Sep 30, 2011

Cordillera: Landslides Caused By Typhoon Pedring Disrupt Local Business

All major roads have been partly or completely blocked due to landslides impeding vegetable farmers dependent on selling their goods from reaching markets.

Below is an article published by Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation:

The landslides caused by typhoon “Pedring” in the Cordillera region kept major roads partly blocked or completely closed to traffic, affecting the transport of highland agricultural products and causing an artificial shortage in vegetables at the trading post, here.

As of Thursday, some major roads in the different parts of the region, especially in Benguet, Mountain Province and Ifugao, remain closed to vehicular traffic thereby delaying the transport of agricultural crops from the farms to the market as well as the convenient travel of motorists to and from the different provinces in the region.

While some farmers were able to harvest their crops and sold them to Manila-based businessmen before the arrival of the typhoon, vegetable traders admitted the supply is not enough to cover the demand, thus, buying prices of vegetables have started to drastically increase while concerned agencies and local governments are trying their best to clear the intermittent landslides along major roads in the region.

Halsema Highway, the major aorta in the Cordillera, remains in a close-open situation because of the series of landslides along Km. 19 Ambassador, Tublay, Benguet; Km. 24 Atok, Benguet; Gonogon, Bontoc, Mountain Province among other road sections with small landslides.

Several units of heavy equipment of private contractors commissioned by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) are deployed in the different areas with landslides to facilitate clearing operations but the continuous heavy downpour triggered by the southwest monsoon continues to impede the swift clearing operations.

If vital roadlines in the region will continue to be closed in the next few days, especially when Typhoon "Quiel" hits the region, agriculture industry stakeholders predicted there will be an artificial shortage of highland vegetables.