Local Mindanao governments need to issue uniform guidelines concerning cargoes amid the enforcement of lockdowns across the island so as not to hamper the shipment of export Cavendish bananas, Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) executive director Stephen Antig said.
Antig added that local officials in Mindanao have different interpretations of the national guidelines on cargo, causing the stranding of several trucks that are delivering bananas from farms to international ports.
Several LGUs in Mindanao have enforced lockdowns, closing their borders to neighboring regions, provinces, or cities, to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). He said several banana industry stakeholders are “experiencing these difficulties” in terms of logistics on the ground and many of them were sent back to their towns to undergo quarantine.
“We have national guidelines on how the cargo and personnel will be treated to maintain the supply chain but it seems that these will be voided when there is a total lockdown. Hope I am wrong. People delivering goods in transit might be stranded in any place and will not know what to do and where to go especially if they are in the border between two political boundaries.”
Antig told mindanews.com that the demand for export Cavendish bananas remain high amid the crisis caused by the pandemic that is already affecting major industries worldwide.