BILAR.-Â Cabinet Secretary Leoncio â€œJunâ€ Badilla Evasco yesterday said that the theme of the first â€œPanganiâ€ (Harvest) festival in this town is just appropriate in these times of chemical-laced farm produce.
Â â€œGreen Economy Thru Sustainable Farming is this yearâ€™s theme of â€œPanganiâ€ festival launched yesterday by collective effort of this town led by Mayor Norman â€œTataâ€ Palacio, Vice-Gov. Atty. Dionisio D. Balite, Bohol Island State University (BISU) led by its officer-in-charge president Diosdado Avergonzado and BISU Bilar campus director professor Jose Travero.
Â The five-day festival with different activities were being launched, including the culmination program coincided with the 105thÂ year celebration of the school, formerly the Bohol Agricultural College based here.
Â Evasco said that the theme is a reminder for all of us, particularly the students who jampacked the covered court here, saying that green economy means taking care of farming and environment and sustainable farming for the next generation.
Â The school has just declared itself as the organic university of the province as announced by the emcees during the program.
Â With this, Evasco cited as example his pet project the Maribojoc organic farming. He said he established the said 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.
Â 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 peopleâ€™s organization are being trained in food handling for the visitors and trainees.
Â He told the audience that the country should prepare for the entry of products from Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN.
Â 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.
Â Evasco hinted that the country, a signatory-member of ASEAN, may not be that prepared once the ASEAN takes effect on June this year. Once this happens, agricultural produce from other ASEAN members are coming in that might be less expensive than the countryâ€™s products.
Â He explained that the countryâ€™s farm produce are without government support, thus, expensive, unlike other countries under ASEAN which pitch support for their agriculture. Filipinos may buy products from ASEAN, offering lower prices of farm products by way of what they have in their pockets but not being patriotic.Â (rvo)