Negros Occidental News

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List of Municipalities in the Negros Occidental Province within Western Visayas Region VI in the Republic of The Philippines
Binalbagan || Calatrava || Candoni || Cauayan || Enrique B. Magalona || Hinigaran || Hinoba-An || Ilog || Isabela || La Castellana || Manapla || Moises Padilla || Murcia || Pontevedra || Pulupandan || Salvador Benedicto || San Enrique || Toboso || Valladolid
Cities in the province of Negros Occidental: Bacolod City (Capital) || Bago City || Cadiz City || Escalante City || Himamaylan City || Kabankalan City || La Carlota City || Sagay City || San Carlos City || Silay City || Sipalay City || Talisay City || Victorias City

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How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm

NegOcc recognized for outstanding dairy milk production

By Erwin Nicavera (PNA)

BACOLOD CITY -- The Negros Occidental Provincial Livestock Breeding Center and Dairy Farm (PLBCDF) was recognized as one of the country’s outstanding dairy farms in the Gawad Dairy 2019.

The award, bestowed by the National Dairy Authority, was received by provincial veterinarian Renante Decena; Farm Management Division head Placeda Lemana; and PLBCDF manager Joselito Jaballa during the awarding rites held at the Agricultural Training Institute Rural Development Center in Quezon City on Thursday.

The dairy farm, being run by the Provincial Veterinary Office, was the lone awardee from the Visayas out of the 10 recipients this year and the only government-owned and -operated farm to be cited nationwide.

The PLBCDF, located in Barangay La Granja, La Carlota City, was cited as among the dairy farms in the Philippines that adhere to the Food Safety Act to ensure the production of safe and quality milk.

Established in 2001, the facility produces fresh milk for pre- and grade school children and for breeder animals of component local government units in the province.

Decena said the project also aims to encourage Negrenses to shift to milk from other beverages.

“This is done by introducing fresh milk taste to school children and transfer dairy and breeding technology to the backyard level as a source of additional income,” he added.

Decena pointed out that livelihood opportunities are created through the processing of value-added dairy products and livestock dispersal.

The PLBCDF production includes fresh milk and yogurt in chocolate, ube, buko pandan, strawberry, and mango flavors.

The dairy farm produces an average of 100 liters of milk daily from 16 cows on the milking line.

Decena said the dairy farm was one of the pilot projects of the late governor Joseph Marañon under his seven-point agenda for food sufficiency and poverty alleviation, which was expanded by the administration of his brother, incumbent Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr.

NegOcc invades ‘Fiestas in the City’

(Panay News)

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental is showcasing two of its best festivities in the Department of Tourism’s “Fiestas in the City” to boost travel destinations in Western Visayas.

Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, said MassKara Festival of Bacolod City and Babaylan Festival of Bago City represented the province during the event slated on May 25 to 31.

The six-day event held in Iloilo City presents the different tourism offerings of various destinations in the region.

There will be a daily showcase of cultural performances from each of the component provinces and highly-urbanized cities.

“Our very own MassKara and Babaylan dancers will showcase Negros Occidental’s rich and vibrant culture,” said Mansinares.

She added these festivals reflect the rich culture, history and traditions as well as artistry and creativity of the Negrenses.

4th NOFA Cup fosters grassroots football


TWENTY-FOUR teams from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have competed for the 4th Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) cup that kicked off Wednesday, May 29, at the Sta. Maria Football field in Talisay City.

This competition will run until June 2, 2019.

NOFA president Ricardo Yanson, Jr. welcomed the eight teams from Luzon namely Ceres Youth FC, Claret School of Quezon, Federated FA Masbate, Loyola FC, Makati FC, One La Salle, and Sugod Malaya FC.

The 11 teams from the Visayas include Bacong FC, Barotac Nuevo FC, Baybay FC Jaguars, Don Bosco FC - Cebu, Dynamic FC, Greenglobal FC, Janiuaynon Defenders FCI, Kidz United FC, LGU Barotac Nuevo, Nosirfa, and Panay FA.

The five teams from Mindanao include Davao Crocs FC, Golden Harvest, Marawi Ground Zero team, Marist Kidapawan and Mt. Apo Regional FA.

As part of the Grassroots Development Program, the NOFA Cup aims to provide the young players with high level and quality competition in view to bring out the best in each of the player.

This is an opportunity where they can share their talents and learn from each other which is supplementary to their personal growth.

