Bohol shifts to agriculture as Tourism may take time to recover
MANILA – Bohol Governor Arthur C. Yap said he’s leading his constituents in pushing for agricultural development in his populous province as the Tourism sector would take time to recover, long after COVID-19 continues to bring untold misery to micro, small and medium enterprises worldwide.
Speaking at Wednesday Roundtable @ Lido, Governor Yap, a former NFA Administrator and Secretary of Agriculture and lawmaker, said it may take at least two years for the Tourism industry to recover as it needs some sense of security for people to begin traveling again.
“So, our number one priority is to return to agriculture and if we can introduce some clean technology manufacturing, we can diversify our economy that way,” he said. Despite the Enhanced Community Quarantine, Governor Yap said he looks at it as an opportune time to do what needs to be done to enhance agriculture.
“This is a great opportunity to modernize and mage agriculture more efficient,” he further explained as he expressed his appreciation for the appointment of Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar to the position because he knows the importance of soil and water. The provincial governor said they have enough water supply and what they need are small water-impounding projects to further assure their farmers of ample water supply.
“Our agricultural area is 60% irrigated and once irrigate the remaining areas, we can survive on our produce,” Governor Yap said.
During the same forum, Governor Yap said it would be better for Land Bank of the Philippines to extend interest free loans through the Provincial Government of Bohol to micro, small and medium enterprises in order to jumpstart the economy in his area.
Agriculture Secretary Dar said he will wait for the formal communication from Governor Yap containing the proposals in support of micro, small and medium enterprises.
Secretary Dar said the Board of Directors of Land Bank of the Philippines will meet today and discuss the issues involved.
In a related development ILO said people employed in the Tourism sector as well as those in the informal sector are likely to suffer the consequences of Enhanced Community Quarantine or lockdown in COVID-19 affected countries. (Melo M. Acuña)
Atty. Arthur C. Yap, Bohol Provincial Governor. (Bohol Provincial Government Photo)