Southern Leyte LGUs avail of DA-funded Bagsakan outlets
By Bong Pedalino
Southern Leyte (7 October) -- At least four local government units (LGUs) from this province, including the city of Maasin, had opened their respective Barangay Bagsakan, a designated market place in a village where farmers can directly sell their produce at a competitive price, and consumers can buy various farm products at lesser costs.
In a related development, three LGUs from Panaon Island -- San Ricardo, Pintuyan, and San Francisco -- were able to access a muncipal-wide Bagsakan Center, according to Marina Gardor, the Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Provincial Agriculturist.
In a phone interview with PIA this morning, Gador said her office launched a Barangay Bagsakan in Hinundayan yesterday, October 6, together with municipal officials led by Mayor Evelyn Lee, and attended by provincial Board Member Dr. Roberto Lagumbay in behalf of Gov. Damian Mercado.
The first Barangay Bagsakan in the province was in Maasin City, which opened and became operational since last year. The others were in Libagon and Limasawa, said Gador.
Maasin City can qualify for a Bagsakan Center, but this was deferred for lack of proper venue and structure, she added. It was learned that the city's Barangay Bagsakan was housed in the LGU-owned building at the port area when it opened last year, but this was moved to the terminal area when GSIS transferred to the said port building.
Gador said the Barangay Bagsakan has a corresponding funding for its operational existence given by the central office of the Department of Agriculture, through the Regional DA office, in the amount of over P 240,000.00, where the LGU concerned would take care of the personnel complement for management and site as the counterpart.
The allocation for a Bagsakan Center -- to differentiate it from the Barangay Bagsakan, aside from its much wider scope -- was P 1 Million, Gador disclosed.
The three Panaon island towns which had availed of the Bagsakan Center project had already received their initial capital of P 500,000.00 each, except San Ricardo, which is still in the process of completing the needed paperworks, Gador said.
But whether big or small in coverage and scope, the basic concept of a bagsakan as envisioned by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been to put nutritious food on the table of every family, while at the same time provide a secure market for the harvested crops of local farmers and vegetable growers, Gador explained.
The capital outlay for a Bagsakan, be it a Barangay or a Center, required that farmers/sellers be paid directly in cash by management, mostly designated Agriculture office employees, and that some assets be bought like a weighing scale and thresher, among others.
Gador said that during yesterday's Barangay Bagsakan launching in Hinundayan, which was also attended by personnel from DA Regional and Central Office, a farmer asked if he would have a surplus of produce, in which case Board Member Lagumbay relayed the pledge of Gov. Mercado to provide free transport so the excess output can be brought to other areas of the province. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]