La Trinidad Trading Post Truckers and Traders Association Grievance Committee Chairman Rudy Bulawan said that they received information from the Manila City Government that roads leading to Tondo, including those within the Divisoria area for the celebration of the feast of Sto. Niño of Tondo on January 17-19, 2020. This means that delivery and sale of highland vegetables would not be allowed on the said dates.
Such situation, Bulawan said, would mean huge losses for the vegetable farmers and traders and the vegetable industry.
At least 80 percent of highland vegetables being sold in the Metro Manila markets and other markets in the Visayas and Mindanao areas comes from the La Trinidad Trading Post.
Vegetables at the La Trading are produce from the 13 towns of Benguet including some towns of Mountain Province and Ifugao.
Bulawan explained that Divisoria market is the largest “bagsakan” or the trading area of various vegetables in Metro Manila coming from the different parts of Luzon. Divisoria accommodates more than 500, 000 kilograms of assorted highland vegetables everyday out of the 1.2 to 1.5 million kilograms of vegetables transported from the La Trinidad Trading Post daily.
He claimed that the closure of the Divisoria market for three days will aggravate the prevailing situation where the buying prices of vegetables are at its lowest due to overproduction resulting to heavy losses for farmers.
Bulawan appealed to the local officials of La Trinidad and Benguet to help them in their situation particularly in having a dialogue with Mayor Moreno and save them from impending losses.
“Nananawagan po kaming mga traders, kasama na ang mga magsasaka kay Mayor Isko Moreno na pagbigyan nyo po ang aming kahilingang makapag deliver at maibenta ang mga gulay sa susunod na mga araw dahil malaking kalugihan sa mga magsasaka ang hindi pagbenta mg mahigit isang milyong kilo ng gulay. Nananawagan din kami sa mga officials natin sa Benguet na tulungan nyo kaming maiparating ang aming kahilingan para hindi malugi ang mga magsasaka” he said.
On Monday, La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda said that he already sent a message to the office of Mayor Moreno requesting for a dialogue regarding this concern.
Gov. Melchor Diclas said that his office has coordinated initially with Salda to look into the immediate actions to be done particularly the dialogue between the local officials of Benguet, farmers and traders group and the officials of Manila.
Diclas said he will also coordinate with Agriculture Secretary William Dar and the DA-CAR Regional Office to support farmers and traders in their plight. (JDP/RMC- PIA-CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis