BILAR, Bohol, Philippines — Cabinet Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Badilla Evasco yesterday said that the theme of the first “Pangani” (Harvest) festival in this town is just appropriate in these times of chemical-laced farm produce.
“Green Economy Thru Sustainable Farming” is this year’s theme of Pangani launched yesterday by collective effort of this town led by Mayor Norman “Tata” Palacio, Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite, Bohol Island State University (BISU) led by its officer-in-charge president Diosdado Avergonzado and BISU Bilar campus director professor Jose Travero.
Officials launched the five-day festival with different activities, including the culmination program coinciding with the 105th year celebration of the school, formerly the Bohol Agricultural College based here.
Evasco said that the theme is a reminder for all people, particularly the students, on the potential of green economy as a sustainable farming technique.
The school has just declared itself as the Organic University of the Province as announced by the emcees during the program.
Evasco, in his speech, cited as example his pet project, the Maribojoc organic farming. He said he established the farm in his hometown when he was the mayor. He said the farm grows livestock, such as chicken, hogs, goats and cattle, all fed by organically grown forages.
The farm is now becoming a tourist destination in itself. It is being visited by technicians and farmers from afar as being the pilot project in organic agriculture. Workers like women belonging to people’s organizations are being trained in food handling.
He told the audience that the country should prepare for the entry of products from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
It was learned that ASEAN dignitaries and senior officials are coming to Bohol to hold a series of gatherings for several days sometime next month.
Evasco hinted that the country, a signatory-member of ASEAN, may not be that prepared once the ASEAN integration takes effect in June this year. Once the integration is in full force, agricultural produce from other ASEAN members may enter the local Philippine market and possibly be less expensive than the country’s products.
He explained that the country’s farm produce are without government support, thus, expensive, unlike other countries under ASEAN. (FREEMAN)