Benguet vegetable trading post remains open

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — The closure of the vegetable trading post, originally scheduled today Wednesday, has been moved to Friday, March 27, after a long dialogue between town officials and vegetables farmers and traders Tuesday late afternoon.

The dialogue was prompted by an executive order by La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda Tuesday (March 24) ordering the partial closure of the trading post until April 15 as part of town’s anti COVID-19 measures.

Salda clarified that the trading post cannot be totally closed, but vendors who will be displaced will be temporarily transferred to the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center here.

Salda said the trading post needs to be disinfected but the flow of vegetable supply should not be hampered.

After the dialogue, trading post stakeholders agreed to totally close the area for disinfection. 

Agot Balanoy of the Benguet  Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative said they agreed to the closure of back-fill trading area only. She said the carrot trading area and the Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center will remain open. 

Mayor Salda assured those who will be displaced at the trading post can transfer to the BAPTC.

Balanoy said they are strictly implementing physical distancing for trucks and people and no-mask-no-entry policy.  She also said that senior citizens and minors are not allowed inside the trading post. 

Balanoy added that trading post stakeholders agreed to reduce their work force to 50% to lessen crowding.

Town officials accordingly will come up with a schedule for buyers and farmers at the trading post to minimize crowding. 

The town government is still finalizing the guidelines.