LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The agriculture department recently released some PhP12 million to allow the municipal government to pursue the construction of the proposed expansion of the vegetable trading post building which was initially implemented more than seven years ago.
The released amount is part of the PhP30 million that was committed by the agriculture department for the put up of the trading post’s economic enterprise building to cater to the livelihood needs of local entrepreneurs’ way back in 2015.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda said he was informed by local finance officers that the PhP12 million from the agriculture department was already credited to the account of the municipal government after he made a follow-up of the remaining balance of the committed funds last month.
However, he admitted the released funds will no longer be sufficient to complete the proposed structure because of the increase in the prices of construction materials since the basis for the funds was the computations in 2015 when the said project was bid out by the local government.
The municipal chief executive said that he requested the technical personnel to make the necessary computations to reflect whatever adjustments on the project cost so that appropriate representations will be made with the agriculture department informing them that the funds that had been earmarked and released for the project will no longer be enough to complete the desired structure.
“We will inform the agriculture department of whatever adjustments on the project cost from the re-computation to be done by our technical personnel. We will surely request for additional funds if it is possible to be able to complete the structure and realize its purpose,” Mayor Salda stressed.
From the PhP30 million that was promised by the agriculture department, the municipal government already received some P26 million from the several tranches of releases, including the PhP12 million latest fund release, thereby leaving behind a PhP4 million balance by the agriculture department for the completion of the project.
The mayor expressed hope that the agriculture department will give due consideration to the request of the municipal government for additional funds in the future after the re-computation has been made to ensure the completion of the proposed livelihood center within the vegetable trading post to be able to accommodate the need of spaces by the increasing number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the municipality.
Earlier, the agriculture department committed to provide the PhP30 million to put up the proposed livelihood center as its contribution to help in aggressively promoting the MSME businesses that are thriving in the locality.
La Trinidad hosts the operation of the vegetable trading post that serves as the center of vegetable trading in the province and is also known as the Salad Bowl of the Philippines.