“With your cooperation, we shall continue to do our best to make this a successful and exiting experience for everyone,” he said.

NOFA is under the Philippine Football Federation as provincial football association for the Negros Occidental area.

NOFA President Yanson succeeded former NOFA president Charlie Cojuangco, former 4th District Congressman of Negros Occidental.

IFEX bears global market opportunities for Negros Occidental


NEGROS Occidental's participation at the just-concluded International Food Exposition (IFEX) Philippines 2019 has yielded positive results especially on obtaining global market opportunities for local products.

Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., along with other Provincial Government officials including Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino, was able to meet potential buyers for United States and Mexico markets at the sidelines of the three-day event held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City which concluded Sunday, May 26.

Joy Ogan, executive assistant to the governor, said the interests are into agricultural products like muscovado sugar, coconut products, banana sticks, banana marble, fresh bananas, and pineapple, among others.

Ogan said the province was encouraged to improve the packaging to ensure food safety standards and obtain certification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"Upon returning to the province from IFEX, we will organize workshops with the exhibitors to identify producer-specific needs and craft individualized development and business plans," Ogan said.

This will address issues from production, processing, packaging and marketing, an effort to effectively systematize the province's program on enterprise development with the goal to make local products globally competitive, she added.

Displaying local products like herbs and spices, beverages, breads and pastries, organic produce, condiments and savories, 18 producers from Negros Occidental joined IFEX Philippines 2019.

IFEX was organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission (CITEM) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

In collaboration with other agencies including the Department of Agriculture (DA), IFEX is reputed as the premier business-to-business platform for local and international food companies to discover new markets, launch new products, and transact with the world's biggest buyers.

During the event, Marañon also met with executives of Control Union that focuses on agricultural certifications.

The company also covers the supply chain in agriculture, energy, forestry, sustainability, and textiles in more than 70 countries.

Provincial Supervising Tourism Operations officer Cristine Mansinares, who was also at the event, said Control Union is an accredited international inspection and certification body by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

It issues GSTC certification to tourism enterprises for sustainable tourism compliance.

Mansinares said that apart from the environmental impact, GSTC also measures the business' relationship with the community, respect of traditional cultural heritage and opportunities for local employment.

"Through IFEX, we could really be able to link our participating enterprises to leading buyers around the world," she reiterated.

First-ever ‘green’ mall in Bacolod City to rise in 2021

By Nanette Guadalquiver (PNA)

BACOLOD CITY -- Property giant Megaworld Corp. is targeting the completion of The Upper East Mall, the first-ever “green” mall in this city, by 2021.

The three-level lifestyle mall, with a project cost of PHP1.2 billion, will rise inside the 34-hectare The Upper East township, a PHP28-billion master-planned development located in the eastern side of Bacolod.

The mall’s design was unveiled by Kevin Tan, chief strategy officer of Megaworld, and design architect Raji Casas in a press conference held at L’Fisher Hotel on Friday.

“We are building not just an ordinary mall. We are curating an architectural masterpiece that depicts the cosmopolitan vibe of our Bacolod township,” Tan said of the mall’s blend of neo-classical and art deco architecture.

The Upper East Mall, which will be managed and operated by Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, will have sustainable features such as solar panel roofing and energy-efficiency features such as perceived air-conditioning cooling design; escalators with crawling features; rainwater harvesting system where the rainwater is recycled for plant watering; and a gray water recycling system, wherein the water discharged from the sewage treatment plant is collected and used for secondary flushing of the mall’s toilets and urinals.

Spanning 24,200 square meters, the mall will partly house rows of restaurants facing a garden of century-old trees surrounded by Koi ponds, as well as four state-of-the-art cinemas and an open food hall with an indoor garden.

Engr. Dick Montes, head of mall operations and technical services group of Megaworld, said about 30 percent of the mall’s power requirement will be sourced from solar energy.

“This will be a grid-type technology so during peak hours of the mall’s operations, part of (the energy requirement) will come from solar power,” he added.

The Upper East Mall, poised to become an architectural landmark in Bacolod, will be highlighted by a 48-meter high clock tower that illuminates at night along the six-lane main avenue of the township, stretching from Lopez Jaena Street to Circumferential Road.

In Negros Occidental, Megaworld is investing a total of PHP35 billion, the biggest so far by a property developer, for its two township developments located in Bacolod City and Talisay City.

