By LITO RULONA
An estimate of P4 million worth of vegetable goods were lost after they suffered an “interlude” of transportation of farm goods inside Laguindingan Airport in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental for the past few weeks.
Thus said Friday by Cagayan de Oro Farmer’s Market and Terminal president Peter Sumabong during the City Council’s Committee meeting on Trade, Commerce and Industry called by City Councilor George Goking.
Sumabong said they had been suffering a big loss due to the “off-load” they had been experiencing for the past weeks at Laguindingan Airport that airline companies only allocated and allow few kilos of perishable goods specially vegetables in going to Metro Manila.
“What we did as of now is ang uban ilang gipaagi via Cebu Mactan Airport or by ship to Cebu which cost them additional cargo fees and possible damaged of vegetable perishable products,” he said.
He said farmer – traders also aired their concern over the action made by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol who directly negotiating business matching between farmers in Bukidnon and send tonnage of vegetable products to typhoonavaged areas in Ilocos Region which have been affected by typhoon Ompong and Metro Manila.
“Si Secretary Piñol mi-hire dayun og special plane including C-130 of the Philippine Air Force aron madala sa Manila ang iyang pinalit sa Bukidnon. Ang labas ang iya ra gayud ang gisiguro karon og karga and tungod ani nageduced og numbers of loading ang mga private passenger planes,” he added.
He asked the committee that those vegetables coming from other areas including the hinterland barangays of Cagayan de Oro and was declared “off-load” by private plane companies should also be included in availing such flight being arrange by Piñol.
“Ang nahitabo naniguro ra sila sa ilaha unya kami nga regular nga nagpadala didto sa Metro Manila wala ma-apil kay nagsalig sa mga private plane companies. Karon ilang gibuhat naligsan kami,” he pointed out.
Goking said that they already sent invitation to Secretary Piñol in Metro Manila to discuss such problem raised by the local vegetable traders and farmers based in East-Westbound Terminals and Public Market (EWTPM) in barangay Bulua.
He said he commended the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) port manager Mr. Isidro Butaslac, Jr of Misamis Oriental – Cagayan de Oro port who immediately responded the call of the farmer-traders and assured them that no “off-loading” of vegetable and perishable products made inside port area.
Butaslac told complainants that as long as the perishable products arrived several hours before the departure of ships to port of destination.
“Container vans with freezer is always available in port area specially for vegetables send to Cebu and Metro Manila,” he said.