Magalong asked to lift vegetable truck ban due to yuletide demand
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet –– The vegetable industry here has asked Baguio City to lift its truck ban due to a high Manila demand for produce during the yuletide.
Benguet is Luzon’s major supplier of carrots, cabbages, lettuce, cauliflower, and other salad vegetables, but vegetable distributors are allowed to travel to Manila through Baguio only on certain hours of the day.
Ordinance No. 5, which was issued in 2017 to deal with Baguio’s traffic problems, bans heavy equipment, trailer trucks, dump trucks, and other vehicles with a gross weight capacity of 4,500 kilograms along the main city roads from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Truckers, which haul the produce from the vegetable trading post at Benguet capital town, La Trinidad, urged the city government to allow them 24-hour access through Baguio from Dec. 20 to 31.
The La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post Association made the request in a Dec. 6 letter to Mayor Benjamin Magalong, explaining that high demand during Christmas requires more deliveries of their “highly perishable goods.”
“December is the peak season for the vegetable industry. It is during this time that farmers hope to sell most of their produce since the demand doubles or triples,” the group said.
Each day, the trading post dispatches up to 1.5 million kilograms of assorted vegetables to Manila and other Luzon markets, but the yuletide orders raise the average to four million kg, said Agot Balanoy, manager of the Hi-land Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative./lzb