Best of Negros food at IFEX 2019

By Erwin Nicavera (PNA)

BACOLOD CITY -- A total of 18 producers from Negros Occidental are taking part in the ongoing International Food Exposition (IFEX) Philippines 2019 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

The three-day event, which runs until Sunday, serves as a venue to showcase the best Negrense food products among the world's biggest buyers.

Joy Ogan, executive assistant to Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., said the exhibitors displayed their products such as herbs and spices, beverages, breads and pastries, condiments, and savories at the Negros Pavilion.

Since Negros Occidental is recognized as the country’s organic agriculture capital, the province also has an organic section consisting of organic rice, tablea, molasses and sugars, and salad greens.

Negrense producers participating in IFEX 2019 include Plantsville Health Products, Fresh Start Organics, Muy Bien Turmeric Teas, Sir Jess, Negros Island Organic Producers Association, Dolpings Tablea, L' Negros, Sagay Central Inc., Option MPC, Ceres Pasalubong, Merczi, Virgie's, El Ideal, Clara's Food Products, Green Harvest, Satoca, Syara, and Mumshie.

Ogan said Ceres Pasalubong, Merczi, Green Harvest, and Sagay Central Inc., together with IFEX returnees Option MPC and Muy Bien Ventures, are expected to become the key Negros-based players in the international food trade in the coming years.

Also part of the exhibit is the famed Negros blue swimming crab displayed at The Cold Room: Seafood at Sub-Zero, where buyers can taste the freshness and superior quality of Philippine seafood, she added.

Ogan said the provincial government has allocated PHP650,000 to subsidize participation packages of the 18 producers.

Negros Occidental first joined IFEX in 2013 as the first province featured under the Partner Province Program.

Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, said the province’s participation at IFEX boosts the Negrense culinary tourism.

Mansinares said food is one of the strong tourism offerings of the province.

In IFEX 2018, 26 Negrense producers generated about PHP18 million in sales.

The annual event is organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission (CITEM) of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Megaworld invests P1.2B in new mall


LISTED Megaworld Corp. is spending P1.2 billion to build a three-level lifestyle mall inside The Upper East township in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental province.

In a disclosure on Friday, the Andrew Tan-led property developer said the development, to be called the Upper East Mall, would have a gross floor area of 24,200 square meters.

“What we are building in The Upper East is not just an ordinary mall. We are curating an architectural masterpiece that depicts the cosmopolitan vibe of our Bacolod township,” said Kevin L. Tan, chief strategy officer at Megaworld.

“This is just the first mall that we are building in this township because there is still more room for future expansion,” he added.

Slated to be finished by 2021, the shopping mall shall feature neoclassical and art-deco architecture, several rows of restaurants, four cinemas and an open-air food hall with an indoor garden.

It will also have sustainable features, including what Megaworld said “its own solar panel roofing, energy efficiency features such as perceived airconditioning cooling design, escalators with crawling features, rainwater harvesting system where the rainwater is recycled for plant watering, and a gray water recycling system where the water that is discharged from the sewage treatment plant is collected and used for secondary flushing of mall’s toilets and urinals.”

“We are excited to see The Upper East transforming into a modern central business district of Bacolod. In the next three to five years, we will see the residential towers, office towers, commercial buildings, hotel, church, parks and this new lifestyle mall rising,” Tan said.

“We will also be opening the Upper East Avenue to the public in two years,” he added.

Shares of Megaworld fell by 5 centavos or 0.91 percent to close at P5.44 apiece on Friday.

NOHS gears up for school opening


THE Negros Occidental High School, the oldest public high school in Bacolod City is gearing up for the school opening on June 3.

Mario Amaca, NOHS principal, said the school has already reached its carrying capacity of 8,000 enrollees.

“Everybody wants to enroll at NOHS but we cannot accommodate all. And I would like to make it clear that we don’t choose grades,” Amaca clarified.

Amaca also revealed that the school still lacks about 3,000 chairs and that he has already requested it from the provincial government and have some old chairs repaired.

He said that three classrooms have already been completed and that five more are nearing completion.

Amaca also said that the school is ready to implement Reserve Officers’ Training Corp (ROTC) for Senior High School.

However, he said they have not yet received the official mandate from the Department of Education about the implementation of ROTC.

Amaca led Friday, May 24, the unveiling of the NOHS steel signage donated by Batch 85.

250 kids finish Bacolod City Library’s summer workshop


A TOTAL of 250 schoolchildren, aging 6 years old and above, have finished the Summer Workshop for Kids 2019 conducted by the Bacolod City Public Library.

