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Small farmers pick Grupo Progreso

The Bacolod Small Farmers Federation led by its president, Judy Inson Sr., officially endorsed the re-election bids of Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran in a program held at the Barangay Alangilan Gym Saturday.

“We are endorsing Grupo Progreso, especially Mayor Bing, for his continued support in giving financial assistance and attention to small farmers like us,” Inson said.

The BSFF president recalled that they once approached Leonardia to clear the road in the barangay and immediately acted on their appeal.

“I can still remember when he was just starting out as mayor. We were having some hard time to access the road because it was closed. Without any hesitation, Mayor Bing immediately deployed a demolition team to clear the way for us,” Inson said.

Their endorsement, he continued, is a sign of the organization’s “gratitude” for what the Leonardia administration has done for them.

BSFF vice president Renaldo Ramirez said the program is to encourage farmers to “seed their own land and stop making their functional spaces as aid in creating a diverse community of collaborative innovators looking to scale their business together.”

“We cannot develop and progress because we are still under the control of these middlemen who dictate the price they prefer for our crops,” explained Ramirez, who is also the president of the Kasamahan ng mga Magsasaka in Barangay Alangilan.

Ramirez also echoed the statement of Inson, saying that their endorsement of Leonardia was because of his continued commitment to improve the plight of farmers through the city’s financial aid to their farming needs.

“Mayor Bing truly cares for us. The fund helped us to stop relying on third-party investors. This is a very big relief especially for small farmers like us,” Ramirez added.

The BSFF is composed of nine chairmen and a total of 645 members from different farmers’ associations Barangay Alangilan.

The organization also expressed their full support to Grupo Progreso’s 12-man slate for the City Council.

“We execute this manifesto of support in firm belief that it is only by their experience, leadership skills, competence and strong camaraderie that the development of our beloved city can continue,” the manifesto, signed by the nine association presidents, said.

Leonardia thanked the federation for its support not only for his re-election bid, but for his administration.

“It is both an honor and a privilege to be endorsed by you. Your words are a gift to us all,” Leonardia said.

He also acknowledged the efforts of Barangay Captain Degie Tanista, Sr. for developing Alangilan as a premiere tourist destination.

“We should appreciate his efforts. Alangilan is a special place in Bacolod. I can still remember that I made my first public speech here in your barangay,” Leonardia said.

The  nine association president-signatories were Alfreda Quilaton of Benny’s Bandito Small Farmers Association; Noberto Palma of Cabutongan Corp. Beneficiaries Association; Rosemarie Andrade of Alangilan Livestock Farmers Associatiion; Reynaldo Ramirez of Kasamahan ng Magsasaka; Analisa Remos of Purok 12-A Las Atlas Farmers Association of Farmers Village;  Hernani Aguila of Alangilan Livestock and Vegetable Farmers Association; Efren Malunes of Purok 18 Small Farmers Association; Judy Jinson of Alangilan Small Farmers Association Purok 26 and Adiangawan Small Farmers Association, and Ludy Rivera of Association of Small Farmers in Purok Ilaya, Inc.

Joining the mayor were Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, executive assistant Ernie Pineda and the Grupo Progreso slate.*

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