In line with the continuing support towards food safety and security, the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) and the City Government of Baguio awarded two (2) units of freezer vans and four (4) units of chest freezers worth Php4,513,600.00 in total to the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) and the city market vendors today, November 14, during the City’s Flag Raising Ceremony.
DA-CAR Regional Executive Director Cameron P. Odsey and City Mayor Hon. Benjamin B. Magalong led the turnover of marketing interventions together with DA-CAR Regulatory Division Chief Ruben Dulagan, Agricultural Programs Coordination Officer for Baguio Dr. Meriam P. Micklay, and City Veterinarian Dr. Silardo Bested.
The chest freezers were awarded to Ms. Damaris Gismusdo, Ms. Evelyn Verceles, Ms. Beverly Balangay, and the Cordillera Agriculturists Multi-purpose Cooperative located in Guisad, Baguio City. Meanwhile, the freezer vans were turned over to the CVAO as logistics support for the transport of agricultural products such as meat products including fruits and vegetables to intended markets.
CVAO Senior Agriculturist Ms. Marcelina Tabelin said that the provision of chest freezers is beneficial in levelling-up the marketing of chilled/frozen meats and meat products, particularly in ensuring the safe distribution of such products throughout the marketing phase. Moreover, the wide distribution of these products in the wet markets is among the solutions to ensuring food availability and price stability of chilled/frozen meats and meat products considering the reduction of pork meat supply due to the continuing presence of African Swine Fever in the country since July 2019.
These interventions are covered by the KADIWA Cold Chain Project for chilled/frozen meats which aims to provide cold chain equipment for meat vendors/retailers in the public wet markets and other market outlets. Specifically, the Project will assist the City in improving the quality of frozen meat being sold and distributed in the local markets in line with the city’s existing code on food safety wherein imported frozen meats and meat products may be sold only in wet markets that have proper refrigeration systems.
The KADIWA Project is being implemented by the DA through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in partnership with the City of Baguio. The BAI has allocated Php6, 028,000 to the latter purposely for procuring 52 pcs of top chest freezers and two (2) units of freezer vans for the local public markets and for meat transport, respectively. Last June 2022, various top chest freezers were awarded to the city market vendors/retailers.//JBAgrifino