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PIA Press Release

DA Sec. Yap sows jobs for Bohol aggie sector

by Rey Anthony Chiu

Tagbilaran City (25 February) -- An adopted Boholano has recently committed to start agriculture related jobs in Bohol as part of the one-eighth share in the national commitment to generate one million jobs to insulate the poor against a zapping global economic meltdown.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, a Boholano by affinity pledged this in his capacity Cabinet as steward in charge of livelihood and emergency employment projects.

He said "these jobs not only benefit the rural workers but also recoup the country's agriculture through increased food production, cut production loses and honed small farmers' and fishers' competitiveness, over a press material from his agency.

In Bohol, local sources here speculate that the agriculture department would immediately fund the rehabilitation of irrigation facilities and the farm to market roads development.

The speculation came after Governor Erico Aumentado has formally asked Bohol mayors to help facilitate the acquisition of road right of ways for the upgrading of Malinao Dam in Pilar.

The governor told the mayors during the recent meeting in Batuan about the proposal to extend 5 meters to the dam in preparation to Bohol Irrigation Projects III (BHIP 3) to be funded by Korean Government.

Earleir, Sec. Yap, who coordinates for President Arroyo's Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) in Northern Luzon and Bohol has initially said that more than half of the total length of the country's farm to market roads would be built in Central Philippines and the Mindanao Super Region, where major food production sites are located.

On this, 567.60 kilometers of FMRs in Central Philippines are expected to benefit 56,760 farmers and create 14,190 new jobs.

These developments however have raised blips among political observers' radars while not ignoring Yap's visible presence and multi-million projects in fish ports, organic fertilizers and farm sector development researches in Bohol.

The report has also floated talks that Yap's frontloading of the agency's programmed spending could hand easily hand him the silver platter of a congressional seat.

When asked for commitments at jobs summit in Malacanang, Sec. Yap, who was named special steward in Bohol and Cagayan Valley has pledged immediate accomplishment of 80,000 jobs for DA.

Such jobs include cultivation of organic fertilizer in Ilocos; construction of flatbed dryers, irrigation projects and agro-forestry projects in Cagayan Valley, organic fertilizers production and vegetable planting programs in the Cordillera Administrative Region, livestock production and irrigation construction in Central Luzon.

The Aggie department wants to create an initial 131,000 new jobs in the agriculture and fisheries sector this year under the Arroyo administration's emergency employment package. This forms part of the P330-billion economic stimulus program designed to insulate Filipinos from the adverse effects of the worsening global financial meltdown.

Of this, DA wants to generate 81,134 jobs in the repair and rehabilitation of irrigation facilities nationwide and another 10,400 under its organic fertilizer production program.

36,500 jobs come form the construction of farm to market roads and another 3,645 from dispersal programs, newspaper reports quoted Yap. (PIA) [top]

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