By Raymund Antonio
Local farmers from Metro Naga gathered on Sunday for their first assembly under Vice President Leni Robredo’s “Omasenso sa Kabuhayan” program aimed at uplifting their lives.
Led by Robredo, around 261 farmers, joined by representatives from Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce, business establishments, and other stakeholders participated in the event held in Naga City.
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) organized the meeting as part of its continuing efforts in contributing to poverty alleviation, and to help sustain the initiative of the program.
“Since our launch last year, more and more of our local farmers have joined us, as we aim to help them develop their farming methods and adapt to the market’s demand,” Robredo said in a Facebook post.
The Omasenso sa Kabuhayan was crafted specifically for poor farmers in Metro Naga and other towns in Camarines Sur to provide them training and link them to commercial establishments towards a more profitable and sustainable livelihood.
This is part of Angat Buhay, Robredo’s flagship anti-poverty program.
During their meeting, the farmer members attended the orientation about the training on the 8-Step Clustering Approach towards Agroenterprise Development to be conducted by Rural Bank of Guinobatan, Inc. (RGBI).
RGBI is a local banking institution that also has a microfinancing department that extends financing loans to individuals.
An election was also held among the members of the Omasenso sa Kabuhayan core group, who will participate in the training.
This, according to Robredo, was a first “step” towards making the program “more sustainable.”
The Vice President said much work still needed to be done to help ordinary Filipinos farmers and their families to improve their lives.
“We still have a long way to go from here, but we take heart in the willingness and perseverance of our farmers—and the generosity of institutional buyers who heeded our call to give our local farmers a chance and help them prosper,“ she said.
Other participants in the assembly were representatives from the Metro Naga Development Council, Bigg’s Inc., Pilgrim’s Hotel, Avenue Plaza Hotel, RBGI, and government agencies.