NegOcc envisioned as Angus beef supplier

Negros Occidental governor Eugenio Jose Lacson (right) with Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer after the State of the Province Address (SOPA).

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has envisioned the province as an Angus beef supplier in the future.

Lacson revealed this plan in his State of the Province Address during the regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan presided by vice governor Jeffrey Ferrer, Tuesday afternoon at the social hall of the provincial capitol.

“We envision our province to be known as an Angus beef supplier in the future that will create more economic development and local livelihood,” the governor said.

“To enhance the productivity of Negros First Ranch, and upgrade the local herd of cattle, we have ventured into Angus Cattle Breeding Project,” he added.

“For a start, we procured one bull and eight heifers of pure island born Angus under the “Provincial Breeder Infusion and Genetic Improvement Program. We will have initial stock for maintaining a cattle nucleus breeding herd for beef production and animal genetic improvement by upgrading local stocks using Angus bulls.”

Amid drawbacks and challenges experienced by Negrenses in previous years, the governor said the “state of the province is good.”

Lacson also attributed the current state of the province to the support of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan led by Ferrer, heads of various Capitol departments and offices, and his fellow public servants, especially the mayors, among other partners.

“Right now, we have a good trust standing among our people and peers. Let us sustain and try to heighten such trust and confidence of the Negrenses in their provincial government,” he said.

For more than an hour, the governor enumerated the accomplishments of various capitol departments and the SP in the fields of agriculture, food and security, construction of infrastructure projects, trade, economic, investment advancement, as well as employment opportunities, health and welfare, peace and order, delivery of health services, sustainable environment management and tourism development, access to quality education, cultural sports and ICT, brand of governance and human development, among others.

He also envisioned a more advanced and competitive health service in the Hospital Operations Department, by increasing the bed capacity of Cadiz District Hospital from 50 to 100 beds

With the completion of Operating and Delivery Rooms, Lacson said the bed capacity of Lorenzo D. Zayco District Hospital will also be increased from 25 to 100 beds, and the dialysis unit building at the Ignacio L. Arroyo Memorial Hospital in Sagay will soon be completed, with two more to be established in Kabankalan City and Valladolid.

He also said that 47,861 members of the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program (NOCHP) availed of free medical and health services, and outpatient care, from 2022 to June this year.

The Negros Occidental Language and Information continues to be a potent driving force in harnessing the sustained expansion and continued growth of the Information Technology-Business Process Management industry in the province.

From August 2022 to July 2023, Lacson said that 616 scholars successfully completed the competency-based training programs of NOLITC, with an 86 percent employment rate.

He also reported that the Negros Occidental Scholarship Program Division, which is mandated to provide equal access to educational opportunities to Negrense youth, has 3,234 scholars under 25 scholarship categories.

Negros Occidental has attained a rice sufficiency level of 84 percent, with farm mechanization resulting in lower costs of preparation, transplanting and harvesting services, he further said.

The provincial government has undertaken road concreting and upgrading of 29.88 kilometers of provincial roads with a budget of P457.5 million, while 9.14 kilometers of concreting are still ongoing on.

“We believe that farm-to-market roads and other rural infrastructures will contribute to more economic activities and development, as well as promote peace and order at the local level,” he added.

Lacson also said that the Cybercenter also generated an income of P64.3 million from its rental revenues from January to June 2023.

“As we move forward, let us continue to make Negros Occidental a place where opportunities and progress are available to those who are willing to work for it, while adhering to our values in the face of rapid modernization. In order to reach these common aspirations, we must face all obstacles together, as a united people and province,” he added.