LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- A standoff between farmers and Mayor Edna Tabanda may ensue as their respective sentiments continue to conflict.
Farmer Darwin Soriano sought the aid of the local council Tuesday morning to help them buy time for the use of the market area parking space.
Soriano said actual farmer groups were not consulted in the move of Tabanda to oust them from the area saying disposers and truckers groups were the only groups included in the dialogs which started July.
During the regular session of the body, the council agreed to help the farmers group, penning a resolution asking the mayor to extend the deadline for the use of the public parking space following conditions to be set by the chief executive.
Farmers who were initially given until December 31 to vacate the area are now being given a final extension until tomorrow, January 10.
Without anywhere to go, farmers lament, selling price of their produce will suffer.
Soriano said if plans to eject farmers from the market parking area ensue, they will be forced to lower their prices of vegetables by at least P3, as there will be multi staging areas where they will sell their goods to buyers.
Famers groups converge at areas near the actual Trading Post to keep abreast of market prices as well as get a captive buyer group to accommodate their produce.
The parking at the market area serves as a convergence point for buyers and seller to transact business as it is the nearest point to the trading post area.
Vice Mayor Romeo Salda said the local council was never informed of the move to eject farmers groups from the market parking area, although plans for the setup of booths for the 16 barangays in the same areas were barred by Tabanda in past meetings.
The local government code dictates the local council has control over the management of public areas.
Soriano said there are no official documents issued by Tabanda pertaining to the ouster of farmers from the area, as well as the relocation site, proposed at the Pico area.
Tabanda said the group of Soriano is a new group and not a group which has been doing transactions with the local government. “These are lies; we have to come up with the facts,” she answered.
Tabanda said the market parking is for the use of the people of the Valley. “They have to vacate, we cannot have anarchy here,” the lady exec stressed.
“It is unfair for farmers to demand so much from the local government at the expense of the people. We are doing our best to accommodate them,” the mayor said in an interview after the Tuesday session.