Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico ‘Mic’ Petilla distributed 500 food packs to residents of Barangay Patoc and another 540 food packs to residents of Brgy. District 9, both in Dagami town, during the conduct of a baragay consultative assembly on aNovember 19. (GINA P.GEREZ)

TACLOBAN CITY- Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla said that he is bent in pushing his agriculture-related programs as a way to combat poverty incidence in the remote villages.
Petilla said that he is so serious on this mission that he already made ‘experiments’ in 2011 when he was not yet a governor.
Petilla was first elected as governor of the province in 2013 and is now seeking for another term in next year’s elections.
His agriculture-related programs are anchored on his program known as ‘More Income in the Countryside’ wherein, among other things, high-value production on vegetables are being promoted.
The governor said that he is committed to improving the economic conditions of the farmers in the province reason he’s been encouraging them to form into groups for them to easily access funds and assistance his administration could provide to them.
“Farming is not glamorous and profitable (job). If you are a son of a farmer, will you follow their footsteps? Certainly not but we are doing our best to make it profitable for them so that their children will also become farmers,” Petilla said.
Petilla led in the giving recognition to more than 40 farmers’ organizations in the province on Dec.4 for their achievements that resulted to better economic condition of their respective members and villages.
According to the governor, since he assumed office, about 210 farmers’ associations have been organized all over the province which resulted to improved economic living conditions of these farmers.
These farmers’ organizations represent conservatively about 15,000 families.
“By just looking to the condition of these people now, I think there is now an improvement on their respective lives. Hope we can sustain it,” Petilla said.
He added that because of the organization of farmers’ groups, malnutrition problem in the remote barangays in the province have been addressed and in fact, shown a decline.
He added that there were even barangays that have registered zero malnutrition incidence.
Petilla added that if all the 250 targeted barangays under the MIC program will be realized, he expect the poverty incidence of Leyte to decline.
Based on the report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (NSA), the poverty incidence of Leyte in 2015 stood at 46.7 percent.
The high poverty incidence was blamed to the negative impacts brought by the onslaught of super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ that pummeled Leyte in 2013. (JOEY A. GABIETA)