March 3, 2024

Wholesale buyers who purchase on credit at the various vegetable trading posts in La Trinidad, Benguet are required to fill up a delivery receipt, as failure to comply means penalty on their part.

In an ordinance authored by Councilor Bartolome Baldas, Jr., and approved by the municipal council, it states that it has been a practice of farmers and traders at the different trading posts to sell vegetables on credit.

“However, many of these sellers of vegetables on credit have been the victims of unscrupulous purchasers and buyers who defraud or swindle them of the costs of their vegetables,” Baldas said.  

These unscrupulous buyers or purchasers would get away with their acts because there is no official document showing what has been purchased, the cost, name, address, and contact number of the purchaser or buyer.

In the trading post term, the buyer is a business person who buys vegetables from traders while a purchaser is an employee of the buyer, thus representing the buyer to purchase vegetables at the trading centers.    

“There is therefore a need to protect the vegetable farmers and traders who are doing business at the various trading centers and who sell their vegetables on credit from swindlers and scammers through the mandatory requirement that all purchasers or buyers of vegetable purchased on credit be evidenced by a delivery receipt,” he said.

The ordinance shall cover all the vegetable trading areas in the municipality including the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post, the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center, and other private vegetable trading areas.

The municipality shall prepare and issue the delivery receipt at cost, bearing the complete details of the transaction between the trader and buyer or purchaser and also signed by two witnesses. 

Traders, buyers, or purchasers who refuse to issue delivery receipts shall be banned for three months from doing business at the trading areas while a fine of P1,000 up to P2,500 with 10 days imprisonment upon the discretion of the court shall be given to first, second, to third offenders.

Purchasers or buyers who issue post-dated checks shall also be banned for three to six  months or perpetually banned, and made to pay P1,000 up to P2,500 with 10 days imprisonment upon discretion of the court, depending on their level of offense.

Any purchaser or buyer who is banned shall surrender their accreditation identification card to the market supervisor and that these shall be returned only after the lifting of their ban.

Baldas, the former legal officer of the municipality, said violators shall also face existing penal laws under the Revised Penal Code and other special laws like the Batas Pambansa 22 if needed.   

He said another municipal ordinance, the accreditation ordinance, which calls for the accreditation of all stakeholders at the vegetable trading areas goes hand and hand with the delivery receipt ordinance. Both ordinances were transmitted to the Benguet provincial board for review. – Ofelia C. Empian