Local farmers of Balanga City have successfully accomplished their four-day constant seminar-workshop dubbed as Farmer’s Livestock School in Goat Production. As an opportunity to commend their satisfactory participation, a graduation ceremony was organized for them on July 31, 2017 at the Provincial Government Center in Pilar, Bataan.
It was followed by a Goat Meat Culinary Exhibit showcasing variants of menu from goat meat. This distinct occasion, which was actively supervised by City Veterinarian Dr. Billy Andrew E. Samson, DVM, is an initiative of COB’s City Veterinary Office, with the participation of the Provincial Government of Bataan.
Goat production, as part of the livelihood project being introduced by our city and provincial government require low maintenance and not only a source of protein for the citizens of the province, but also provides the much-needed income. In fact, goats offers livelihood to Filipino farmers across the country today. As goat production requires low initial investment and small risks compared to other livestock species, it is thus an attractive undertaking among resource-poor families. Moreover, women and children can raise the species, making it a sound option to augment the country’s programs on livelihood.
In a speech delivered by Mr. Exequiel Espiritu, President of City of Balanga Small Ruminant Raisers Association (COBSRRA), he expressed his gratefulness to all the organizers of the activity, especially the different agencies of the government for this advocacy. He added that this goat-raising seminar-workshop will have a great impact not just on farmers’ livelihood but can also be a headstart of a business enterprise for them.
City Mayor Francis Anthony S. Garcia, who came with wife Raquel, congratulated the graduates and further elaborated that in all types of livelihood projects whether for business or for personal, studying first the fundamentals is the key to avoid trial and error. According to him, goat industry had just started and with the way things are happening right now, this industry will surely situate in achieving its goals. With high hopes, he articulated his strong desire for DOLE’s assistance to reach more beneficiaries.
Vice-Governor Cristina Garcia and 2nd District Board Member Jose Villapando also conveyed their greetings and thanked both the city and provincial governments for their noble undertakings.
Dr. Ronnie Domingo, Officer-in-Charge of Animal Health and Welfare Division, BAI, also shared his thoughts on the challenges facing this industry. As to what he said, we need to make this project sustainable and members should go beyond to realize its aims. Dr. Domingo also acknowledged the ingenuities of the City Vet’s Office and its huge support to the city’s agriculture sector.
Mr. Noriel Dacion, PESO Manager of the City of Balanga, also relayed his message of appreciation, underlining that the different initiatives of the city government will not be possible without the approval of generous principals. He also thanked DOLE for the 1 million-peso livelihood assistance, which was so far the highest grant given to an association (COBSRRA) here in the province of Bataan.
As City Veterinary Office’s partner, Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Albert Venturina, concluded in his message that this activity will not be apparent without the great effort of City Mayor Francis Garcia.
Also in attendance were Mr. Rico Val Bacuyag of the DOLE who handed out the monetary livelihood assistance and Ms. Lolita Del Rosario, Officer-in-Charge of the City Tourism Office, with her team that extended assistance in the food distribution and exhibit. By: Cyrus C. Dela Cruz