LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal government admitted that the programmed funds for the completion of the multi-million enterprise and livelihood center at the vegetable trading post is no longer sufficient to complete the said structure.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda said that the local government will make the appropriate representations with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to provide additional funds from available sources to be able to complete the building that will be occupied by various associations wanting to conduct the trading and marketing of their farm products and processed food to be able to earn a living for their families.
He claimed that the municipal engineering office is finalizing the computations on the funds needed to complete the structure so that the same will be used to support the request of the local government for additional funding support from the agency to complete the project the earliest possible time.
Earlier, the DA committed to provide the municipal government some P30 million to construct the proposed livelihood and enterprise center at the vegetable trading post where the agency initially released some P10 million that was bidded out way back in 2015 for the project to be started.
However, there were unnecessary delays in the release of the funds for the project that allowed the same to remain uncompleted to date.
Mayor Salda pointed out that it was only two months ago when the DA central office released some P12 million to continue the implementation of the project but based on initial assessment, the remaining balance of P4 million will no longer be sufficient to complete the structure.
According to him, the DA was able to release some P26 million for the construction of the proposed livelihood and enterprise center since 2015 and what remains to be unreleased is only P4 million.
The local chief executive expressed hope that the DA will realize the effect of the delayed release of the funds for the project as the same had been overtaken by the repeated increases in the prices of construction materials needed for the project and the increase in the labor cost with the hike in the daily wage of minimum wage earners that is why it is impractical to pursue the project without the release of the desired additional funds so that the implementation could be done in a single period of time.
He pointed out that concerned agriculture industry stakeholders had been patiently waiting for the completion of the said project but they were disappointed after the release of the funds had been repeatedly delayed for whatever reasons, thus, they are pinning their hopes to the new officials of the DA to realize that the municipal government did not fall short in the implementation of the project but the problem lies with the agency, especially the delayed release of the needed funds.
La Trinidad is serving as the center of trade and commerce in the province playing host to the various public and private vegetable trading centers for the trading and marketing of the various agricultural products raised by farmers from the different parts of Benguet.