Despite repeated appeals from national agencies to local government units (LGUs) to allow the movement of all goods and services related to food production, the country’s biggest seed organization reported that the transport of seeds continued to be hampered in various checkpoints, thereby delaying the start of the planting season.

The Philippine Seed Industry Association (PSIA) on Saturday warned that the LGUs’ insistence to implement their own directives could lead to possible food shortage, noting that “seed is the starting point of the food system.”

PSIA president Mary Ann Sayoc said some of their member-companies continued to experience difficulties in transporting agriculture commodities and in moving necessary farm manpower since some LGUs still implement their own community quarantine and checkpoint policies that are not in line with those imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“To ensure that food production will continue, all seed production, processing and distribution activities should be exempted from any ban,” she said.

Sayoc noted that it was critical for seeds to be planted this month before the rainy season starts.

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