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Strawberry Festival In La Trinidad, Benguet Cancelled Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases

STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL – Romeo Salda, mayor of La Trinidad, Benguet, has announced that the Strawberry Festival there has been cancelled.

RED BERRIES Strawberries abound the public market of Baguio City, selling for as low as P75 a kilogram. The fruits are mostly grown in La Trinidad, the capital of Benguet province, which is forced to cancel its Strawberry Festival in March due to the pandemic. —EV ESPIRITU | Image from: Inquirer

This is amid the growing cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the province, the mayor added. The annual event is held every March since 1981, according to a report from Inquirer.

There are 53 new infections as of Monday, among them were most from La Trinidad and the province’s mining district, according to records from the provincial health office.

Overall in Benhuet, there are 3,761 cases since March last year, among them were 500 active cases.

Known as the Strawberry Capital of the Philippines, La Trinidad is home to strawberry farms where tourists could pick ripe strawberries.

However, the fields are closed to visitors due to safety protocols, among them include the ban on leisure travel.

About 700 strawberry farms in the area are mostly in the villages of Betag, Balili, Poblacion, Tawang, Puguis, Pico and Wangal, based on the report.

More than 1,000 metric tons of strawberries were produced in 49 hectares of the farms.

Salda also postponed the event last year due to the Luzon-wide lockdown from March to May, as well as quarantine. In the past years, local strawberry growers would display their harvests and participate for acquiring the title of heaviest and sweetest berries.

The provincial government has lost almost P100 million in potential revenue due to the closure of tourism-related activities.

What do you think of this report? How will you react to this? Let us know more about it in the comments below.

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