The Air Force Bought 13 Tons of Benguet Veggies to Donate to Manila

Cordillera farmers have been struggling to sell their crop.

(SPOT.ph) Some farmers in the Cordillera mountains have resorted to throwing away their crop amid the enhanced community quarantine, pushed by a lack of buyers and the difficulty of transporting their goods to the lowlands. But here's something that will hopefully help: The Philippine Air Force purchased around 13 tons of vegetables from Benguet farmers and will be donating the fresh produce to folks in Manila.

The farmers themselves also donated three more tons of vegetables, bringing the total up to around 16 tons.  As of April 16, the veggies were already at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, ready to be repacked as relief goods.

The vegetables were purchased from the La Trinidad Trading post, according to the Civil-Military Operations Group of the Philippine Air Force (PAF). A team from the operations arm, led by Captain Edward Licnachan, worked with Agot Balanoy, the Benguet farmers’ cooperative head, to get the vegetables down to Manila. These relief goods will be given to "the less fortunate people in Manila to serve fresh vegetables on their tables for free."

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This isn't the first time the National Capital Region is receiving aid from Benguet farmers. La Trinindad groups also pooled around 25 tons of assorted veggies in early April to send to those affected by the quarantine, according to the La Trinidad municipal police.

Farmers in the Cordillera mountains have been struggling to get their work's worth since before the quarantine was implemented. Prices for wholesale crops have been low since February of 2020—and the transportation issues brought by the limited movement protocol of the quarantine has not made selling any easier. Several local governments have worked around this problem by buying the produce of farmers affected by the quarantine and donating it as part of relief goods. 

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