BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Admitting that Covid-19 was a “challenge” for him and all other local government executives, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said yesterday that it did not stop him from implementing his development agenda for 2020 in Negros Occidental.
Despite the pandemic, Lacson said the provincial government still managed to implement various infrastructure projects, and help farmers and hog raisers.
“We were able to implement priorities that we set for 2020,” he said.
Lacson also considered the establishment of the first molecular lab by a local government unit in Region 6 at the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City, among the biggest achievements of the provincial government, as it helps in fast-tracking the release of RT-PCR test results.
He also said that Negros Occidental got recognition from the Department of Agriculture for increasing its rice production to 4.6 tons per hectare, and for improving the quality of hogs raised.
Lacson said the province has been successful in preventing the entry of African Swine Fever (ASF) virus, with hog raisers now experiencing a “bonanza”, because they were able to sell their pigs to Metro Manila for higher prices.
Noting that the problem of ASF is still present in Luzon, Lacson said that hogs are now being bought from ASF-free areas that include Negros Occidental.
If there are things affected by Covid, these are the seminars of the Capitol departments, and movement of the people, Lacson said.
Because of this, they were able to realign seminar budgets to measures to address the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the onset of the pandemic, Lacson said the provincial government extended rice assistance to all towns and cities of Negros Occidental.
Even with the pandemic expected to still be around next year, Lacson said the provincial government will continue to implement priorities included in the Abanse Negrense Priority Development Agenda. “As far as infrastructure projects are concerned, we will continue to build roads, school buildings, help our rice farmers and animal raisers, as well as other programs, that we feel will continue to help our economy,” Lacson said.*