LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Governor Nestor Fongwan fears manipulation in the leadership for the Agri-Pinoy Center.

Fongwan expressed his worry for the leadership of the newest vegetable center in the province might be handpicked by the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) central office.

“It seems the people who will run the Agri-Pinoy center are people of Secretary Alcala,” Fongwan said.

Fongwan lamented the manipulation of leadership and management of the nearly completed center at the local strawberry fields adding those close to the DA will be chosen.

The P400 million Agri-Pinoy Center is a modern wholesale trading and processing facility for fruits and vegetables, which is part of the country’s integrated food supply chain being established in major food producing regions in the country.

Fongwan said management should be delegated to stakeholders of the province and not appointees.

It is envisioned to make trading operations of vegetables and fruits faster, from unloading until payment of goods delivered, thus minimizing spoilage and waste.

Fongwan said based on the agreement the management of the center is supposed to fall into the jurisdiction of the La Trinidad mayor, the provincial governor, as well as farmer stakeholders in the province.

Upon completion, the center will be a modern wholesale trading and processing facility for vegetables and fruits—dubbed as Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (APTC) on the four-hectare lot at the berry farm which is the first of its kind in the country.

Fongwan said there are also irregularities in the construction of the parking lot of the center saying the backfill of the area may be filled garbage and needs to be excavated.