GOVERNOR Amado I. Espino III led the memorandum of agreement signing and turn-over of two curing barns in Sitio Silsilay, Sto. Domingo in San Manuel and Barangay Poblacion in Balungao on January 28.
In his message, Gov. Espino expressed his firm resolve to assist farmers, particularly tobacco farmers, in Pangasinan.
“Ito ang mga bagay na inisip natin na hindi lang po para makatulong sa tobacco farmers kung hindi, pati na rin sa ating mga palay farmers. Ang mga bagay po na ito ay ibinabalik lang po natin sa inyo dahil pera niyo naman po ito,” said Governor Espino.
The provincial chief executive also shared the future plans of the Provincial Government for the agricultural sector in the province.
Gov. Espino stated, “Nakabili na po kami ng lupa sa Mabini, Sta. Barbara at San Quintin. Iyong tatlo pong ‘yon ay may gilingan ng bigas, ‘yong bibilhin po naming mga palay sa inyo ay gigilingin po namin ‘yon, kami po ang magpapautang ng bigas sa inyo,”
The construction of the curing barns is a part of the Provincial Government of Pangasinan’s support to local tobacco farmers and the farming industry in improving the quality of tobacco produce in the province.
Earlier this year, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved Resolutions No. 2013-2021 and 2014-2021 which authorized Governor Espino to enter into Memorandum of Agreement with the Local Governments of Balungao and San Manuel, respectively, for the construction of curing barns.
The two curing barns, worth P10,000,000 are funded from the P27,655,395 Tobacco Excise Tax in CY 2016. Other projects of the provincial government which utilized the Tobacco Excise Tax included the distributed hand tractors and water pumps.
“Ito ay part ng CY 2016 Excise Tax na P27-milyon. Mayroon tayong 87 units ng hand tractors at 57 units ng water pumps na naibigay na sa ating mga tobacco farmers,” said Provincial Agriculturist Dalisay Moya.
Moya also bared that the curing barns will not only benefit tobacco farmers in the two municipalities, but the curing barns can also be utilized by other farmers for various agricultural projects and programs.
“Ito ay para sa ating mga tobacco farmers in the entire municipality of San Manuel and Balungao. Pero hindi lang tobacco farms ang makikinabang dito, pati na rin ang iba pang agricultural sector tulad ng mga nagtatanim ng palay at mais, rural-based organizations, and even the municipal agriculture offices,” Moya said.
Local government chief executives thanked the Provincial Government of Pangasinan and Governor Espino for the curing barns that will benefit their local farmers.
“Kami po sa munisipyo ng San Manuel ay nagpapasalamat sa ating Gobernador na talagang unang tumutulong sa ating mga kababayan na magsasaka. Itong curing barn na project ng ating probinsya ay napakalaking tulong lalong-lalo na sa ating mga magsasaka,” said San Manuel Mayor Kenneth Marco Perez.
Balungao Mayor Maria Theresa Peralta also stated; “I’d like to thank Governor Espino for all the projects and programs (in Balungao). Siguro kaya tayo ang napipili dahil napaka diligent ng mga tao dito sa Balungao.”
Joining Governor Espino and OPAg Chief Moya in the two programs were 6th District Board Members Noel Bince and Salvador Perez Jr., and Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Nestor Batalla.
The MOA Signing and ceremonial turn-over in San Manuel was also attended by Vice Mayor Alain Jerico Perez, and former San Manuel Mayor Salvador Perez Sr., who is also the lot-owner where the curing barn is situated. Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Philipp Peralta joined the program in Balungao.
Farmer beneficiaries also expressed their gratitude towards the provincial government for the granted curing barn.
“Mahalaga ito sa aming mga farmers kasi dito naming mailalagay ang aming mga produktong tobacco. Pwede rin itong gawing pagpatuyuan ng tobacco para mas maganda ang quality ng tobacco,” said Ms. Rolyn de Fiesta, one of the beneficiaries.
The provincial agriculturist assured that more projects for the agricultural sector in the province are underway to benefit more Pangasinenses.
“Nag-eexpand tayo despite the pandemic kasi kailangang kumita ng lahat. Tinitignan po ito ni Governor Espino tulad ng sa Abig Pangasinan Karaban, pamimili ng provincial government ng palay sa small farmers, irrigation projects, post-harvest development projects, at technology transfer,” said Moya. /Paula Jhea Sison
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