BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson thanked the Negros Economic Development Foundation Inc. yesterday for its 50 years of development work in Negros Occidental and appealed for its help amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While I am extending my gratitude to the NEDF for all the help it has extended the province for 50 years, I will nonetheless take this opportunity to further appeal for your support as we are in a rare and historic time and we have to make use of everything at our disposal…to turn this page,” the governor said in his speech at the 50th anniversary rites at the NEDF Multi-Purpose Building in Brgy. Handumanan, Bacolod City.
Thousands of Negrenses from different sectors have been gravely affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantine measures, he said.
As of yesterday there were more than 7,000 repatriated overseas Filipino workers and Locally Stranded Individuals in the province, all in dire need of help, the governor said.
“We are now in the second half of the year and the serious task on how we can save both lives and livelihood are staring at us in the face. Businesses now struggle to cover the costs of operations and how to pay their employees. Governments, on the other hand, are trying to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic,” he said.
The fact that NEDF chose to focus on socialized housing, health, integrated agricultural development, networking and linkaging, entrepreneurship, environment, empowerment and sustainability shows that NEDF is accurately aware of the distinct needs of the province, of the Negrenses, Lacson said.
The NEDF chairman is Ramon Ponce de Leon and its president is Wilhelmina Gonzales.*