BAGUIO, Philippines – Expect your Baguio veggies to be pricier, even if initial reports showed that the damage in the farms in Benguet because of the heightened monsoon rains last weekend was not as extensive as predicted.
Reports from the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera showed that agricultural damage amounted to P28.364 million. Of these, P17.4 M came from crops in Mountain Province, Abra, and Baguio City.
Not included was the damage of crops in Benguet (except for Itogon, which reported P193,376 damage), which is considered the Salad Bowl of the Country because majority of highland vegetables are produced here.
In Bauko, Mountain Province, most of the damage were on their cabbage and potatoes at P2.5 million. Chinese cabbage (bok choi), cauliflower, and lettuce were also destroyed to the tune of P1.3 million.
Most of the vegetables damaged in Abra were rice, corn, and lowland vegetables set at P10 million.
In Baguio, the most damage were on strawberries grown on greenhouses, to the amount of P1.1 million.
The Benguet Provincial Agriculture Office has yet to finalize its report, but it said that the effect was “insignificant.”
The road closures along the Baguio-Bontoc Road or the Halsema Highway and several sideroads affected the distribution of highland vegetables.
The Department of Public Works and Highways recorded 38 landslide incidents on roads in Abra, Benguet, Mountain Province, and Baguio City.
Prices at the La Trinidad Trading Post increased by P5 to P20 compared to two weeks ago. The vegetables most affected are the fragile ones, like cabbage, Chinese cabbage, and lettuce.
The price would increase further at the Baguio City Market.
And who knows how much they would cost in Manila? Marcos Highway was open to light vehicles only since Tuesday, August 14, because of damaged sections in Barangay Cares in Pugo, La Union. Big vehicles, like buses and vegetable trucks, had to pass through Naguilian Road, which meant an additional hour or more of travel to Manila. – Rappler.com