BAGUIO CITY – The partnership of the provincial government of Benguet and city government with the farmers is allowing residents here to buy assorted vegetables at PHP10 a kilo.
Benguet Vice Governor Johnny Waguis said they brought cabbage, romaine lettuce, onion leeks, Chinese pechay, and squash which the province bartered with Apayao province.
Waguis said Apayao brought them 1,000 kilos of the yellow variety squash and in return, they gave vegetables to Apayao, when they sent representatives to purchase vegetables for their residents.
Each buyer is also given three pieces of carrots for free.
He said that the project started from “Sampung piso para sa farmer” last April 1 as prices of vegetables in Benguet dropped causing losses income and capital.
They started with the project at the vegetable cold chain facility at Wangal, La Trinidad.
From the Piso para sa farmer program, they added the phrase “murang gulay para sa mamamayan ng Baguio (cheap vegetables for the residents of Baguio).”
The selling activity on Thursday and Friday set aside at least seven tons of assorted vegetables.
Waguis said that aside from sure sales, the farmers also wanted to share with the city residents.
“Some of the vegetables can be sold at PHP20 a kilo in the market but the farmers agreed to give it at PHP10 as assistance to the people in Baguio,” Waguis said.
Baguio Councilor Joel Alangsab who did the leg work for the activity said each buyer is allowed a maximum of 10 kilos of assorted vegetables.
The original plan was a leeway of 10 kilos each kind per buyer but with the long queue in the area even before they opened the selling at 9 a.m., they decided to give everyone a chance to buy cheap vegetables by limiting the purchase to 10 kilos of assorted vegetables per buyer.
The activity was set on Friday and Saturday to give each interested household quarantine pass holder a chance to buy.
The 128 villages of the city were divided into 20 districts, except for the biggest village, Irisan, distributing them to the scheduled market day.
Alangsab said that they hope to have another schedule for the PHP10 a kilo vegetable event in Baguio if the prices of vegetables remain low.
Despite Baguio residents flocking to the covered court in Barangay Sto. Nino on Magsaysay Avenue, physical distancing was enforced to buyers and allowing only those whose quarantine passes to fall in line on particular times.
Alangsab said Mayor Benjamin Magalong has set aside PHP50,000 for the activity which will be used to pay the baggage boys or the locally called “komboy” at PHP250 a day aside from food to be served to those who help carry the load from the trucks.
The money was also used to pay in advance the vegetables.
“Considered sold lahat ng dadalhin dito (All of these is considered sold),” Alangsab said.
Jerson Bakoy of Teachers’ village on Marcos Highway said they started to walk from their residence to the area around 4 a.m. to buy the cheap vegetables.
“Napakalaking tulong kasi hindi lang tayo kumakain ng galing sa canned goods kundi sa gulay. Good for the health at pang masa ang ginagawang tulong (This is a big help because this gives us a chance to eat not from the can but vegetables. This is good for the health and this help is for the masses),” Bakoy said.
He said that even if they walked a distance, they can eat vegetables that can help boost their resistance.
“Nakakatipid pa dahil napakamura at masustansiya (This will save us money because the vegetables are cheap and nutritious),” he said. Liza Agoot and Dionisio Dennis, Jr /PNA – northboundasia.com