MAASIN CITY (PIA) -- The regional office of the Department of Agriculture committed full support to the agricultural development of the 18 municipalities, one city, and the provincial government itself by way of programs initiated by these LGUs.

The commitment was put into writing through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in a pioneering program, the Province-led Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Services (PAFES), in which the province will be the first to implement it in the region backed-up by DA.

“Why we chose Southern Leyte, the figures do not lie. You have invested a lot in agriculture,” Angel Enriquez, DA-8 regional executive director, declared in her message during the simple 61st anniversary celebration on Thursday, July 1, where she was the guest of honor.

“To the mayors, prepare your agricultural development plans in preparation for the Mandanas ruling, not just rice but other crops, livestock,” Enriquez appealed.

Such inputs as specified in their respective plans will serve as “basic data in transition for the implementation of Mandanas law” for their agency to work on, Enriquez said.

“This province is our model,” Enriquez curtly intoned, the weight of her words carried both excitement and high expectations.

Earlier, Gov. Damian Mercado welcomed DA’s PAFES as a channel for the flow of more funds coming into the province, saying people in the barangays stand to benefit much from this agri-based program.

For his part, Congressman Roger Mercado said he will study thoroughly the MOA that was signed as part of his oversight functions in Congress, and he will see to it that it will be fully implemented, so people will eventually become self-reliant and will not rely on dole outs. (LDL/MMP/PIA-8/Southern Leyte)