These kids attended the culmination program at the Bacolod City Government Center lobby Tuesday, May 21,2019 where they staged a recital of their talents in singing, showcase their prowess in playing guitar and keyboard, and displayed their outputs in drawing.

Bacolod City Councilor Cindy Rojas, chairperson of the City Council committee on Family and Child Care Development, attended the culmination rites and congratulated the children, their parents, and the organizers for completing the workshop.

Bacolod City Librarian Greta Memoria said the courses and classes offered in their workshop are: basic drawing, voice, guitar, keyboard, taekwondo, and Photoshop, foreign languages (Korean, Japanese, and Spanish), and academic subjects such as English 6 and 9, and Mathematics 6 and 9.

Memoria also expressed her gratitude to the parents and guardians of the participants for attending the program, and for giving their children the chance to discover and enhance their talents and skills through the said program.

The workshop was held at the Bacolod City Library for almost a month (April 15 to May 21) for all subjects, and 10 days only for foreign languages.

They even have adults enrolled in Photoshop and in foreign languages classes, she said.

Memoria said this is now the 11th year of their summer workshop that started in 2008.

International actors visit Negros attractions

By Glazyl Y. Masculino (TDG)

BACOLOD City – Canada-based theater artists Dennis Gupa and Thai-Hoa Le explored the famous attractions of Negros Occidental.

Sagay City Information and Tourism officer Mark Raymund Garcia said the two artists were in the province for ”Hanas”, a local term for training organized by the Negros Museum and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA) for performing artists.

Garcia said Gupa is also a director while Hoa Le is an international actor who is part of the X-Men movie, an American superhero film series based on comic books.

They arrived in the province on May 5 and stayed here for a week.

The two artists visited some of the tourist destinations in the cities of Sagay, Talisay, and Victorias, aside from having their intensive training and workshop in the province.

They visited the Carbin Reef and the Suyac Island and tried snorkeling.

They also met with Sagay City’s Art Master Nunelucio Alvarado at Kape Albarako, the famous coffee place in the city.

Alvarado shared to them his art and his passion to teach arts to the community.

They also went to St. Joseph the Worker Parish, commonly known as the Angry Christ Church, a Roman Catholic chapel located inside the Victorias Milling Company residential complex in Victorias City.

They also visited The Ruins in Talisay City, a famous attraction in the province which is the remains of the stately Italianate ancestral home mansion of the Lacson family which was razed during World War II.

Garcia said both artists were impressed with the arts and culture scene in Negros.

DOT trains youth tourism leaders in Western Visayas

By Erwin Nicavera (PNA)

BACOLOD CITY -- A total of 41 young leaders in Western Visayas are attending the five-day Future Tourism Leaders (FTL) Camp in this city, which was initiated by the regional tourism office.

The training, which runs until May 23, is being hosted by the provincial government of Negros Occidental, in partnership with the cities of Bacolod, San Carlos, Bago, Victorias, Sagay, and Talisay at the Capitol Social Hall here.

The opening program on Sunday was led by Tourism Assistant Secretary Ma. Rica Bueno along with Department of Tourism (DOT) 6 (Western Visayas) Director Helen Catalbas.

Provincial supervising tourism operations officer Cristine Mansinares said on Tuesday the participants represent the six provinces and two highly-urbanized cities in Western Visayas.

Mansinares said the FTL Camp aims to create awareness among the youth and encourage them to participate in the promotion and development of the region’s tourism industry.

“The young leaders will be equipped with skills vital to the tourism sector,” she said.

The sessions topics focus on leadership, sustainable tourism, communication, writing, and maximizing the social media platform.

The campers are also visiting immersion sites in Negros Occidental with best practices on community-based tourism, sustainable ecotourism, and cultural resource management.

These sites are located in the cities of San Carlos, Sagay, Victorias, Silay, Talisay, and Bago, and Manapla town.

Mansinares said a session on policy and advocacy will enable participants to craft a youth tourism legislative agenda for the region based on their learnings and experiences during the camp.

The participants will also form an organization and will be mobilized in the planning and implementation of tourism programs, projects, and activities in their respective communities, she added.

487 kids join week-long basketball camp in Bacolod City

By Nanette Guadalquiver (PNA)

BACOLOD CITY -- A total of 487 campers joined the just-concluded Bacolod leg of the Alaska Basketball Power Camp 2019 held at Trinity Christian School here.

