The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), headed by its executive director Dr. Libertado Cruz, got a boost from Vice President Jejomar Binay as he recognized the agency as the leading R&D institution for livestock in the country.
The vice president lauded the carabao as truly the ally of farmers.
He underscored the significant role of the carabao as an important commodity in ushering in additional income for thousands of smallhold farming families in the countryside and in ensuring the eventual food security in the country.
“Hinog na ang panahong kailangang palakasin ang kabuhayang salig sa kalabaw sa mga kanayunan at bilang instrumentong tutulong sa pagsugpo ng kahirapan (The time has come to strengthen the dairy industry in the countryside and the carabao as an instrument to alleviate poverty),” VP Binay said.
The vice president was guest in a short “Ugnayan at Talakayan” program at the PCC headquarters in the Science City of Muñoz Thursday. Some 700 farmer-members of dairy cooperatives in Nueva Ecija attended the program.
He emphasized the importance of close cooperation and linkage between the farmers and the government agencies such as PCC to sustain development programs that can surely usher in progress in the lives of smallhold farmers.
If this can be done, he said, dairy farmers can rise from subsistence to becoming progressive carabao raisers and, eventually, big income-earners in carabao-based entrepreneurship.
“Sa pamamagitan ng tamang programa ng gobyerno at pakikilahok ng ating mga magsasaka rito, magkakaroon ng magandang bunga ang ating lokal na industriya ng gatas (Through the right government programs and our farmers’ cooperation, we can expect a progressive state of our local dairy industry),” Vice President Binay said.
He stressed his stand, and the government’s, on protecting the welfare of dairy farmers, among other frontline workers in the country’s economic backbone.
“Ang tingin ko sa kalabaw ay kaagapay ng ating mga magsasaka, katulad doon sa aking kinalakihan (I see the carabao as the ally of our farmers, just like where I grew up),” VP Binay said.
He hails from Isabela, which is one of the major agricultural producers in the country.
During the short program, VP Binay, together with Dr. Cruz, awarded certificates of entrustment of the 25-dairy buffalo module to selected dairy cooperatives in the National Impact Zone (NIZ), which is Nueva Ecija.
He further emphasized the many benefits that the carabao raisers can obtain from the venture. He even enumerated the salient features of major products from the carabao such as milk and meat.
VP Binay’s visit was also in time with a series of lectures organized by the PCC’s NIZ coordinating unit such as “ensuring quality in the milk supply chain” and “animal reproduction”. The farmer-participants were also given a briefing on the massive deworming against liverfluke and Hemosep vaccination.
VP Binay visited PCC with a small group that included Rep. Mitos Magsaysay of Zambales, Joey de Venecia of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) political party, and Atty. JV Bautista.
He later motored to Cabanatuan City where he was guest speaker at the graduation program of the Wesleyan University-Philippines.