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PIA Press Release
2009/02/25

Agri-tourism base shields Western Visayas from alarming effect of global economic crunch

Iloilo (25 February) -- The Western Visayas region having an agricultural and tourism base is not yet feeling the alarming effect of unemployment and economic crunch, said Presidential Assistant Raul Banias in a radio interview recently.

Banias said that as of this time, except for a few engaged in exports, like the producers' associations, the effect of global economic crunch is not strongly felt among those in the agriculture and tourism industry in the region.

He said this is so because the Arroyo government has instituted proactive measures to mobilize agencies, highlighting projects that enhance agri-based economy and tourism.

Banias said the Regional Development Council (RDC) had immediately resolved to put in place the government's counter-measures through the Comprehensive Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP).

In the countrysides, Banias said, local employment is generated through on-going farm-to-market road, irrigation repair and infrastructure projects.

"These activities are supported by entrepreneurship training, which are linked to financial institutions for assistance," Banias added.

As to job fairs, which are also meant to cushion unemployment especially with the hundreds of graduates joining the labor force this March, Banias said he would recommend to proponent agencies for harmonized efforts in the conduct of these activities so that the job market

Banias, on the other hand, also said that this early, foreign and domestic tourists are beginning to pour into Western Visayas, an indication that the region will somehow weather the economic slowdown. (ESS/PIA 6) [top]

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