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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A senior board member proposed the institutionalization of the celebration of the province’s highland vegetable festival to sustain the aggressive promotion of Benguet as the premier source of semi-temperate vegetables in the country.
In his proposed ordinance which is now pending on second reading with the provincial board, senior board member Robert Namoro stated that measure shall apply for the promotion and development of the province’s vegetable industry and that it aims to unify all stakeholders and celebrate the importance of the highland vegetable industry as a mechanism for socio-economic development provincewide.
Further, the board member pointed out that the aforesaid celebration shall secure the province’s status as a major highland vegetable producer in the region, if not, the entire nation as 80 percent of the semi-temperate vegetables in the country’s markets come from Benguet.
Under Namoro’s proposed ordinance, the first or second week of March of every year shall be established as the celebration of the Benguet highland vegetable festival and to this end, Benguet, in coordination with the highland vegetable industry stakeholders, shall facilitate and spearhead various programs, projects and activities for the same.
The executive committee for such celebration shall be composed of the provincial governor as chairperson with the provincial vice-governor as vice chairperson, while the members will be composed of the provincial board members with the Office of the Provincial Administrator serving as its secretariat.
Further, the committee shall be in charge of all plans and preparations of the festival and call the steering committee and other committees for a meeting on the annual celebration of the festival.
Aside from the executive committee, the ordinance also proposed the creation of a steering committee and other working committees to help in the successful conduct of the festival.
Among the proposed activities for the festival include vegetable congress or summit vegetable processing competition; vegetable packing competition; vegetable salad competition; search for the best farmer and best farmers organization; search for the largest, longest, heaviest vegetable; search for the oldest farmer; search for outstanding vegetable stakeholder, farmer, trader and others; vegetable float; giant vegetable salad; agro-industrial trade fair; commercial trade fair; motorcade and parade; farm tours; private stakeholders coordinated activities and other programs, and other projects and activities the steering committee may identify related to the development and promotion of the province’s vegetable industry.
Namoro proposed the appropriation of the amount of P1 million from the provincial government’s general fund and proceeds from other fund-raising activities such as the agro-industrial trade fair and commercial trade fair to bankroll the annual conduct of the said festival to ensure the continuity in the annual celebration of the same for the benefit of the agriculture industry stakeholders. By HENT