SAN JOSE, Antique – Environment secretary Roy Cimatu lauded the University of Antique for contributing to the progress of the province.
Education is helping Antiqueños recover from poverty, Cimatu said in a speech at the UA’s 9th University Conversion Day Anniversary celebration in Sibalom town.
According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources chief, Antique is no longer on the “list of the 20 poorest provinces in the country.”
“One of the factors that uplift the province is education,” said Cimatu.
Hardworking UA alumni working here and abroad help boost the economy and the overall development of Antique, aside from uplifting the living conditions of their families, he said.
Other factors contributing to the progress of the province were in the agriculture sector – specifically the “sufficient rice production” and the “good irrigation systems” – said the secretary.
UA president Dr. Pablo S. Crespo said they were supporting the DENR secretary’s programs protecting the environment.
In his speech Cimatu said the Environment department was giving priority to the rehabilitation of the Malandog River (covering San Jose, Hamtic and Sibalom towns) as a sustainable ecotourism destination.
The Student Government has signed a resolution declaring a “no plastic policy” in all UA campuses (Sibalom, Hamtic and Tibiao), said Crespo.
When he was a military officer Cimatu was first assigned in Antique in 1973.
He then served as an ambassador helping overseas Filipino workers return home amid the conflict in the Middle East before he was appointed DENR secretary, he said.
Cimatu, who is married to an Antiqueña, has been recognized as “Bugal kang Antique” in 2017. He said he considered this one the “best and most valued” recognitions he has received. (With a report from Philippine Information Agency/PN)