LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Feb. 17 (PIA) -- The state weather bureau PAGASA has been recording a drop of temperature due to the Amihan the past days which caused some vegetable-producing towns in the province to experience frost locally termed as “andap.”
Atok Mayor Peter Alos and Mankayan Mayor Materno Luspian clarified that the reported occurrence of frost in their municipalities has no effect on the supply and prices of vegetables.
Alos said there were reports of frost occurrence in his town particularly in barangay Paoay with temperature going down as low negative 3 degrees Celsius but he clarified that the frost affected grasslands, water system, farmlands which are being readied for cultivation, and some vegetable plantation areas..
The mayor said mostly affected are cabbage and potatoes but no large quantity of vegetables was damaged by the frost. He explained that farmers have learned to adopt to the occurrence of frost so that their livelihood will not be affected. One way is by sprinkling water to the frosted vegetables before sunrise.
Mankayan Mayor Luspian also reported that the effect of the frost occurrence in his town was low as farmers are quick to save their crops from damages.
In January, Benguet Gov. Crescencio Pacalso reported that less than one percent of the supply of vegetables was affected by the frost occurrence and had no significant effect on the supply and prices. But opportunistic businessmen took advantage of the situation and increased prices of vegetables in Baguio City and Manila markets.
This was affirmed by Benguet Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative General Manager Agot Balanoy and appealed to traders and businessmen in the Manila areas not to take advantage of the situation of the farmers .Photos of frost occurrence in Benguet farms spreading in the social media should not be basis for the public to be alarmed of the situation, she said.
Meanwhile, farmers and local officials of Benguet called on the Department of Agriculture to help the farmers by providing more water hoses and sprinkler systems for to lessen the effects of frost in their plantation areas. (JDP/RMC & Angela Baylon-PIA CAR/ UPB Intern)