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  • Writer's pictureGuru Press Staff

Benguet officials ask senate to carry on probe on smuggled vegetables

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

La Trinidad, Benguet – Benguet officials are asking the senate to continue the investigation of smuggled vegetables flooding the country’s markets which Benguet farmers find detrimental for their livelihood.

In the recent senate hearing, Ruben Paoad, Chairperson on Committee of Agriculture of the Sanguniang Panlalawigan of Benguet, said that Benguet farmers, as the primary producer of semi-temperate vegetables, are directly and heavily affected by the influx of smuggled vegetables in Philippine markets. Farming, they say, is the only livelihood they can depend on.

Paoad, as reported by the Mt. Province Broadcasting Corporation, said that local farmers’ produce is not being bought or sold in the market because of this deluge of trafficked vegetables from other countries. He said that due to the very low price because of the influx, local farmers sometimes choose not to deliver their produce to the market to avoid additional farm expenses.

He added that if these smuggling activities continue, local farmers might stop producing vegetables and gradually shift to grow other harvests like cut flowers instead.

“La Trinidad ket maysa a major producer iti nateng ngem ita ket mas-adadon ti maimulmula a cut flowers,” Paoad said.

He stressed that Benguet farmers can produce enough vegetable supply for the country aside from those coming from other provinces so that the country wouldn’t need imported vegetables.

Meanwhile, Board member Robert Namuro, who is also present during the hearing, expressed his dismay over some responses from concerned agencies. Namuro questions why there are still a lot of smuggled vegetables coming into the country flooding the country’s market despite many regulations in place.

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