PRESIDENT  ARROYO  VISITS  STRAWBERRY,  VEGETABLE  FARMERS  IN  BENGUET


BAGUIO CITY, MARCH 21, 2008 (BULLETIN) Still in a working Holy Week mode, President Arroyo will visit strawberry farmers in Betag in nearby La Trinidad today, Black Saturday.

The President is scheduled to motor to Betag for a first-hand look into the plight of upland farmers whose produce have been affected by blight due to the unexpected fluctuations of the temperature in the area.

Local officials, farmers, and researchers from the Benguet State University, formerly the Mountain State Agricultural College, will present to the President the results of their studies on the processing of vegetables into veggie meat, veggie sausage, and dehydrated veggie noodles which can be commercialized as processed food.

Processing vegetables, instead of selling them to middlemen at bargain prices in the event of either natural calamities or a supply glut, will help farmers earn higher income from their produce.

The President will also send off delivery trucks laden with processed vegetables from the country’s vegetable bowl to Metro Manila markets.

Before proceeding to Betag, Mrs. Arroyo will distribute various forms of government assistance in nearby Barangay Puguis, including rice and checks for farm-to-market road projects.

She will also distribute certificates to operate several "Botika ng Barangay" outlets, about 3,000 Philhealth cards, certificates to operate "Tindahan Natin" outlets in La Trinidad, self-employment assistance, scholarships, vegetable seeds, forms of financial support for the vegetable industry, and English reading materials for teachers.

Accompanying her are Rep. Samuel Dangwa of the lone district of Benguet, and Gov. Nestor Fongwa.

The Chief Executive and members of the First Family are spending the Holy Week break in Baguio City and other places in Northern Luzon, which has been customary.

Earlier, members of the Cabinet joined President Arroyo in another retreat at the Presidential Mansion House in Baguio to reflect on good governance and delivery of government services to the people.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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