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SL Chamber, PCA partner with Diocese for coco rehab

MAASIN CITY – The Southern Leyte Chamber of Commerce & Industry recently crafted the Coconut Rehabilitation Road Map in partnership with the Diocese of Maasin led by Bishop Precioso Cantillas, Provincial LGU, and Philippine Coconut Authority.
Robert Castañares, Southern Leyte chamber president and Edilberto Nierva, PCA regional manager briefed Bishop Cantillas and senior clergy of the diocese on the province’s economic development framework.
Castañares explained that based on their planning and felt needs, Southern Leyte’s best shot for a more robust economy will be a two-pronged approach. Its tourism, coupled with agriculture, will improve the people’s lives.
This is another shining example of how the private and public sector can work together for the good of the majority, Castañares alluded, in keeping with the P-Noy administrations call for “PPP”.
“Our tourism program has taken off the ground already that is why we decided to launch the Coconut Rehabilitation Road Map which is the second leg of our economic development program”, said Castañares.
Aside from recently opening the Maasin Zoo to the public, operators of the Agas-agas Zipline has added a cable car to its features where people are reportedly lining up to experience the 10-minute ride.
“We intend to double our coconut production output by 2018 thru massive fertilization, planting, replanting, as well as intercropping with coffee and banana to help augment the income of the farmers”, he continued.
He also lauded the Bishop and the diocese for their full support to the program, committing to adopt it in their community outreach programs. “We are overwhelmed by the support and commitment extended by the church to the program. We really tried our best to convince the good Bishop because we are convinced that the program will not be successful without them.”
“The church will assist in the information campaign, values formation, monitoring of the distribution of fertilizers and seedlings, and project evaluation thru their Basic Ecclesiastical Council and the Parish Priests,” Castañares outlined.
Castañares also commended PCA “for getting things done … despite lack of personnel”. PCA declared Southern Leyte as the pilot province in the region for its coconut rehabilitation program and its mode will eventually be adopted as the template for other provinces in the region.
Castañares said that the PPP in Southern Leyte is working well because of the strong partnership between the chamber and the LGU led by Gov. Damian Mercado.
“We want to give the credit to Gov. Mercado for the successful implementation of PPP projects in Southern Leyte,” Castañares concluded, taking note that without his all-out support, the private sector’s dreams and aspirations would remain just that.
With the private sector as the “soul” of the PPP, the governor’s support is giving it the physical body on which its core programs of tourism and agriculture will walk on “two legs”.  By Lalaine M. Jimenea with a PR



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