(an update on the previous blog post re: Licab being eyed as the Fruit Basket of Nueva Ecija)
NE to launch ‘Fruit Basket’ project
Magtanggol C. Vilar
for CENTRAL LUZON DAILY
The 11 barangays of this 4th-class municipality are girding for the launching of the town’s ambitious project, “Fruit Basket of Nueva Ecija.”
The project launching has been set to coincide with the celebration of the town’s 115th Foundation Day on March 28, with a lecture and seminar on fruit tree production with mango and pomelo as the principal products for promotion and propagation in the 11 barangays here.
The project, said Mayor Willy Domingo, is intended to establish for this town a continuing fruit tree industry and permanent means of livelihood for the residents. The affair hopes to have Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap as the main guest and speaker so he could gauge the needs, hopes, visions, and aspirations of a small town aiming to grow big and looked up to as a solution to the mounting food problems of the country.
The underlying principle behind it all, Domingo said, is that he wants to erase the image of this town as a former “killing fields” during its political heydays. “Those dark days are past. I want my town to be remembered for something productive, fruitful,” he added.
Another highlight of the affair is a lecture/seminar on the proper propagation and culture of seedlings of fruit trees as mango, pomelo, citrus such as calamansi and oranges, rambutan, durian to be undertaken by Dr. Bernardo O. Dizon, more popularly known as “Ka Bernie” to fruit tree fanciers. There will also be ilang-ilang trees to line up the road leading to the town.
Licab gained 4th-class category in the past year during the administration of Domingo, who said the secret for this achievement was simple implementation of the revenue collection efforts which all reverted to the town coffers. He added that the increased revenues were used in supporting the various livelihood projects of the town which consequently produced a domino-effect with the projects earning incomes beyond their expectation.
According to Domingo, the various livelihood projects he had lined up for implementation within his term of office until July 2010, and their visible effects on the economy have served to attract local investments and citizen participation.
The project, the first of its kind in the province, is also intended to serve as a tourism come-on and serve as an eco-tourism destination. With the income to be derived from the above projects, Domingo expects to raise the category of his town to “First Class” within the next three years, when the expected fruiting period of the plantings shall have been reached.
Already, Mayor Domingo’s various innovative approach towards agri-aqua ventures in the town are slowly expanding the town’s independence from the national government budget strings or support for their local agri-business ventures. Domingo has also arrived at a scheme by which the farmers here may reap their palay crop, deposit them to the municipal warehouse, receive an initial amount for his harvest until he is satisfied with a good price for his total harvest then liquidate his entire holdings.
“It takes a little time to make the people believe in the changes I am trying to put up for them, but they are learning, albeit slowly,” Domingo said. “By way of locally devised uncomplicated schemes of gaining credit and utilizing it for greater productivity, we could accumulate our own sufficient funding for local development and livelihood projects. Everybody happy,” Domingo rationalized.
We do hope that significant changes shall finally come on our beloved town.