the truck owners and drivers, and will be addressed and resolved properly by the project implementing agencies.

For more information on accreditation requirements, documents, and procedures of the project; and identified food lane routes, please contact AMAD through (02) 928 4237 and/or amad_rfu4a@yahoo.com. • ARC