Stakeholders in the vegetable industry have assured that there is a sufficient supply of highland produce in the Cordillera Administrative Region for the country’s needs.
Agot Balanoy, manager of the hi-land farmers multi-purpose cooperative and the public relations officer of the league of associations at La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Area Inc., said farmers are producing a steady quantity, which has been programmed prior to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) scare.
“We have enough vegetable production and there are buyer-traders,” she said, noting that the products are brought to the different markets in Metro Manila and other regions in the country.
The league is composed of 12 associations of dealers, traders, farmers, truckers, truck drivers, packers in the Benguet capital town La Trinidad, some five kilometers away from Baguio’s central business district.
The La Trinidad trading post is the biggest highland vegetable trading area where more than 500 tons of vegetables are traded daily and brought to markets as far as Visayas, Mindanao, and Palawan in the south and Batanes in the north.
The vegetables that pass the trading post comprise about 85 percent of the temperate vegetables eaten by Filipinos nationwide. Most are produced in the different towns of Benguet province with Buguias contributing the bulk.
Tinoc town in Ifugao, as well as Bauko and Tadian towns in Mountain Province which are adjacent Benguet, also contribute to the production.
Police Regional Office Cordillera director Brig. Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan on April 1 ordered all provincial police directors and municipal police chiefs to dismantle all barangay checkpoints installed on national and provincial roads in the region to allow an unimpeded and unhampered flow of cargoes and vegetables to and from the region.
He, however, said checkpoints may still operate in interior roads but only to monitor persons with quarantine passes issued by the local governments or villages but within the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force.
In Ifugao province, Governor Jerry Dalipog on March 31 issued Executive Order 29-2020 detailing the guidelines governing the transport of goods.
The order said transportations carrying food and non-food cargo will not be delayed upon presentation of the delivery receipt detailing the destination and the quantity and kind of goods.
He said the transporter must coordinate with the local government IATF through 09953036510 and 09999965322 prior to entry.
All persons in the vehicle are only allowed to bring the goods to the specified dropping point and are prohibited from loitering and roaming any part of the province.
In Benguet, Kapangan Mayor Manny Fermin on April 1 also issued an advisory, saying the local government will no longer issue travel passes.
But he ordered residents to secure a health declaration from the rural health unit which they will present at the checkpoints.
Source: Philippines News Agency