LA TRINIDAD – Benguet Gov. Nestor Fongwan calls on DILG Sec. Mar Roxas and other officials to help the province correct issues on the vegetable industry of the province being presented in Metro Manila in the aftermath of typhoon Ineng.
“We would like to disprove the reports of national media outfits na walang gulay na nanggagaling sa Benguet kaya tumataas ang presyo ng mga gulay sa Manila at sa ibang lugar.”
Fongwan stressed this during the Benguet Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council assessment of the effects of typhoon Ineng attended by DILG Sec. Mar Roxas, Presidential Spokesperson Sec. Edwin Lacierda and DSWD Asec. Vilma Cabrera at the provincial capitol on Wednesday.
Reports show Manila markets have less supply of vegetables since Benguet cannot deliver the needed vegetable supply so several traders marked up their prices twice or three times the real price of the vegetables.
He cited cabbage which was bought by traders in the La Trinidad Trading Post at P18 to 22 per kilo and sold in Metro Manila at P100 to 120per kilo.
“Reports in the different national media outfits show that prices of vegetables have increased due to the effect of typhoon but that is not true,” Fongwan said and added that the national media should ask the real situation from the province or any authorized persons who will tell the truth.
He added this also proves that traders and sellers are taking advantage of the current situation of the farmers who were affected by the recent typhoon. More than P46 million was reported as the damage to the agricultural industry in Benguet.
Fongwang related that there was a temporary shortage of vegetables when the Halsema Highway closed during the height of typhoon Ineng last weekend, but the situation lasted for less than a day since the DPWH immediately worked to make the damaged portion the road in Km 16 in Tublay, Benguet passable.
He asked Roxas to make coordination with the DTI in the national level to look into the unusual practice of traders and entrepreneurs in the Metro Manila area particularly in taking advantage of the situation of the typhoon affected farmers.
Roxas for his part, assured of the support of the national government to the typhoon affected provinces including Benguet and the rest of the Cordillera region. He also assured that he will personally coordinate with the DTI to make sure that entrepreneurs are not taking advantage of the situation of farmers in Benguet.
He also offered the support of the DILG and the PNP by providing vehicles and escorting the farmers to bring their vegetable produce directly from Benguet to the Metro Manila markets so that the farmers will be the ones to take advantage of the temporary increase of prices of their goods./RMC- PIA CAR