Go bats for more agri support

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Bong Go tries a boiled banana at the celebration of the 18th Charter Day of Valencia, Bukidnon and the town's Golden Harvest Festival on Saturday, 12 January 2019. (Facebook grab)

VALENCIA CITY, Bukidnon – Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Saturday stressed the need for more government support to the country’s agriculture sector.

Speaking as guest of honor at the culminating rites for the Golden Harvest Festival and 18th Charter Day celebration of the City of Valencia, Go said that if elected to the Senate he will push for programs to boost agricultural productivity and uplift the lives of farmers and fishermen.

City Mayor Azucena Huervas said the Golden Harvest Festival is Valencia’s thanksgiving celebration of bountiful harvest and highlights the city‘s Charter Day after it became a component city of the province of Bukidnon with the ratification of Republic Act No. 8985 on 12 January 2001.

After greeting them on their Charter Day celebration and festival, Go vowed he would seek to improve the government’s program for cheaper farm inputs, such as fertilizers, seeds, irrigation, better access to low-interest credits, farm machineries, and irrigation, among others.

Bong Go speaks at the Golden Harvest Festival in Valencia, Bukidnon. (Contributed photo)

“Tututukan ko po ang agriculture,” he told the people of Bukidnon that has earned reputation as the country’s major producer of rice, corn, sugar, banana, coffee, rubber, cassava, pineapple, tomato and other fruits and vegetables, as well as a major producer of chicken, hogs, and cattle.

“Ako ang inyong magiging tulay kay Pangulong Duterte. Una gusto kong pagsilbihan ang kapwa ko mga Pilipino. Ikalawa, susuportahan ko ang mga polisiya at programa ni Pangulong Duterte,” Go added.

In earlier interviews, Go said that as part of his program for agriculture and food security, he would work with DA for the establishment of TienDA Malasakit Stores nationwide.

Initiated by the Department of Agriculture in 2018 in selected areas, TienDA Malasakit Stores allow farmers and fishermen to sell their produce or catch directly to consumers, bypassing middlemen and resulting in lower price of goods.

“Sa TienDa Malasakit Stores, maibibigay din natin ang suportang kailangan ng ating mga kababayang magsasaka at mangingisda upang mapanatili ang kanilang pangkabuhayan at makatamasa ng mas maginhawang buhay,” Go said.

Go told the people of Valencia that health service delivery is also among his top legislative agenda, including the passage of a law that would mandate the establishment of Malasakit Centers in all provinces and urban centers of the country.

A Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop bringing together in one room all concerned government agencies such as the DOH, DSWD, PAGCOR, PCSO and Philhealth to provide indigent patients faster and easier access to medical and financial assistance from the government.

According to Go, government plans to put up a Malasakit Center in Bukidnon soon. The nearest center is located in Cagayan de Oro City.

Go said he will seek better funding for public hospitals to improve their bed capacities, noting that many patients in government hospitals now are forced to share beds with other patients or even forced to stay in corridors.

In addition, Go said he will push for the salary increase for teachers.

“Sinabi na po ni Pangulong Duterte na pagkatapos ng inyong Salary Standardization sa 2019, dahan-dahan itataas na ang inyong sweldo. Inuna lang po yung pulis at military pero kasunod na kayo,” he said.

Go said he will seek the establishment of a sports and development center in every city and municipality, the implementation of localized peace talks, and the passage of the Magna Carta for barangay officials that would provide them with improved compensation package as well as the extension of the term of current brgy officials to four years.

Bukidnon is set to benefit from the from the big-ticket infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” project of the Duterte administration, that would further spur development of the province and nearby areas.

Among these projects include the Northern Mindanao Wellness and Rehabilitation Center, the Bukidnon Airport Development Project, the Bukidnon Hydropower Plant, and the Agrarian Reform Connectivity and Economic Support Services Project.

p: wjg

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