Congressman Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito made a commitment to support the local dairy industry in whatever way he can if ever he gets a seat in the Senate come May 2013 national elections.
He made this promise in front of dairy buffalo farmers and cooperatives in Nueva Ecija which is the National Impact Zone of dairy carabao-based enterprise development in the PCC network.
The forum-dialogue with farmers was held last June 13 at the PCC training hall with some 200 dairy farmers and village-based artificial insemination technicians in the province in attendance.
The PCC organized the forum-dialogue in time for Cong. Ejercito’s visit to the facilities of the PCC national headquarters which included the National Gene Pool for superior dairy buffaloes and the R&D laboratories.
In his message, Cong. Ejercito expressed his gratitude to the Novo Ecijanos for their staunch support to his family, particularly to his father Joseph Ejercito Estrada’s political career.
He said if he will be given the chance to take a seat in the upper legislative house, he will pursue what his father advocated for agriculture during his term.
The former President was the 13th President of the Republic and the man behind the creation of the Philippine Carabao Act of 1992.
Cong. Ejercito further underscored in his message the importance of tourism and agriculture as major boosters of Philippine economy. These two areas, he said, needed more focus from the national government.
In terms of expanding the niche market for carabaos’ milk, Cong. Ejercito promised that he will look into the matter once he gets back to his office.
Dr. Libertado Cruz, PCC’s executive director, responded to this issue raised by a dairy cooperative’s chairperson saying that value-adding in the milk can make it a competitive commodity in the market.
This problem among dairy farmers has been partially addressed by the PCC through the establishment of a central milk processing plant where all the milk produce of primary dairy cooperatives, initially in Nueva Ecija, will be collected and processed based on set quality standards.
The other concerns of dairy farmers that were brought up to the knowledge of the congressman were generally on the kinds of support that he is willing to commit once he gets elected as Senator next year.
One of his commitments for now, he said, is to champion milk feeding. He intends to start this in San Juan, he said.
He gave the audience an assurance that their concerns will be of primal importance in the list of things that he will attend to once he gets to the upper chamber.
Cong. Ejercito’s first leg of visit to Nueva Ecija was in Cabanatuan City where he had a dialogue with personalities in the academe on fund allocation for education.
The congressman is known for his strong advocacy for education.
He and his contingent flew back to Manila in a private chopper shortly after a conference with local mediamen.