Gov: Baguio truck ban to hurt Benguet agri sector

>> Thursday, June 1, 2017

LA TRINIDAD,Benguet — Gov. Cresencio Pacalso said a truck ban passed by the Baguio City Council and set for implementation is likely to hurt the agriculture sector which is the main livelihood and trade of Benguet where around 75 percent of vegetable supply of  the lowlands particularly Metro Manila comes from.
He said implementation of Ordinance No. 50, Series of 2017, prohibiting heavy equipment trailers, dump trucks and other freight trucks or six-wheelers and above with gross weight of 4,500 kilograms or more from traversing city roads from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. would hurt the industry.
Pacalso said he has aired his concern with Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, citing how the truck ban will adversely affect farmers and vegetable dealers in transporting their fresh crops to markets nationwide.
“I have talked to Mayor Domogan last week and he said he has ordered the city police to hold implementation of said Truck Ban Ordinance,” Pacalso said.
The La Trinidad vegetable truck drivers group agreed to implementation of the total truck ban in the city from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., but questioned its enforcement from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., which transporters consider the “golden hours” of transporting highland vegetables from the trading post in La Trinidad to Metro Manila and other lowland destinations.
Farmers said they fear igger percentage of their produce may go to waste since the travel time is critical in ensuring their crops reach the markets fresh.
The waiting time for the city’s truck ban to lapse will expose the crops to the heat of the sun, dust and other elements which may easily damage the vegetables and require cleaning them again at trading posts.
For traders, the more time delayed in delivery will mean losses.
Pacalso cited need for laws and ordinances in Baguio City and Benguet to co-exist.

“They are catching up with the buyers and are also catching up with the cargo ships so they cannot delay their transport,” said Pacalso. “Which is why the truckers are asking the Local Government of Baguio City to exempt their trucks that transport these perishable goods from the coverage of the New Truck Ban in the City,” he added.


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