Senator Cynthia Villar arrived in Bohol on Thursday for a quick visit to attend the celebration of the 5th Bohol Milk Festival at the Ubay Stock Farm in Ubay where she was guest of honor.
Villar who was welcomed by Governor Arthur Yap and Ubay Mayor Constantino Reyes led the launching of a school-based, milk-feeding program which was the festival’s main event and one of the initiatives being pushed by the senator nationwide in a bid to curb malnutrition among school children.
The milk-feeding program in the province is a project of the Department of Education (DepEd) in partnership with local dairy producers.
“I have been proposing and pursuing the use of locally-produced milk in the National School Feeding Program to help solve the malnutrition among school children and to provide livelihood to dairy farmers,” Villar said.
For his part, Yap said that the government aims to provide milk products to the 20,000 malnourished children in the province.
According to Yap, DepEd has the budget to purchase the milk supply but Bohol still needs to boost its production to meet the demand through artificial insemination and breeding of 2,000 heads of cattle and carabao.
“Pumayag na si Senator Cynthia Villar that we will impregnate these 2,000 by next year so that by 2021 we will have enough milk to supply,” he said.
Villar who was among senators who pushed for the allocation of budget for the Ubay Stock Farm said that Bohol has the capacity to be a nationwide leader in the dairy industry as the country pushes for growth in the sector to increase production and income for farmers.
“Bohol can lead the way in showing the rest of the country how to grow the milk industry for the benefit of everyone,” she said.
The Milk Festival is being held annually as part of Bohol’s efforts to maintain its unofficial title as the country’s “Dairy Capital.”
This year’s festival was themed “ Dobleng Ani, Dobleng Kita: Sa Panggatasan, Himsog nga Kabataan, Adlaw Adlaw nga Kinitaaan.”
It was organized by the provincial government, Philippine Carabao Center, DepEd and the National Dairy Authority. (R. Tutas)