Sablan, the Fruit Basket of Benguet, is currently celebrating its 4th Fruit Festival with the theme “Celebrating abundance, friendship, and beauty.”

The festival is being celebrated in the month of September when most fruits are in season showing the abundance and industriousness of the community people in tilling the land and maximizing the natural resources in the locality.

The three day celebration will be featuring the towns’ abundant bounty ranging from agricultural produce, talents, and beauty. This will be made possible from the various activities that were laid specially for the celebration.

The celebration kicked off last September 2, followed by a float parade that showcased the various fruits that are being cultivated and produced in the municipality. These are rambutan, pineapple, banana, durian, dragon fruit, santol, citrus, papaya, guava, jackfruit, and pomelo, among others.

The Department of Agriculture-Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey graced the event by serving as the guest speaker. In his message, he encouraged the local farmers and the local government unit (LGU) to take advantage of the services of the DA and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) saying that the DA procures millions of planting materials, including fruit and industrial crops like coffee specifically for the benefit of the local farmers. In addition, the BPI is willing to provide training for those interested to venture in establishing their fruit nurseries.

Honorable Governor Crescencio Pacalso also extended his support and encouragement during the celebration. He congratulated the municipality for a job well done saying that despite the continuous downpour of rain during the previous weeks, they were able to push through with the celebration. He said that the continuous raining had affected the quantity and quality of the fruits produced; nevertheless, the harvest is still enough.

This year’s activity is different as compared to the previous celebration. Aside from the usual agro-industrial trade fair, poster making and wall painting competition, cultural presentations, ground demonstrations and the serving of the largest fruit salad, the inclusion of the no baked fruits and berries cake preparation made the celebration more exciting.

The official mascot of the municipality was also introduced. The said mascot will not only be used during the fruit festival but will also be used to represent the municipality to other occasions such as the Adivay. The mascot stands 6 foot tall. Its headdress consists of assorted fruits while the body is that of a pineapple.//Mary Joy G. Maguide



Vegetable producers, input dealers, traders, and other support service providers in Benguet convened for a stakeholders’ consultation to validate the draft Value Chain Analysis (VCA) for Highland Vegetables on August 16, 2018 in Baguio City.

“As part of the VCA process, all concerned government agencies as support service providers including private sectors involved in the commodity flow should validate all the information incorporated in the commodity VCA,” said Susan D. Balanza, head of the I-PLAN component of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) Regional Project Coordination Office – CAR (RPCO-CAR).

The stakeholders’ consultation intended to ensure the reliability and consistency of data and other elements identified in the VCA.

“It is a venue where representatives from concerned government agencies and private sectors to agree or disagree and to add more of the functions and other relevant information in the VCA draft,” added Balanza.

Dr. Fernando R. Gonzales, hired consultant for the VCA, presented the draft VCA for highland vegetables. He discussed the overview of the vegetable industry, the nature and structure, the markets and market opportunities, the constraints and opportunities among others.

Accordingly, the commodities included in the VCA for highland vegetables are cabbage, chinese cabbage, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, garden pea/ sweet pea, bell pepper, lettuce and snap beans (pole).

As Dr. Gonzales presents the constraints and opportunities for highland vegetables, the participants including representatives from the Provincial Project Management and Implementing Unit (PPMIU) of Benguet reviewed the data presented and gave their comments and recommendations.

Upon the revision of the VCA draft incorporating the inputs from the stakeholders, the document will be submitted to the PRDP Project Support Office (PSO) for review and approval.

The value chain approach refers to the free range of activities required to bring a product through various stages of production, including physical transformation, inputs of various producer services, and response to consumer demand. It is said to determine the value created in a product or service which results from a determined set of value-adding processes and the participation of actors of the sector when carefully implemented.// Elvy Taquio (DA-PRDP RPCO-CAR InfoACE Unit)


RPCO-CAR I-PLAN Component Head Susan D. Balanza gives her input during the presentation of the draft VCA for Highland Vegetables in a Stakeholders’ consultation held on August 16, 2018.