BAGUIO CITY (Feb. 20) – Following the launching of the agriculture department of Barangay Food Terminals to offer low income families cheaper goods, Councilor Leandro Yangot proposed an ordinance for the establishment of similar facilities here.
The city council referred to the Committee on Market Trade and Commerce the proposed ordinance Monday.
According to the proposed ordinance Yangot penned, each barangay shall have a BFT to serve and offer fresh, nutritious and affordable foods. It named as lead agencies the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture to monitor BFTs to assure prevailing wholesale prices of produce and to accredit farmers or producers of vegetables, rice, meat, fish and other agricultural products that will act as direct suppliers to the BFT, respectively.
Yangot mentioned the ill-effects of the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), such as the entry into the local market of low quality agricultural products. He also cited some middlemen either opted to deal with importers or shave off a large chunk of profits jacking up the cost of foodstuffs in the local markets.
“Majority of the people, especially the low-income families bear the brunt of unfair trade,” Yangot said in an interview.
Recently, even farmers have complained of unfair trade involving unconscionably low farm gate prices dictated by traders, which a local peasant alliance tag as vegetable cartel.
BFT’s, according to the Yangot proposal , “are for the advantage of the agricultural sector and the consumers in general, and also to ease up the congestion at the city market.” It will ensure continuous supply of nutritious and affordable food and likewise ensures market outlets for local farmers threatened by imported agricultural products, Yangot said.
Earlier a related proposal for the establishment of satellite markets in the barangays aimed at providing a vending area for Baguio’s growing population of ambulant and market vendors. # Lyn V. Ramo for NORDIS