The Bacolod training camp, which ran from May 10 to 16, saw the most number of participants among the three events conducted in various cities this summer.

Of the 487 campers, 457 were boys while 30 were girls who learned the fundamental skills and core values in playing basketball.

There were 47 participants in the 4-7 years old category; 137 in the 8-10 years old; 166 in the 11-13 years old; and 137 in the 14 years old and above divisions.

Meanwhile, the Manila leg lured 195 campers while Baguio camp drew more than 300 young basketball enthusiasts.

Camp director Jeffrey Cariaso said they teach the participants the core values to be a good citizen and better athlete.

“We want to instill in them the value of hard work, determination, discipline, and respect,” Cariaso, a former Philippine Basketball Association player and Alaska Aces assistant coach, said in a statement on Sunday.

Bacolod head coach, Mark “Tata” Belangel, said the training camp, which the city hosted for the fourth time, has been receiving positive feedback based on the increasing number of participants each year.

“I have seen the growth of the campers since they started joining years before. They have become better student-athletes,” he added.

Belangel said some of the standout campers became varsity players in various schools.

“There are numerous talents in Bacolod waiting for an opportunity to be trained and become champions,” he said.

Belangel noted that coaches in Metro Manila schools have identified Bacolod as a source of top basketball talents.

Former PBA Most Valuable Player Willie Miller, who was among the coaches in the Bacolod leg, said they have always received great support when holding the basketball camp in this city.

“There are very talented Bacolod children with potentials waiting to be unleashed,” he added.

Bacolod showing strong property sector growth


THE condominium segment in Bacolod City is still in its early stages but Colliers International Philippines sees both demand and supply rising once various township projects are completed.

Also, the demand for house and lots remains strong as it is buoyed by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as well as local and foreign investors, the global real property services firm said.

In its report furnished to SunStar Bacolod, Colliers believes that developers should be quick in cashing in on residential opportunities by converting brownfield properties such as the old airport into mixed-use communities.

Developers should also explore land around the fringes of the city, aggressively develop affordable and economic units, and acquire developable land near planned infrastructure projects, the report said.

“Colliers still sees the aggressive development of house and lot projects to continue over the next two to three years especially in the peripheries of the city,” it added.

The reports further showed that the city’s house and lot stock reached 17,660 units as of end of last year.

Of which, about 58 percent are classified as economic amounting to P450,000 to P1.69 million per unit.

It was followed by the affordable segment worth P1.7 million to P3.2 million which accounts for 24 percent.

Bacolod’s condominium segment is still in its early stage, with stock reaching only 1,308 in 2018.

This is much smaller than Metro Manila’s 111,000 units and Metro Cebu’s 38,800 units, it added.

Overall, the company projects a muted pace of condominium development within the city.

“From 2019 to 2021, we expect the completion of about 870 units or only 290 units per annum,” it said, adding that this is still higher than the 150 units completed per annum from 2016 to 2018.

All the upcoming supply is classified as affordable at the cost of P1.7 million to P3.2 million, or 32,000 to 60,000 US dollars, per unit.

Colliers reported that more than 80 percent of the projects are from Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI), which is aggressively expanding its footprint in the city.

Banking on the real estate development potentials of Bacolod, CLI has unveiled its maiden project in the city with an initial cost of P1.5 billion in February last year.

The project called MesaVirre Garden Residences located in a 3.6-hectare property on Lacson Street in Barangay Bata is the fifth of the company’s garden series in the Visayas and Mindanao.

The first four garden residences were established in cities of Cebu, Cagayan de Oro (CDO), and Davao.

The three residential buildings of 16, 19 and 18 floors, respectively, have a total 1,072 studio and a bedroom type units with sizes ranging from 22 to almost 41 square meters.

The completion target for the first two towers is fourth quarter of 2020 while that of the third tower is last part of 2021.

Completion of Kabankalan airport eyed in 2020


SIXTH District Congressman-elect Genaro Alvarez is eyeing for the completion of the Kabankalan City Airport.

Alvarez after his proclamation on Thursday, May 16, said that he has discussed with incumbent Kabankalan City Mayor Isidro Zayco and incoming Mayor Pedro Zayco about the airport and that they have agreed to make it operational before June 2020.

The former Vice Governor said that he will allocate funds along with the funding from Kabankalan City Government and the Provincial Government through incoming Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson to raise the needed funding totaling to about P100 to P150 million to finish the project.

