Sen. Cynthia Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, assured that bigger funds are coming to boost further performance of the livestock, poultry and dairy in the country.
“I have filed a bill whose enactment will see a big leap in the allocation of funds for these food sources in the country,” Villar said during the March 27 silver anniversary celebration of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) held at its national headquarters and genepool, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija.
Senator Villar served as guest of honor together with city Mayor of Manila Joseph Ejercito Estrada represented by his administrator Atty. Ericson Alcovendaz who delivered his greetings and message to the agency and the public.
She said there is too much bias in favor of rice, corn and coconut production which is about 40 percent of the Php 107 billion budget of the Department of Agriculture for 2018. Yet, the livestock, poultry and dairy industries contribute about 33 percent of the food being made available to the country’s needs.
“I will see to it that the ‘Livestock, Poultry and Dairy Development Law’ will be enacted this year,” Villar told the appreciative audience in attendance to the PCC anniversary celebration. “It will mandate the allocation of one-third of the DA’s budget for the livestock, poultry and dairy industries,” she added.
Villar said that 35% of the livestock and dairy industries are private-sector led and is already progressive. She said there is need to support the remaining 65% represented by backyard livestock, poultry and dairy farmers.
“I have approached them for the giving of more funds to support these industries, but all that I got were promises. So, I thought of filing of this bill which I will push for its passage,” Villar said.
She encouraged and challenged the PCC to continuously extend its programs and services, including its technical-know-how to the Filipino families engaged in carabao farming.
“Nakasalalay po sa inyo Philippine Carabao Center ang pag-asa ng mga batang pamilyang Filipino na makainom ng gatas upang sila’y maging matalino at mahusay at makapagdadala ng ating bansa sa mga susunod na henerasyon. Patuloy ninyong palaguin ang dairy industry at tulungan ang ating mga magsasaka sa agrikultura,” she said.
Villar also urged the involvement of smallholder dairy farmers in the various feeding and nutrition programs of the government.
A day before the anniversary celebration, PCC Executive Director Arnel del Barrio presented to the public the PCC-developed “Philippine Dairy Carabao” breed, which was a product of crossbreeding and continuous backcrossing which marked the towering achievement of the PCC in its genetic improvement program (GIP).
He said this breed, which is of 93.75% riverine blood is very much adapted to hot and humid weather conditions, is resilient to climate change, and higher in milk yield which would be very much profitable for dairy farmers.
Only a few countries in the world have produced their own breed of dairy buffaloes.
Also presented during are PCC’s new mascots “Kalaboy” and “Kalagirl”. They were earlier seen in the PCC motorcade and devotional thanksgiving on March 26.
Among the other sharing and inspiring activity-sessions held during the PCC month-long celebration included #Millenial Goals: Life Views & Unleashing Potentials in the Workplace, Silver Fun Run, Palarong Pinoy Sports Fest & Picnic party, Cheesecake and Sushi making, “Oh Yeah, On the Catwalk”, and “Say Grace” Social Etiquettes 101.
It also included the innovative session of “Launching of iREB Client Dashboard: A business tool for Carabao Family Business Owners.”
One of the invited pillars Dr. Libertado Cruz, former Executive Director of PCC, gave his appreciation to the long efforts of the agency.
Dr. del Barrio, on the other hand, received from TUV-SUV ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System and 14001 Environmental Management System certification which is an additional breakthrough of the agency.
This was followed by the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on training-related activities between PCC and Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).