New BSU President open to compromise with farmers

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet  – Newly elected Benguet State University (BSU) President Dr. Feliciano Calora Jr. sided status quo on the Benguet farmers’ integration in the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (BPTC).

As recall early this month, Benguet farmers stormed Justice Hill early this month and secured a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) from the courts. The farmers integration to BAPTC was then to put ta a momentarily halt as the court issued a ‘status quo’ order following the TRO.

Among of the reasons for the resistance of farmers to be integrated to BAPTC was the mandatory25 centavo per kilo trading fee.

BSU being part of the steering committee in BSU, wherein its chief executive is seated the Vice Chairman next to the Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary as Chairman. Now elected BSU President, Dr Calora said that BAPTC will be one of his priorities as he will consult stakeholders’ concerns, which includes the farmers’ sector.

“I don’t want to speculate at this time, but I will assure that concerns from all stakeholders will be considered”, said Calora.

Recognizing the urgency to launch BAPTC before the end of the term of PNOY, Calora said that he will seek the aid of the DA and other original pilots of BAPTC.

As to the aggrieved farmers of the LaTrinidad trading post who are being forced to integrate in BAPTC, “I think it’s just a matter of communicating with them”, said Calora.

“I’d like to put myself on their shoes and immerse myself in their situation for me to have an in-depth understanding as to the reasons why they don’t want to transfer to BAPTC and to come up compromises with them. The pricing scheme to be implemented in BAPTC must be a win-win to both parties benefit”, said Calora.

Meanwhile, the University is on status quo until the turn-over ceremony which is schedule first week April.

By Rocky Ngalob

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