LA TRINIDAD, Benguet March 24 – The municipal government ordered the temporary partial closure of the vegetable trading [post effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020 to pave the way for the dis-infection of the facility considering the continuous convergence of people transacting business in the most frequented place in the municipality.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda issued Executive Order No. 11, series of 2020 partially closing the operation of the trading post upon the advice of Gov. Melchor Diclas in view of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) threat pursuant to the stringent guidelines of the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.
He clarified that some of the affected traders will be temporarily relocated to the Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC) while others will be transferred to the bagsakan area to pave the way for the dis-infection of the facility.
“We will try our best to mobilize our personnel to implement the dis-infection for one day so that we will lessen the impact of the partial closure of the facility to the farmers and the traders,” Mayor Salda stressed.
The local chief executive appealed to the affected farmers and traders for utmost understanding and cooperation with the implementation of the dis-infection of the town’s vegetable trading post to help in the overall efforts of the government to prevent more people from being affected with the highly contagious virus where dis-infection has been one of the recommended measures to control its spread.
Salda explained that the local government understands the need for the continuous operation of the vegetable trading post considering that it is part of the food chain but there is also a need to consider the implementation of dis-infection measures to prevent the virus from spreading in the said facility, thus, the partial closure.
He also anchored the issuance of the order on Section 16 of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines which provided that every local government unit shall exercise powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary in the promotion of the general welfare.
Further, local governments are mandated to promote the health and safety, improve public health, maintain peace and order,and preserve the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.
On March 9, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued Proclamation No. 922 that declared a state of public health emergency in the country which was followed by his declaration of an enhanced community quarantine in Luzon on March 16, 2020.
Salda admitted that the La Trinidad vegetable trading post is a beehive of heavy human activity where traders, disposers, drivers, helpers, farmers among others meet in mass and camp and go even from areas where there are alleged suspects of individuals who are persons under investigation for having symptoms of the deadly virus.
Earlier, the municipal government submitted a position paper to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to control the heavy human activity and in the reply of the agency, it recommended two alternative remedies that include the closure of the vegetable trading post and that the BAPTC which has a much wider area be used for vegetable trading.
By Dexter A. See