DA Secretary eyes making BAPTC as corporate entity
Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar said they are eyeing for the corporatization of the Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center for easier management of the multi-million vegetable facility.
In his recent visit to the province, Dar said the corporatization of BAPTC would vastly improve operation of the facility.
“That’s the direction we are taking, so that we could facilitate its improvement and the work would be more efficient. This is because government accounting and auditing rules are so strict,” Dar said.
BAPTC is presently being managed and operated by a project steering committee composed of heads of offices from the Benguet State University, DA-Cordillera, the facility’s major stakeholders like the municipal government unit of La Trinidad, provincial government of Benguet, BSU, Office of the Congressman, DA, and farmer’s groups.
He said the present management under the government has too much bureaucracy that hampers the growth of the facility.
Dar cited the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal Inc. or NVAT as a template for the would-be management of BAPTC.
The NVAT is a 6.7-hectare facility that provides channels for the agricultural and non-agricultural products and services of Nueva Vizcaya and its adjoining provinces. The terminal is managed by the NVAT Inc., a private corporation duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec.19, 2001.
“We have tasked the project steering board to make that study towards that, na aralin na iyong ganitong sitwasyon,” he said.
As an added improvement for BAPTC, the secretary together with local officials recently led the groundbreaking of the P40-million worth vegetable processing and packaging facility.
Dar said one of the objectives of the facility is to be an innovative packaging center that would pave the way for local farmers to elevate their produce.
The DA also turned over a P40-M capital for BAPTC. The capital is meant to enhance the center’s marketing capability in purchasing vegetables to supply its various markets. It would also enable BAPTC to buy unsold produce from farmers cooperatives and associations, which could minimize wasting of vegetables. – Ofelia C. Empian