City officials supported the pastoral message of Catholic Bishop Victor Bendico of the Diocese of Baguio on the call to save farmers and to stop smuggling of vegetables that greatly hurt local farmers in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), especially the vegetable producing province of Benguet and some parts of Mountain Province and Ifugao.
Under Resolution No. 424, series of 2022, local legislators agreed to Bishop Bendico’s arguments that smuggled vegetables greatly hurt the local farming industry, thus, concerned agencies and local governments must make appropriate actions to curb the said problem.
Earlier, the Bishop sounded the clarion call to maintain the vibrancy and sustain the production and trading of vegetables being the source of livelihood of the majority constituents in Benguet and some parts of Mountain Province and Ifugao.
Further, the council also confirmed the Bishop’s belief that the region’s agricultural environment will always be at the losing end when smuggled vegetables sold at a cheaper price, flood the market thus causing a drastically lowering the buying prices of locally produced ones.
“Vegetable smuggling devastates our socio-economic atmosphere greatly based on the vegetable industry. Also, smuggling divides our people. Hence, we must protect our farmers and promote our local vegetable production,” Bishop Bendico stressed.
Earlier, the Diocese of Baguio, through Bishop Bendico’s pastoral message, expressed support to the outcry of farmers to save them by stopping vegetable smuggling and denouncing any kind of vegetable smuggling that kills the local vegetable industry.
The said pastoral letter of the Bishop was read in all the churches within the jurisdiction of Baguio and Benguet several weeks ago.
The local government expressed its support to the ongoing efforts of the local farmers and concerned agriculture industry stakeholders against the rampant vegetable smuggling and strongly encouraged the city residents to buy locally produced vegetables instead of the smuggled ones.