PRICES of highland vegetables remain unstable as Benguet and the rest of the Cordillera region are bracing for the impact of Typhoon “Ompong” (Mankhut) expected to make landfall in the northern tip of Cagayan Saturday morning, September 15.
Augusta Balanoy, Benguet Farmers Marketing Cooperative general manager, said prices of vegetables at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post are also fluctuating.
As of September 13, prices of cabbage (rareball) is at P30 to P55, potatoes at P33 to P48, wombok at P38 to P70, carrots at P40 to P100 and sayote at P48 to P55.
Benguet farmers were asked to harvest their produce early with the coming of the typhoon.
“The rise on the price of vegetables depends on the typhoon and the harvest of crops by farmers,” said Balanoy. “As of the moment, farmers are waiting for full recovery of the crops because of the one month continuous rains and here comes another typhoon, at the moment, farmers are preparing to lessen damages.”
At the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC), prices of cabbage (rareball) range at P30 to P50, potato (granula) at P33 to P42, carrots at P40 to P120, and sayote at P47 to P50.
BAPTC chief of operations Violeta Salda said some farmers have also conducted early harvest and vegetable prices remain artificial.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), Typhoon Ompong has slightly accelerated and maintained its strength.
As of 11 a.m. of September 13, Ompong continues to threat Northern Luzon with Benguet and the whole Cordillera region placed under Typhoon Warning Signal No. 1.
Benguet has activated the emergency action center of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council on Tuesday.
Mount Pulag National Park has also suspended tourism activities in the area due to the threat of the typhoon.
La Trinidad’s Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council released a memorandum ensuring preparedness and proper response to the adverse effects of the typhoon and has already activated its emergency operations center starting September 13 to ensure zero casualty.
Mayor Romeo Salda also released a memo suspending the classes for preschool to senior high school both public and private schools with the pending typhoon in the country.
Governor Crescencio Pacalso declared the province under state of calamity on September 3 after it was severely affected by the destruction of agricultural products, infrastructures, communication and power facilities and other sources of livelihood.
In four weeks, the province experienced continuous rains brought by the south west monsoon.
Estimated cost of damages for agricultural crops, livestock and poultry including facilities and infrastructures reached P163.8 million.