Senator Juan Edgardo Angara urged local government officials to fight for the farmers or the trade deficit on importation will widen.
Angara and House Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano were in Bacolod City on Saturday for the Pasidungog sa Panguma, Pangisda kag Pangkasapatan, at the Panaad Park and Stadium that is one of the highlights of the weeklong 26th Panaad sa Negros Festival that ended yesterday.
The senator said local leaders, in general, should protect their industries and not just agriculture. “We’re getting used to importation. We need to change our approach,” he said.
“Importation hurts the farmers. We have many local producers, why don’t we help them? And now we will import, it’s very wrong,” he added.
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. called the farmers the “real heroes of today because they’re the ones who are producing our food.”
He said the programs of the provincial government on agriculture have already “take a off,” and, “We’re almost there in terms of rice sufficiently because of the produce of our outstanding farmers due to mechanization.”
“That goes to show that our farmers are efficient, properly motivated, and properly supported. I hope they will continue to work together for our progress and development in agriculture...The way to the future is agriculture,” the governor added.
The award recognizes and gives incentives to the outstanding farmers from the different cities and municipalities of Negros Occidental for their exemplary contributions to their community and fellow farmers. This was spearheaded by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.
The awardees for crops category are Marlo Galan of Binalbagan (Integrated Rice Farmer), Nenita Tayco of La Castellana (Corn Farmer), Mary Joy Dagang of La Castellana (Agripreneur), Felonel Alibo also of La Castellana (PWD Practicing Agriculture), Feliciano Ricablanca of San Carlos City (High-Value Crop-Vegetable);
Evelyn Celeste of Don Salvador Benedicto (High Value Crop–Fruit), Roberto Bantilan of Himamaylan (Mushroom Grower), MAFC E.B. Magalona, Newton Caminganwan Farmers Association of Bago City (Small Farmers Organization), Asosasyon sang Tumandok Bukidnon sa Barangay San Agustin;
Isabela (Indigenous Cultural Community), Pejida Family of La Castellana (Farm Family), Daug Small Water Irrigation System Association of Hinobaan, San Carlos City government (LGU Implementing Food Security Program), Mirasol Coste of Bago City (Agricultural Extension Worker).
For the fisheries category, the outstanding awardees are Evelio Lobrido of Bago City (Fisherfolk), Felicisimo Pajanconi of Hinigaran (Tilapia Fish Farmer), Aquino Diamante of Bago City (Bangus Fish Farmer), Mabolo-Lampunaya Fisherfolk Association of Pontevedra (Fisherfolk Organization), San Carlos Bantay Dagat Task Force, Manapla Bantay Dagat Task Force, Ruel Labajo and Family of San Carlos City (Family Engaged in Fishing).
For livestock individual category, the winners are Nerlynn Lim of Manapla (Animal Tourism Advocate), Happy Elaine Aguilar of Hinigaran (Backyard Egg Producer), Daniel Einosas of Kabankalan (Backyard Swine Raiser), Alessandro Lacson of Cadiz City (Dairy Animal Raiser), Hadjie Ruales of Moises Padilla (Duck Raiser);
Salvacion Salhay of Bago City (Free Range Chicken Raiser), Arnold Abante of San Carlos (Sheep Raiser), Nice Linnette Quiatchon of Valladolid (Livestock and Poultry Entrepreneur), Doronald Panabe of Candoni (Technician on Artificial Insemination–Large Animals);
Giovanni Ibañez of Kabankalan City (Technician on Artificial Insemination – Swine), Dr. Romeo Agraviador Jr. of San Carlos City (Small Animal Raiser Adapting Integrated Farming System), and Ricardo Patricio of La Castellana (Large Animal Raiser Adapting Integrated Farming System).
For the group category, awardees for livestock are Ritchie Balandra and Family of Sagay City (Family on Livestock Production), Laudato’s Poultry Broiler Farm of Murcia (Broiler Contract Grower), San Carlos LGU (LGU Partner on Animal Genetic Improvement), Cadiz City LGU (LGU Partner on Multiplier Farm Operations);
Isabela Hog Breeders Assn. (Association on Animal Genetics Improvement), San Enrique Paravet Assn. (Volunteer Organization on Animal Health Services), and Murcia Hog Raisers Assn (Most Cooperative Association on the Implementation of Negros First Animal Livelihood Program).
Outstanding women and youth are Ramie Araneta of Victorias City (Young Farmer), Ana Maria Braza of Bago City (Rural Women), Brgy. Kapitan Ramon Women Association of Silay City (Rural Improvement Club), Minnesota 4H Club of La Castellana (Young Farmer Organization), and Sheena Magapan of Salvador Benedicto (Single Mother Practicing Agriculture).
The Pagkaon scholars who graduated with honors were also honored. They are Julito Manlangit Jr., Camille Cahilig, Mirasol Jaranilla, Cheyen Belinas, Melissa Nieves, Theresa Pasicaran, and Nemuel Taloyo while Engr. Crispino Cepida Jr., who was the national awardee for Outstanding Seed Innovator, was also recognized.
Present at the activity were Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Board Member Victor Javellana, OPA head Japhet Masculino, and Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena.*
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