Sun, 26 Mar 2023

BAGUIO CITY - The municipal government of La Trinidad, Benguet is ironing out guidelines for its plan to require the registration of vegetable traders and disposers to prevent "bogus" buyers from preying on innocent farmers.

"We want to require them to register and post a bond so that our farmers will have something to run after in case they are defrauded of the payment of their produce. We need to have a system in place for the protection of our farmers," Mayor Romeo Salda said in a phone interview on Thursday.

Salda said they have been receiving reports of farmers not being paid for their produce after buyers get hold of their products.

He said "bogus" buyers proliferated, especially during the pandemic, adding to the losses incurred by farmers.

"They have been coming to us for help but our hands are tied, especially with transactions that were limited to verbal and through texts," the mayor said in Ilocano.

He added that transactions usually involve unofficial receipts made of a small piece of paper that does not even contain any information about the buyer of the produce.

Meanwhile, Salda said they have yet to receive any major complaint from the farmers this year.

"We have monitored that the prices of the commodities are good. That means our farmers are not losing and are happy with what is going on in the market," he said. "If they are losing because the prices of the commodities have tremendously dropped, I would see them coming over to complain and ask for actions regarding importation and smuggling. We have not heard from them lately and we are also happy that they are doing well."

La Trinidad is host to several trading facilities where produce from different towns in Benguet, including those from Mountain Province and Ifugao, are brought for trading.

It is where truckers load tons of fresh produce for transport to Metro Manila going as far as the Visayas. (PNA)

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