Freddie G. Lazaro
LAOAG CITY – In bid to eliminate poverty in the province, the members of the Ilocos Norte’s Provincial Development Council (PDC) passed an annual investment plan in the areas of agri-business, tourism and manufacturing.
The proposed investment plan was incorporated in the more than P178 million or the 20 percent development fund from the expected P891, 781,797 Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share for the province in 2015.
Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, who presided a recent PDC meeting attended by at least 86 members, said the annual investment plan will help in achieving a vibrant and job-rich economy.
Upon presentation by Provincial Planning and Development Officer (PPDO) Pedro Agcaoili, the plan was unanimously approved by the members of the council.
Agcaoili said the development fund from the IRA share has been allotted for development programs for more development support for agri-business, infrastructure support to tourism and manufacturing for the generation of more job opportunities for the residents.
In the 2015 annual investment plan, the agri-business and manufacturing programs have sustain its public-private partnership packages and initiatives to support small and medium entrepreneurs, establishment of more fish farms in coastal villages, vegetable seed dispersal in support to food production and establishment of multi-crop corn-based farming system.
The plan enhances the capability on value adding of high value commercial crops like mango and garlic in support to the agri-tourism industry in the province. Marketing assistance for the improvement of trading centers is also encouraged.
Meanwhile, more farm to markets roads are set to be constructed this year especially in the far-flung areas to create better accessibility for the transport of agricultural crops and products to the markets.
In tourism, more souvenir shops, comfort rooms, visitors’ complex, boardwalks, fish market, and parking area are set to construct in various attractive destinations in the province.
For education and job creation; the provincial government is maintaining its scholarship program through the “Iskolar ni Manang Imee,” the “Sirib” program, the “Task Force Trabaho,” the “Sagip Nars Program” and cash for work program.
With these programs from 2015 investment plan, Governor Marcos expressed optimism for the realization of its objective to surely reduce if not illiminate the poverty incidence rate in the province by the end of year.
In 2014, Ilocos Norte posted 9.9 percent poverty incidence reduction rate – the highest human development index in Ilocos region, which priding the province as one of the least poor in the country. (MCA/FGL, PIA-1 Ilocos Norte)
Freddie G. Lazaro