February 1, 2023

A measure to accredit all members at the various trading areas in La Trinidad, Benguet is on the pipeline.

Councilor Bartolome Baldas, Jr., chair of the committee on law, said a series of consultations were conducted to gather data for the proposed ordinance.

“We have been in constant meetings with the League of Associations at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post (LTVTP) and the stakeholders from private areas,” Baldas said during a recent press conference.

After consolidating the needed data, the committee will then submit the appropriate ordinance.

Baldas said the ordinance shall mandate the stakeholders of all the various trading areas in the municipality including the LTVTP, Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center and other private trading areas operating in the town.

The stakeholders include the farmers, traders, disposers, truckers including its operators, drivers and porters, laborers, among other workers in the farm industry in the municipality.

Councilor John Botiwey, chair of the committee on agriculture, said the ordinance was based from the previous municipal board official’s working draft, which also eyed to register all the vegetable stakeholders.

Botiwey said the earlier proposed ordinance initially only covers the stakeholders at the LTVTP, but due to the presence of other private vegetable trading areas, it underwent revisions. The proposal was not approvedby the previouscouncil; hence it was continued with the present set of officials. 

Town officials are hopeful the ordinance will help solve the issues raised by the stakeholders, as Botiwey said this includes vegetable dealers who allegedly sell substandard vegetables, as well as buyers who do not pay farmers.

“If we have data on who these business people are, perhaps the stakeholders would know what they will do,” he said.

Augusta Balanoy, league spokesperson, said they have been pushing for the accreditation of the personnel for an easier tracking of trading post activities.

Balanoy said the members of the league are amenable to the accreditation but she acknowledged the difficulty in bringing together all the stakeholders to support the accreditation, especially those in the private trading areas.

The accreditation would also help screen out these farmers, traders, buyers and other laborers prior to engaging in the business.

“We will be able to check the records of these individuals before accrediting them or registering them. We also see this as a crime prevention tool, to prevent unscrupulous buyers and laborers from being part of the local vegetable industry,” Balanoy said. – Ofelia C. Empian

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