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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Moreno cites Guimaras’ food sufficiency

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Manila Mayor and presidential aspirant Isko Moreno Domagoso on Wednesday said the island province of Guimaras could serve as a template for food sufficiency which could be replicated in other provinces of the country.

AKSYON DEMOKRATIKO IN BACOLOD CITY. Manila Mayor and presidential candidate Isko Moreno Domagoso and his running mate Doc Willie Ong, along with the party’s senatorial slate call on Bacolod City Mayor Bing Leonardia before hitting the campaign trail. Norman Cruz

Moreno, standard-bearer of Aksyon Demokratiko, barnstormed Guimaras where he and his teammates were warmly welcomed by Gov. Samuel Gumarin and other local officials of the island province known for its export-quality mangoes.

“One story that the Governor and I talked about earlier, it is funny that an island like Guimaras still sends food out of the island. So, it means that Guimaras is a good model for food sufficiency. They produce their own rice, in fact even more.

They reserve for the summer and then send to Iloilo,” Moreno told reporters in an interview.“So, that’s one food basket. Then, proper zoning. They have an ecozone, gateway zone, food basket zone, and tourism zone. That’s what Gov. told me earlier. Then they produce their own electricity through renewable energy and they can sustain their utility,” the 47-year-old presidential candidate said.

Guimaras is well known for its agricultural crops, particularly mangoes, where some 50,000 of these trees are planted.

Guimaras Island is famous for producing some of the sweetest mangoes in the world thus earning the nickname“Mango Capital of the Philippines” from local and foreign tourists.

“There are two good high-value crops-cashew and mango. In fact, there is a joke here that a foreigner ate Guimaras mangoes but they were not peeled because the skin was sweet,” Moreno said.

“So, imagine a country can be proud of a particular product throughout the world, I mean the world wants, the world will love. So, these are the things that the government should focus on.

But it’s the other way around. Make him a good example because we know 7,100 islands, we are an archipelago country. So, if Guimaras can do it, I think it can be duplicated in other islands,” he added.

Moreno pointed out that with the people in Guimaras enjoying a quiet and comfortable life, they have every reason to always wear a beautiful smile.

“Food sufficiency, high-value crop, sustainable energy, then I saw good schools here as well. So really, it looks like you can see the people here in Guimaras seem happy,” Moreno said.

Agriculture is one of the main pillars of Moreno’s 10-point Bilis Kilos Economic Agenda, which will be his administration’s roadmap that will accelerate human and economic growth under his administration. With Guimaras Island being a favored destination by both foreign and domestic tourists due to its picturesque beaches, waterfalls and springs, the Manila city mayor stressed that an “Isko Moreno presidency” will prioritize the tourism and transportation industries
to be able to provide more jobs to the people.

If he becomes president, Moreno maintained he will never resort to lockdowns whenever there is a surge in Covid-19 cases because that will only make people’s lives miserable.

Moreno also said building a national fiber-optic infrastructure to boost the country’s communication capability such as internet and cellular telephone will be a priority under his term. Citing the Philippines’ archipelagic geography, he said a stable and reliable internet connection is crucial to education, economic growth, and information dissemination during calamities.

Moreno said he wants to see the project continuity and completion of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Bridges (PGNB), the 32-km mega bridge project connecting Panay, Guimaras, and Negros, which aims to allow easier access and convenient transportation between the three islands.

“Anything that will develop, connect our islands not only for Guimaras and Iloilo maybe other islands also as I have said with Bohol, Mactan, or Lapu-Lapu to Cebu. There are as many islands as possible because Macao, Hong Kong with high current of the Macao-Hong Kong sea is very high, they built the bridge it in what? Less than 5 years. That’s about, I don’t know, 20 plus kilometers in the middle of the ocean. So, maybe so too,” Moreno said.

After barnstorming the provinces of Aklan and Capiz on Tuesday, Moreno and the rest of Team Aksyon Demokratiko traveled to Guimaras where he paid a courtesy call to Governor Samuel Gumarin.

Team Isko then attended a town hall meeting at the San Miguel Capitol Gymnasium where thousands of residents of Jordan, the capital of Guimaras, excitedly waited for a chance to see the Aksyon Demokratiko presidential candidate in person. With Moreno were his running mate Dr. Willie Ong, senatorial bets Carl Balita, Samira Gutoc and Jopet
Sison, guest candidate John Castriciones of PDP-Laban and Mothers for Change party-list first nominee Mocha Uson.

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