Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Senator Imee: Panaad Festival ‘Achievement’ Of Negrenses


Senator Imee: Panaad Festival ‘Achievement’ Of Negrenses


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Senator Imee Marcos called the Panaad sa Negros Festival an “achievement” of the Negrenses as she highlighted the “visible and tangible developments” in Negros Occidental and this highly urbanized city in recent years.

“Today’s theme, as expressed by our good governor (Eugenio Jose Lacson), is ‘living the promise’ of better and brighter days for the province of Negros Occidental. Panaad is no longer a mere promise but in fact, achievement,” she said during the opening of the weeklong festival’s 28th edition at the Panaad Park and Stadium here Monday afternoon.

The province’s award-winning “festival of all festivals,” took its name from “Panaad,” the Hiligaynon word for vow or promise.

“All the mayors and vice mayors of all 32 local government units (LGUs) of Negros Occidental, bawat isa sa inyo ay panalo na dahil nakilahok kayo. Because you joined this contest, you’re all winners and I congratulate you for this colorful and festive occasion,” she added.

Marcos said she learned something new from the Panaad sa Negros Festival, noting the relatively new provincial festival of Ilocos Norte that she initiated when she was still the governor.

“Today, I learned something new. We need also the trade boost and exhibition so that everyone, each of the towns, can get some ROI (return on investment) from the expense of the fiesta, selling their very best products and specialties. This is truly a best practice,” she said.

Citing figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Marcos said that in 2022, the gross domestic product (GDP) of Negros Occidental was PHP246.39 billion while Bacolod City hit PHP132.81 billion.

“The combined GDP of Bacolod and Negros Occidental accounted for almost 40 percent of the GDP of Western Visayas. Panaad fulfilled, indeed. Today, Abanse Negrense is not a mere slogan, not another catchword but the truth, the reality of the progress and prosperity of this great province,” she added.

Marcos also noted that Negros Occidental has the largest share of Western Visayas’ agriculture, accounting for 32.3 percent, and has the largest share in the total industry of the region, at 33.6 percent, or PHP205 billion.

“Truly, these numbers are backed by visible and tangible development. As an example, on my way to Bacolod City from the airport in Silay, I couldn’t help but notice the amazing construction boom,” Marcos said.

“Flying from San Carlos City, once again it was hard to avoid noticing the huge number of solar panels, the number of factories, and other developments. I see also in Bacolod the rapidly rising skyline of the BPOs (business process outsourcing), ” she noted, adding the need to further develop the abundant renewable energy sources in Negros Occidental,

Marcos also shared that her brother, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., will sign into law the Negros Island Region Act “within a few days”

“No doubt that law will only serve to bring government goods and services even closer to the people,” she added.

Moreover, the senator took note of the thousands of farmers, including those in Negros Occidental, affected by the drought brought by El Niño, saying that she would call for an urgent Senate inquiry to investigate the country’s water and farming situation.

Marcos expressed support as well for higher farm gate prices of sugar, saying she hopes it would return and remain at a minimum of PHP3,000 per 50-kg. bag, after still hovering between PHP2,700 and PHP2,800. (PNA)