LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Mar. 25(PIA)-- Mayor Romeo Salda ordered the temporary partial closure of the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post(LTVTP) and all private vegetable trading areas in the municipality effective today, March 25, until further notice in view of the COVID-19 threat.
Only the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) at the La Trinidad Strawberry Farm which has a much wider area shall be opened to ensure that the flow of vegetable supply to Baguio City and Metro Manila markets will not be disrupted.
Salda issued Executive Order No. 11 and No. 12 on March 24, 2020 ordering the temporary partial closure of the LTVTP located at KM 5, La Trinidad, and all private vegetable trading areas in the municipality upon the suggestion of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and on the advice of Benguet Governor Melchor Diclas.
The mayor said the closure is in light of the Declaration of a State of Public Health Emergency throughout the Philippines and by virtue of the Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code which provides that every local government unit shall exercise powers necessary to the promotion of general welfare.
Salda described the LTVTP and the private trading areas as beehive of activity where traders, disposers, drivers and helpers meet in mass and come and go even from areas where there are positive cases of COVID-19. Such situation is contributory to the spread of COVID especially with the difficulty in implementing crowd control and social distancing.
With the need to protect the citizenry from COVID-19, the La Trinidad LGU submitted a position paper to the DILG.
In response, DILG-Cordillera Regional Director Marlo Iringan suggested that the LTVTP be closed and that only the BAPTC which has a much wider area be opened.
Last week, the provincial government of Benguet called on farmers, buyers, sellers, traders, truckers and all stakeholders transacting business at the LTVTP and the BAPTC to practice precautionary measures against the COVID-19 such as wearing of face masks and social distancing.
Benguet and some municipalities of Mountain Province and Ifugao remain the source of 80 percent of semi-temperate vegetables supply in the country, and La Trinidad is the center of transacting and marketing vegetable production before they are distributed to the different markets. (JDP/RMC-PIA CAR)