DOTr sends refrigerated container vans to Romblon as part of ‘Palamigan sa Bayan’ ptoject

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Refrigerated container vans (reefer vans) to Romblon as part of its ongoing “Palamigan ng Bayan” project that aims to help local government units store perishable goods and farm produce amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.

The two reefer vans, donated by Maersk Line, were repaired and delivered to the DOTr through the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) by the Association of International Shipping Lines Inc. (AISL) on July 3.

On July 24, the two reefer vans were sent by the DOTr, with the assistance of Starhorse Shipping Lines, Inc. and Certified Customs Brokerage Inc., to the towns of San Agustin, and Romblon, in Romblon province.

An initiative by Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, the “Palamigan ng Bayan” project aims to help the agriculture sector preserve the quality of their farm produce and gain better market access, as well as further strengthen and boost the government’s response efforts amid the current economic crisis brought about by the pandemic.

“It has always been my goal for our provinces, especially those that rely heavily on agriculture, to have access to reefer container vans or what we call as “Palamigan ng Bayan,” said Secretary Tugade.

“Now that we are facing an unprecedented crisis, we can clearly see how crucial it is to support the agriculture sector. It is high time to boost our initiative and reach areas that are in dire need of help,” Secretary Tugade added.

According to the DOTr, the two reefer vans add to the initial 11 “Palamigan” donated reefers that have been deployed to various municipalities and cities across the country. The first refrigerated container van was sent to Bohol in 2018.

For his part, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Maritime Transport VADM Narciso Vingson Jr. affirmed that these reefer vans are already being used by the respective municipalities.

“Following the mandate of DOTr Secretary Tugade, we are monitoring these reefers vans and assessing to ensure that they are being used. So far, reports received from the ground confirm that they are serving their purpose,” Asec Vingson said.