ALANGALANG, Leyte—President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday evening led the inauguration of a rice processing center in Leyte that could help Filipino farmers increase their income and ensure the country’s food supply.
In his speech, President Duterte said that with today’s fast-paced and highly modernized society, there is a need to utilize the latest technologies to help the people have better and productive lives.
The P1.7-billion Chen Yi Agventures (CYA) Rice Processing Complex was established through the joint effort of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).
Chen Yi Agventures, owned by Rachel Renucci-Tan and Patrick Renucci, is the only fully integrated and sustainable rice production business in the Philippines.
The two-hectare complex is the most technologically advanced rice processing center in Southeast Asia and the largest in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.
“This project is a testament to our commitment to find more ways to actively respond to the various problems and challenges confronting the agricultural industry…that we are taking initiatives to sustain our rice supply and ensure food security for our nation,” the President said during the unveiling of the facility’s marker.
President Duterte also said, “I am hopeful that CYA will be able to help us to continuously propel the agricultural sector forward by providing our farmers with the equipment and technical assistance that they need to produce high quality rice.”
The new processing center uses temperature-controlled silos with a total capacity of 6,000 metric tons for its Phase 1, keeping dried palay in a freshly harvested condition for over one year and enabling the facility to produce world-class rice.
The Chief Executive also believed that the Renucci partnership program will be able to truly improve the well-being of the country’s farmers by helping them realize their role as the true drivers of agricultural development.
“I hope that CYA and the local government of Leyte will continue to take further strides in spurring countryside development as well as the others in advancing the rice industry towards more progressive and modern practices,” he said.
Also present during Friday’s unveiling were Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Solicitor General Jose Calida, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino, Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez, Municipal Mayor Lovell Anne Yu, and Chen Yi Agventures Rice Processing Complex founder François Patrick Renucci.
Newly rehabilitated Ormoc Airport opens
Prior to the event in Alangalang, President Duterte also inaugurated Friday the Ormoc Airport Development Project aimed at boosting economic activity and tourism in Ormoc City and the Eastern Visayas region.
Under the Duterte administration, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) allocated P34 million for the repair and rehabilitation of the passenger terminal building (PTB) implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) through a memorandum of agreement ( MOA ). The airport’s PTB was heavily damaged by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
The construction of the terminal, with a total area of 1,350 square meters, commenced on February 1, 2018 and was completed in May 2018. The DPWH has allocated additional P47 million for the construction of other facilities such as the installation of power generating system and air-conditioning units.
For 2017 and 2018, P49 million and P72 million were released, respectively. The allocations were intended for the construction of drainage system and turnaround pads, as well as for the completion of asphalt overlay including the shoulder grade correction and runway markings.
Aside from the DoTr and the DPWH, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Ormoc City government provided assistance to complete the project.
In addition to rehabilitating the damaged passenger terminal building, the project also involved the construction of the administration building and the improvement of perimeter fence.
Ormoc Airport’s completion reflects the thrust of the Duterte administration in providing convenient and safe air travel for the general public.
The Ormoc Airport is the main gateway to several eco-tourism destinations in the region that include Lake Danao, Tongonon Hot Springs National Park, and Alto Peak, the second highest summit in Eastern Visayas. A much improved Ormoc Airport is seen to further boost Ormoc City’s trade, economy, and tourism.
In 2018, 1,264 passengers used Ormoc Airport and it handled 121,702 tons of cargoes.
The President was welcomed by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Leyte 4th District Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, and Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez. PND