CABAOHAN, Pastrana News – Barely 44 days into office and Leyte 2nd District Congressman Henry Ong has already given out numerous checks for livelihood programs of community based organizations , given out scholarships, is already recruiting scholars for TESDA courses, and has just opened an integrated technical farm.
There seems to be no stopping this ‘maverick’ congressman from Carigara, as some of his constituents observe.
At Pastrana, before he went to lower a time capsule for his farm project, Congressman Ong made a strong statement addressed to local leaders against the risks and environmental damage produced by abusive quarrying operators in the town.
‘He has just placed himself officially against some of the most powerful contractors involved in the illegal extraction of sand and gravel in this district’, said Pastrana municipal councilor Arnulfo Arellano.
Surrounded by farm workers and accompanied by Pastrana town mayor Alvin Opiniano, ONEVisayas Board chairman Nicola Christeen Bevan, and Department of Agriculture Regional Director Wilson Cerbito, the young Congressman enthusiastically broke ground in Barangay Cabaohan, Pastrana for a two-hectare farm that will be planted with International Rice Research Institute produced ‘super rice’.
The integrated farm is administered by humanitarian aid organization ONEVisayas.
‘Native chickens will also be raised here for dispersal to the poor under a modified hands-up scheme’, ONEVisayas Executive Director Frank Villablanca told Bombo Radyo Philippines in a live interview.
‘Hands-up’ is a humanitarian aid articulation for teaching people how to survive against simple dole outs.
‘The Department of Agriculture will help make sure that this farm steers through the rough’, said DA’s Director Cerbito who promised that technical assistance and agriculture inputs will be available to ONEVisayas.
‘The farm’ is part of the agriculture initiative dispersal (aid) program of ONEVisayas, which, along with their Oras Na Gumi-os! anti–poverty package, is being supported by Congressman Henry Ong.