DA, local government open livestock ‘auction market’ in Aleosan, North Cotabato

ALEOSAN, North Cotabato —The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the local government unit have launched the “Livestock Oksyon” Market (LOM) here  in a bid for livestock farmers selling their animals to get a fair price.

Arnol  Esteban, a goat and hog raiser from Barangay Pagangan, said on Monday the DA project would mean a “fair market for all animal raisers in the province”.

“For so long, middle men or businesspeople come to our place, look at our animals and set the price,“ said Esteban, 45.

“Normally, they dictate the price and we could not do anything but agree for we need the money for our families,” he added.

Another hog raiser, Emilio Sta. Cruz, said the buying price of live hogs was too cheap, while the market price of fresh meat in the local market was almost doubled.

“We [earn little if you compare] the buying price of live hogs against the prices of fresh meat,” Sta. Cruz said.

“With the Livestock Oksyon  Market in place, our hard labor will bear good fruit,” he added. Oksyon is Filipino slang for “auction”.

A joint venture involving DA Region 12 and its attached agencies led to the establishment of LOM in Barangay New Panay, Aleosan, which was launched last Friday. This is one of the many LOMs the DA is putting up across the Soccsksargen region.

“This will improve the process in the auction of livestock,” Esteban said.

The LOM, through the local government unit, houses a digital weighing scale using the Philippine National Standard.

Aleosan Mayor Vicente Suropia lauded the DA and its partner agencies for the endeavor, describing it as a form of empowering livestock workers.

“LOM empowers both sellers and buyers to get the accurate and exact price and weight of the livestock,” Sorupia said.The LOM facility is worth P3.9 million.

Suropia said the old practice of mata mata system (buyer’s  price estimates) would be a thing of the past.

Supporting this project is North Cotabato Board Member Socrates Piñol, younger brother of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol.

The provincial official has recently organized livestock raisers in the province to help them find market in Metro Manila.

Socrates also proposed the establishment of data base for all available livestock products in the province and make use of social media in promoting livestock from
North Cotabato.

“Once the data is available on the Internet, buyers from Manila or elsewhere may get in touch with the local livestock raisers,” he said.