By Philippine News Agency
Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez is hoping to bring down the province’s 63 percent poverty index with the help of goat farming.
According to Alvarez on Monday afternoon, he received bonuses from his companies, P3 million of which he gave to slain Rescue 165 and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) chief Gilbert Baaco for the purchase of hybrid goat that will be distributed to farmers in the northern Palawan town of Taytay.
“We’ve distributed a lot of goats there (Taytay). This is personal money as a reward to me by my companies,” he said, expressing fear that the murderers of Baaco stole the money because it cannot be accounted for now.
“That money is from me, not from the provincial government; it’s my personal, and the goats are intended for poor farmers,” he said.
Five or six heads are distributed per family, depending on the size of the land they have available.
He said the project is now ongoing in Taytay, which is a pilot site.
“We are testing this, and if it turns out to be good, I will request the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to empower the Community Affairs Department (CAD) to have a fund for it,” Alvarez said, adding “so that the poor can be helped in livestock raising.
Right now, Alvarez said Palawan has made improvements in the poverty index, bringing it down to 58 percent.
“My hope is that we reach the average poverty index of 25 percent because if the standard of living in Palawan can’t be raised, I will consider myself as a failure. Whatever hospitals, or water works, or other buildings or infrastructure I am building in order to uplift the lives of Palaweños, nothing is achieved if the poverty index remains high,” he stated.
Alvarez said that before he leaves as governor, from 63 percent, he wants to bring down the poverty index to 25 percent.
If he can do this, he said he will be the happiest as it would mean fulfilling his mission to the Higher Being.