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PIA Press Release

Passi town optimistic on planned development

Iloilo City (19 October) -- Mayor Elyzer Chavez expressed optimism for the realization of the development endeavors that Passi City still need to uplift the lives of its people with the continued support of the national government.

Chavez expressed his gratitude to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for bringing development projects in his hometown during the President's visit in Passi City recently.

"The President remains very supportive and sensitive to the needs of our people, the farm to market roads funded under her administration, the presidential bridges are big help to our farmers in transporting their farm products from Passi to other provinces and islands made possible by the President's nautical highway project, and the on-going jathropa plantation project", said Chavez.

Chavez said with the jathropa plantation project, idle lands particularly in the far-flung barangays of the city became productive and the farmer-beneficiaries are provided a source of livelihood for their families.

In July 27 this year, Chavez and the Gemomua-Agahon Multi-Purpose Cooperative (GAMPCO) have signed an agreement with the Philippine National Oil Company-Alternative Fuels Corporation (PNAC-AFC) for a 800-hectare jathropa plantation in Passi City with a funding assistance of P14.6 million.

To date, 626 farmers and 8,253 farm hands have benefited from the project by preparing, cultivating and planting jathropa seedlings in some 607.66 hectares in the 19 barangays of the city.

Aside from livelihood and jobs, PNOC Board Director Jesry Palmares who briefed the President on the status of the project, stressed also the important contribution of jathropa in the government's program to tap alternative energy sources to lessen the country's dependence on imported oil products.

The briefing held in front of the city hall was attended by PNOC officials, Governor Niel Tupas, municipal and barangays officials and the farmer beneficiaries

Before the project brief, President Arroyo did an aerial inspection of the 607.66 hectares in 19 barangays planted to jathropa.

After signing Republic Act 9367 or the Biofuels Act of 2006 in January 2007, PNOC was directed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to spearhead the biofuels project in the country. (PIA) [top]

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