By Carlito C. Dar
One Luzon E-NewsMagazine
BAGUIO CITY – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya stressed the need to review the supply chain of Benguet vegetables from the farmers to the end users or to the consumers particularly to the markets in Metro Manila.
Maglaya, in her visit in Baguio took time to personally see and monitor the actual situation of vegetable farmers and trading in Benguet, amid recent media report of the alleged big impact of the increasing fuel prices in vegetable trading in this part of the country even as their monitoring result in Metro Manila area showed that supply and prices of vegetables remain stable.
According to Maglaya, such report surfaced in Manila during the hype of the recent transport caravan against the fuel hike increases and suddenly toned down after a week.
During the press conference with Maglaya here, Agot Balanoy, a leader of an advocacy group which represents both farmers and buyers in La Trinidad Benguet’s Trading Post, belied such report.
According to Balanoy, though the fuel price hike have somehow affected transportation cost of Benguet vegetables from the farmlands to the trading post in La Trinidad, the current over-supply of farm outputs have the bigger effect on farmers as it is bringing down the selling price of vegetables.
For the trader’s side, Balanoy said that though the increase in fuel prices also has an effect on the cost of trading vegetables based on their monitoring the volume of trucks that are coming in remains the same, with slight increase even because of the lower prices of vegetabes.
Balanoy bared that their concern is more on the various layers in the trading or supply chain that both farmers and traders go through before it reach the end-users or the markets in Metro Manila.
Thus Maglaya stressed the need for all concerned government agencies and all the other stakeholders to review this supply chain of Benguet vegetables to look for possible ways to eliminate the unnecessary layer or trading channels in order to bring down both the cost of trading and the price of vegetables for the consumers.
As the DTI is always saying that the prices of products remain reasonable, there also comes a situation or a time that what is reasonable becomes unaffordable, she said citing the situation of the Benguet vegetables, which compared to its market price in Baguio/Benguet costs double or even more when it reaches the markets in Manila because of the unnecessary trading channels in the supply chain.
Meantime, Maglaya reported that despite the increases in fuel prices based on their monitoring, the supply and prices sof basic commodities remain stable. She added that as per the Department of Agriculture’s report, the same is true with the supply and price of rice, chicken, poek and beef.#