AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel Piñol will lead the distribution of various projects and will hold dialogues with farmers and fisherfolk in Negros Occidental on September 28 and 29.
On Thursday morning, Piñol will be in Ilog town for a dialogue with at least 1,000 farmers in the southern portion of the province from La Castellana to Hinoba-an.
There will be a distribution of projects under the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
Before the event, the DA chief is expected to meet with provincial government officials headed by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. at the Nature's Village Resort in Talisay City.
Jenito Balairos, officer-in-charge of DA-Negros Occidental Field Office, Monday, September 25, said the same activity will also be conducted in Bago City on the afternoon of the same day.
He said it will also be attended by about 1,000 farmers and fisherfolk from the remaining cities and towns in the province.
“We urge farmers and fisherfolk to take the visit of the secretary as an opportunity to raise their concerns," Balairos said, adding that they also hope to get concrete answers and solutions to the problems hounding the local agriculture industry.
On Friday, Piñol will spearhead separate dialogues with sugar planters and millers, and workers in the province.
It will be handled by the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), Balairos said.
Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said among the concerns they wanted to raise with the Agriculture chief include the assurance that the SRA will stay.
President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier revealed his plan to abolish the “corruption-ridden” SRA and Road Board.
Speaking before the business executives in Cagayan de Oro City recently, Duterte said he would ask Congress to draft a measure that would abolish the two agencies.
"If personnel is the problem, it should not be the reason to abolish SRA," Lacson said.
The Provincial Government would also ask for assurance from Piñol that the province will continue to receive assistance especially for the farming and fishing sectors, he added.
The two-day visit of Piñol is part of the DA’s "Biyaheng Bukid."
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on September 26, 2017.
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