ATOK, Benguet – Typhoon–stricken residents and farmers in the municipality got an early Christmas present from Benguet caretaker congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap after he assured the people of his assistance for their recovery from the wrath of the weather disturbance.
Yap, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, rushed to Barangay Abiang and other calamity-stricken areas in the municipality at the height of Typhoon Ulysses to see for himself the needs of affected people.
He assured residents whose houses suffered blown off roofs that he will help in the restoration of their damaged houses the soonest so that they can return to their homes.
Further, Congressman Yap also met with some farmers who were tending their farms to assured them he will work for the rehabilitation, upgrading and improvement of farm-to-market roads (FMR) in the municipality to allow them to immediately transport their vegetable product to the market without undue delays, especially during natural calamities, like typhoons.
According to him, the province’s vegetable farmers are a key in sustaining the country’s food security that is why concerned government agencies should ensure that are provided with the optimum support through the building of important FMR and the establishment of the necessary post-harvest facilities to help in improving the packaging of their produce to command higher buying prices.
Atok is one of the vegetable-producing municipalities in the province where majority of the economic activities of the people is vegetable farming.
Congressman Yap pointed out that the farmers deserve to be provided the appropriate support in terms of the production of their agricultural crops, the processing, packaging and marketing of the same so they can benefit from their vegetable produce.
Aside from the rehabilitation, upgrading and improvement of FMR in the different parts of the province, Congressman Yap claimed it is also important for relevant government agencies to improve existing processing, packaging and marketing strategies for the locally produced vegetables to be able to command higher buying prices.
He stated that accessibility is one of the important aspects of countryside development through the put up of the appropriate networks that will contribute in the efforts of the government to help farmers lessen the transportation cost of agricultural crops and sustain the quality of the produce until it reaches the markets for better profitability.
Benguet remains as the source of more than 80 percent of highland vegetable being sold in the different parts of the country as vegetable farming is the primary source of livelihood of the people in the 13 municipalities.
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis