The provincial government of Bohol is seeking to forge a sisterhood pact with Hunan, China as part of efforts to boost agricultural development in the province.
This was announced by Governor Arthur Yap during the 250th founding anniversary celebration of Cortes town on Monday, a week after he visited Hunan to attend the Boao Forum for Asia board meeting with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
According to Yap, Bohol will benefit from sisterhood ties with Hunan, which is the “home of the hybrid rice program” of China.
Yap said that Bohol, like Hunan, should shift to the use of hybrid rice seeds that promise high yields. He also cited China’s strong water policies which have allowed the most populous country in the world to remain self-sufficient in terms of rice supply.
“Og magpabilin ta sa mga low-yield na binhi, wa tay paglauim sa agriculture, wa tay paglaum sa food security.”
“Ang importante is to have a very strong water policy then ayuhon nato ang pag-distribute sa mga hyrbrid seeds nato,” he said.
The governor said that Bohol can also benefit from Hunan’s rich cultural heritage, noting that the province should integrate its cultural developments with tourism programs.
“Hunan has a very deep cultural background ug karon mao pud na ang atong focus sa Bohol, ang pagpukaw sa kulturang Bol-anon na atong magamit sa atong tourism economy,” he added.
Hunan is a landlocked province in southern China with a population of around 70 million.
Yap said that Hunan ranks high in China’s happiness index due to the “contentment” of its populace.
According to Yap, Bohol could also partner with provinces that have strong heavy industries to boost infrastructure development in the province, particularly in Tagbilaran City.
“Daghan ta og mga dakong infrastructure works na kinahilanglan like for example downtown Tagbilaran is already heavily congested,” he said.
Governments often enter sisterhood pacts to share knowledge and strategies that could improve the socio-economic conditions of constituents and strengthen economic and trade relations between the two localities.
In the mid-2000s, Bohol sealed a sisterhood pact with Jiangxi, China.
Bohol is also engaged in a partnership with Palawan dubbed the Bohol-Palawan/Puerto Princesa Tourism and Environmental Programs and Development Policy Exchange. (RT)