Marañon: Negros has enough rice-A A +A
Saturday, February 23, 2013
GOVERNOR Alfredo Marañon Jr. said Friday that the Negros Occidental’s rice self-sufficiency campaign has included Western Visayas Region in the roster of Top 10 Palay-Producing Provinces in the Philippines.
Marañon, in “Ihayag 2013” forum, highlighted the gains of his 11-point “Negros First! Development Agenda,” particularly the steady rise of rice production in the last three years that led to the Agri-Pinoy Rice Achiever Award of the province by the Department of Agriculture (DA) last February 10, 2013 in Manila.
In 2010, Marañon told the non-government organization (NGO) leaders, farmers, fisherfolks, urban poor and other marginal groups, that under the Negros First Food Security Program, the province’s palay output reached 436,308 metric tons (MT), enough to make Negros Occidental No. 10 in rice production.
“The palay output further rose to 471,599 MTs in 2011 with the province securing the No. 9 spot in the Top 10, but we have a far more remarkable record in 2012 when the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist registered a 581,974.50 MTs or an increase by more than 23 percent,” the governor said in the same forum with Jay Jalandoni and Honey Grace Catalan as moderators.
“We have a successful rice self-sufficiency program that today we have a 97.43 percent rice sufficiency level. Testimonial to our success is the awards and citations received by our OPA headed by Engr. Igmedio Tabianan,” he said.
“We will continue our NEGROS FIRST! Agenda. It is our road map for the progress of Negros that seeks to balance our priorities in managing the environment and natural resources, economic development, good governance, reduction of poverty through livelihood programs, optimum health care and strong support to education,” Marañon replied when asked on his platform of government.
The Provincial Health Office, which runs 28 programs devolved by the Department of Health (DOH) to the province, serves two million out of the three million Negrense population; the Negros Occidental Comprehend Health Program covered 505,190 individuals, more than 30,000 of who availed of free medical and hospital services; the PSWDO assisted 400,000 marginal people, while the Negros First! Cyber Centre, which is expected to be completed by October this year, would be able to provide 6,000 to 12,000 employment opportunities in three years, he added.
When asked on the purchase of the controversial overpricing of sheep, Marañon said there was no overprice in the importation of Damara and Dorper sheep.
“The critic did not explain the incidental costs that come with the importation such as quarantine fees, storage rental, cost of freight, import duties, VAT and other taxes, medicines for the sheep, among others. All these expenses found in the Pro-Forma Invoice were presented to the Sanggunian. They saw the details of the Pro-Forma Invoice which they also adopted,” he said, adding that the rival camp is giving prices for lamb or tinday, while the province acquired adult and pregnant sheep.
“This is confusing the public,” he said. (TDE)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 23, 2013.