‘Enough flowers for Valentines’

BENGUET’S cut flower farmers assured ample supply for the coming Valentine’s Day.

La Trinidad Cut Flower and Ornamental Growers Association (Latcoga) president Andy Colte said there will be abundant supply of flowers on Valentine’s Day owing to good climate and absence of typhoons in the previous months.

Although supply of cut flowers is enough, Colte said consumers should brace themselves for price increase as demands are expected to triple, especially on roses while truck loads of different flowers are already being delivered to Manila.

This developed after the La Trinidad Cutflowers and Truckers Association was given exemption by Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan from the truck ban from February 9 to 14 to meet the market schedule of its suppliers in different provinces and Manila.

Colte said the association transports three to five trucks of flowers everyday to the lowlands.

Traders and three trucks of cut flower traders will also be exempted from the truck ban during the period.

“We understand the plight of our cutflower and vegetable traders who must deliver their products to their markets on time thus the additional exemptions. Some of the truckers claimed they were not included in the earlier exemption thus these additional exemptions,” Domogan stressed.

However, Domogan reminded the concerned traders and truckers to police their own ranks to avoid the alleged mass reproduction of the limited identification cards issued to them.

The mayor warned traders and truckers once traffic enforcers uncover the unauthorized reproduction of the issued exemption documents, the local government will be constrained to cancel the exemption.

According to Domogan, it would be unfair for traders and truckers who comply religiously with the granted exemption for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of the exemptions by illegally reproducing the issued identification cards.

Domogan and La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda met with the concerned traders and truckers on the additional exemption to be granted by the local government to those not included in the initial exemption.

Under the city’s truck ban enshrined in Ordinance No. 05, series of 2017, trucks are not allowed to traverse the major roads in the city from 6 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 9 pm daily to effectively and efficiently address the worsening traffic congestions around the central business district area.

The local legislative body is still studying the proposed amendments to the existing truck ban after the implementation of the ban was questioned by the affected stakeholders due to its expected serious negative effect to the business sector of the city.

Except for Bokod, all 12 municipalities in Benguet produce cutflowers with records from the Office of the Provincial Agriculture showing an estimate of 53,335,805 dozens are produced by 6,571 farmers planted in 1,236 hectares. (With a report from Dexter See)
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