LA TRINIDAD, BenguetJennilyn Dawayan , OICRegional Executive Director, Department of
Agriculture- Cordillera Administrative Region vowed to push for the original vision of the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC)- local farmers should be the one to manage its operation. In an interview, Dawayan signified her intention to discuss the operations of the facility with newly installed Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel in his forthcoming visit in the Cordilleras.

‘The operation of BAPTC is among the agenda i would like to present and discuss with Secretary Laurel,’ said Dawayan even as the operations of the multi-billion facility is at status quo. As this developed, Dawayan reported that her agency is finalizing its assessment report on the operations of the premier vegetable trading center, which expected to be finished before the end of this year.

‘’There are several issues to be addressed – legal personality and how to capacitate the stakeholders
especially the farmers, among others,’ Dawayan said. ‘It could be done,’ Dawayan pointed, when asked about the local farmers will be the one to manage the facility. ‘There are passageways, ‘
Dawayan replied when asked about if there will be light in the current operations of the facility.

‘Well, our secretary is a businessman, the efforts of the Project Steering Board (PSB), Chaired by DA secretary, and datas being provided by BAPTC are critical in policy formulation,’ Dawayan said.
Moves to transform the facility then former Agricultur Secretary Dr. William DAR fizzled out for alleged lacked of support and clear-cut policy and direction of the former.

Earlier, DA’s Assistant Secretary Rex Estoperez said the facility should be managed by local farmers following the original vision of the facility. In doing so Estoperez challenged local farmers to federate, even as he acknowledged issues confronting the facility’s operation include s –utilization
of spaces, alleged insurmountable expenses incurred by the facility.

Primo Agatep/ABN

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