The Kabankalan Airport still lacks the runway, apron and terminal, Alvarez said.

Alvarez was accompanied by his daughter, incumbent Deputy Speaker Mercedes Alvarez, during his proclamation at the Provincial Capitol's Social Hall.

“This could be the last time for me to run because I will return it to Chedeng,” Alvarez said.

DP Alvarez who will be graduating on June 30 said that she will still be around in the district helping his father especially the legal assistance program that she has been extending to the people of the sixth district.

When asked of any advise she could give to her father, DP Alvarez said that she has been guided by the advises of her father during her tenure as congresswoman and deputy speaker of the House of Representatives so she doesn't need to give any advise to him.

The incoming congressman, meanwhile, said that he will continue with his program dubbed as “from womb to tomb” and that he has been preparing free coffins for indigent residents in the district who may die and the assistance they have been extending to the overseas Filipino workers.

Other winners in the May 13 elections who were proclaimed by the Provincial Board of Canvassers on Thursday were Board Members Macho Alonso and Jeffrey Tobola also of the sixth District and reelectionist Board Members Jose Maria Alonso and Victor Javellana of the fourth district.

Business group optimistic of sustained growth in NegOcc

By Erwin Nicavera (PNA)

BACOLOD CITY -- The Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) is looking forward to the continuity of government initiatives under the new leadership in Negros Occidental to accelerate growth and development in the province.

MBCCI chief executive officer Frank Carbon said on Thursday the provincial government under Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. has already started efforts in bringing development to the rural areas.

There is a need for the land and sea sides to be productive to spur more wealth and employment generation opportunities, he added.

Marañon, whose third and final term ends on June 30, will be succeeded by Vice Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, whose successor in the Provincial Board is former 4th District Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer.

“We want the provincial government together with local government units to put their investments in the rural areas and encourage national government agencies to do the same for a balanced growth in the province,” Carbon said.

He added that focusing government resources to the development of rural areas should be included by the newly-elected officials in their development agenda.

Carbon said that in the provincial level, officials have already recognized the development direction towards the rural areas, which was started by Marañon.

In the capital city of Bacolod, the local government has already put in place a major development plan ahead of the mid-term elections, the business leader said.

He cited the administration’s four priority projects to be funded by the PHP1.7-billion loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines, including the PHP350-million development of Progreso Village Relocation Site; PHP350-million Bacolod City College site development and facilities; PHP200-million construction of roads and bridges; and the PHP800-million development of Bacolod MassKara Coliseum.

Carbon said the MBCCI wants to see these and other programs to push through, especially that 11 out of the 12 incoming members of the City Council belong to the majority.

He noted that the coliseum will encourage more people to come to Bacolod through conventions and meetings while the relocation project is also needed to clear the shoreline of informal settlers.

NegOcc ARB coop develops ecopark in Cadiz City

By By Erwin Nicavera (PNA)

BACOLOD CITY -- The Dalayapan Agrarian Reform Cooperative (DARCO) is developing a 20-hectare ecological park in Barangay Caduha-an, Cadiz City in northern Negros Occidental.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer I Milagros Flores said on Friday the Dalayapan Ecopark is expected to start operating next year.

The amenities will include campgrounds, spring pool, and other recreational facilities.

“The ecopark is included in the cooperative’s developmental plan,” Flores said.

She added that DARCO’s success is a pride of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the City of Cadiz.

On Thursday, the cooperative opened the Café Darco inside the area witnessed by local government officials.

Café Darco, which is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, offers a variety of coffee choices, coffee-related drinks and native delicacies in a setting that provides a good view of nature.

Farm manager Dominador Alave Jr. expressed gratitude to those who have supported the initiatives of DARCO, which has received assistance from the DAR and other government agencies since it was organized in 2012.

“It’s hard to believe that we can achieve greater heights of success in our journey as agrarian reform beneficiaries, but it’s happening now,” he said.

Mayor Patrick Escalante assured DARCO of support from the local government to help the cooperative realize its vision of making the ecopark site a tourist destination.

“You have not yet reached your full potential. There’s more to look forward to,” the mayor told the cooperative members, adding that they should not rely solely on sugarcane and must diversify to other high-value crops like banana and cacao.

Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino lauded the cooperative for its achievement as he hoped that the proposed Dalayapan Ecopark will become an agri-tourism site.

“National and local agencies will surely help the cooperative achieve its goals, including the ecopark development,” he added.

Negros Occidental Archived News

The older news reports are kept here.