BACOLOD City – The Negros Occidental provincial government has set a P457.3-million budget for its development programs and projects in 2019.
The Provincial Development Council (PDC) approved the proposal during its regular meeting on Dec. 11 at Nature’s Village Resort in Talisay City.
The proposed budget will be taken from the 20-percent Provincial Development Fund.
Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. – who presided the meeting – said the primary aim of the provincial government is the diversification of the province’s economy next year.
“We can go from a monocrop sugarcane industry to other industries such as swine, poultry, and information technology/business process outsourcing, among others, which are answers to the problem of poverty,” he added.
The following are the proposed projects: establishment of Negros First Global Institute (P135 million); construction of Hinoba-an seaport (P70 million); additional fund for the Transfer of Negros Forest and Ecological Foundation Inc. (P15 million); establishment of cold chains (P80 million); establishment of slaughterhouse for cattle, carabao and large ruminants (P40 million); construction of National Food Authority Rice Trading Operation Center (P50 million); establishment of integrated laboratory (P24 million); and on-farm mechanization in support to operation of Negros Rice Processing Center (P43.3 million).
The PDC also approved the proposed programs and projects for funding by the provincial government worth P434.518 million.
In his message, Marañon cited anew the success of the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Insurance Program, the flagship health program of the province, which has 1.2 million enrolled members to date.
He also said the scholarship programs of the provincial government have been helping more students.
The governor added that through the Negros Occidental Language and IT Center, the province has been providing more employment opportunities for skilled workers.
The mechanization of the sugar and rice industries is also starting to benefit more farmers, he said. (With a report from the Philippine News Agency/PN)