LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The farmers sector has a new face in the Benguet AgriPinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) Project Steering Committee (PSC).
Joaquin Depalog Jr., 53, from Buguias, Benguet, the Regional PambansangMannalon, Magbabaul, Mag-uuma, MagsasakangPilipinas (P4MP) President of CAR, was elected as the new Farmers’ Representative to the PSC after a tight, open ballot counting.
Depalog said that there is a need for a more active participation and support of all the stakeholders in order to clearly address issues and that the full-scale operation of the center will be immediate. Thus, the world class facilities will be utilized for the farmers.
“The center is the long-awaited solution of the farmers’ cries,” Depalog said.
Dr. Danilo P. Daguio, the BAPTC Chief Operating Officer, explained that Depalog will be representing more than 100,000 farmers in Benguet, Mt. Province and Ifugao. He elaborated that the new farmers’ representative will be the biggest voice in the PSC as he will be representing the reason for the establishment of the center – the farmers. He reiterated that the project proposals and suggestions from the farmers will be prioritized in the development and progress of the operation of the BAPTC.
Depalog will be inaugurated as farmers’ representative to the PSC during the Highland Vegetable Trade Fair and Investment Forum on April 27-29 at BAPTC, Strawberry Farms, La Trinidad, Benguet.
Apart from electing the new farmers’ representative, the farmers also elected the seven members of the BAPTC Farmer Leaders Council. Depalog is the chairman of the council with Edward Haight, from Sayangan, Atok, as the vice president. The other members of the council are Arturo Tudias, Belina Antonio, Leonora Edoc, Darwin Badecao and Sammy Pulido.
The Farmer Leaders Council is formulated to have an easier relay of information among all the farmers, the BAPTC and the PSC. The council will relay the consolidated project proposal and suggestions from the farmers and the council to the PSC for approval.
Depalog stated that the immediate action of the council is to address the lack and misunderstanding of information among the stakeholders regarding the operation of the BAPTC, thus they will more strengthen the information caravan conducted by the PSC members.
The roles and responsibilities of the council will be discussed by the farmers.
The election was attended by the representative of 51 accredited farmers’ cooperatives and associations and 54 individual farmers and guests, who acted as observers at BAPTC.
By Jenny M. Dayao