Cebu officials took steps to avert possible huge losses in its livestock industry.
The municipal government of Barili mapped out to modernize its auction market as part of its master plan in the seven-hectare property in Barangay Mantalongon.
Barili Mayor Teresito Mariñas said the project will be funded via loan from Land Bank of Philippines.
The provincial government also pledged an initial Php 2.5 million financial aid to augment its budgetary requirements.
The upgrading of the facility will prevent the sale of livestock lower than its standard farmgate price.
Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Mary Rose Vincoy said, “This is beneficial to the farmers because once the facility is modernized, dili na jud mata-mata ang pagpalit (the sale of animals will not be based on estimates anymore).”
“There is an ideal layout or plan for livestock auction market based on guidelines, with desired equipment and flow. So by then magamit na jud na sa mga (this will be used by the) farmers with the right price sa ilang hayop (for their animals),” she said.
Vincoy said that the Department of Trade and Industry regulates the livestock prices with the influence of supply and demand.
In 2013, the average farmgate price for live cattle is Php 86.27 per kilo based on the reports of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.
In Barili, some high breed cattle are only sold for an estimate price of Php 71.00 per kilo, assuming that the live animal has a total weight of 350 kgs.
The Mantalongon facility is seen as the biggest auction market in the province.
Some its livestock farmers come from as far as the town of San Fernando and even from Santander in the southernmost tip of the province. A handful of wholesale buyers come from Negros Oriental and Leyte.
An average of 250 to 300 cattle heads are sold weekly at the site even in lean season, according to Jinky Pañares, revenue officer assigned in the facility.
The income generating facility of Mantalongon contributed to the town at least Php 300,000 in the form of permit fees weekly. The figures already covered the cash proceeds from other livestock like chicken, goats, and swine.
“We are the biggest livestock market in the province. We might as well improve the infrastructures there because that is one of our leading sources of income,” Mariñas said.
The plan also seeks to address the muddy section for the cattle and carabaos. There will be defined areas for small and large animals including fowls and swine.
He said they will also implement loading and unloading area and pay parking system. The facility will also be provided with clean water,rest rooms and food section.
Also part of the master plan are bus terminals and low cost housing units for its municipal employees. The municipality allocated Php 100,000 for the crafting of master plan, which is still ongoing.
Mariñas said they will showcase Mantalongon auction market as the “largest, the most modern and efficient livestock market in the entire province if not the entire Visayas.”
Since he assumed office in 2007, the last termer mayor said it is his dream to “leave behind a really lasting and enduring project nga dako og impact sa atong_ (that has a big impact to our) constituents.”