1st LGU-led agribiz trading post in CL to rise in ‘Onion Capital’

November 19, 2021 Steve A. Gosuico 228 views

BONGABON, Nueva Ecija – The construction of the multimillion-peso Agri-Business Trading Center & Livestock Auction Market, the first of such kind that was initiated by a local government unit (LGU) in Central Luzon, is expected to start soon following groundbreaking rites held here on Wednesday.

This town, which is dubbed as the country’s “Onion Capital,” is putting up the gargantuan P108-million project with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and through a long-term debt-financing program provided by the Land Bank of the Philippines.

Mayor Allan Xystus A. Gamilla said the project which targets to procure the vegetable and livestock produce of local farmers is a “long-cherished dream” of him since becoming mayor.

“Pinangarap ko ito para sa kababayan nating magsasaka, kung paano iangat ang kanilang kabuhayan. Gaya ng sinasabi ko, tayo na po, ang munisipyo na ang bibili ng lahat ng aning gulay at alagang livestock ng ating kababayang magsasaka,” said Gamilla, son of former three-term mayor Amelia ‘Beth’ Gamilla and the late former mayor Jaime ‘Jimmy’ Gamilla, who served here for 23 years.

The mayor said the proposed project is set to be put up in an 11-hectare vacant lot in Bgy. Curva here. He said he already envisioned to procure the said lot and he was lucky that he still managed to acquire it when he became the mayor.

On Wednesday’s groundbreaking rites here, Gamilla was assisted by Palayan City Mayor Rianne J. Cuevas, third district Rep. Ria V. Vergara, Sta. Rosa mayor Otep Angeles, board members EJ Joson and Jojo Matias, Vianne Cuevas and members of the town council led by vice mayor Hernan Andres.

Also joining them in the activity were Dr. William Medrano, Usec. for livestock-representative of DA Sec. William Dar; Dr. Ariel T. Cayanan, Usec. for operations and agri-fisheries mechanization; Crispulo G. Bautista Jr., DA regional executive director; and Ed Reyes of the Landbank Leasing and Finance Corp.

In her speech, Cuevas, the third district’s mayor’s association president, said she hopes that other LGUs will replicate Gamilla’s initiative. She congratulated him and the local government for venturing into such an ambitious project with the ultimate goal of uplifting the lives of the local farmers. She wished them success in their undertaking.

For her part, Vergara said that Gamilla, whom she describes as a “visionary,” need not worry about the project because Landbank will make sure that he succeeds. She said that she, Cuevas and the rest of her team will always be there to support and ensure that it reaches its ultimate conclusion.

Medrano said this trading post project is the first of such kind to be put up by an LGU in Central Luzon. He said it is in line with the commodity-supply-market value chain approach that the DA is implementing under its Philippine Rural Development Program.

“Ito po ang kailangan na kailangan po natin, iyung cooperation at support ng ating local government units doon sa mga proyekto ng national agencies, ang magtugma ang ating mga plano upang ang resources ng government ay hindi masasayang,” stressed Medrano.