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The beautiful city and the city of beautiful people Ormoc City, hosted this year’s 3rd Regional Organic Agriculture Congress held on July 4-5, 2017.

Ormoc City Mayor the Hon. Richard I. Gomez, together with Congresswoman Lucy T. Gomez were both on hand for this momentous occasion. Joining them were Hon. Tomas Serafica, Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, who was with the entire group until the end of the Farm Tour on the following day.

In his Message, Mayor Richard Gomez said he is happy, proud and enjoy hosting this kind of activity because “we learn so much from you.” Mayor Gomez shared that in his own way he is also an advocate of organic ways. In Ormoc City, he has started a small apiary, with about 25 colony of bees. Aside from its beautiful and attractive flowers, he has already harvested around 50 bottles of fresh and pure honey,

which is a popular gift item.
On the other hand, Congresswoman Lucy T. Gomez revealed that she is a ‘fan’ of the organic lifestyle,

which she started to embrace when she became a mother. She said: “The earth is full of the Lord’s goodness. There is always a natural cure for everything before taking chemical cure (synthetic medicine). This is based on my 3 years of living an organic lifestyle. Food is medicine. I spend less on hospital bills

when I tried eating organic food only.”

In his Welcome Message, the Hon. Tomas Serafica shared on the programs and initiatives of Ormoc city relative to organic agriculture. He said the primary desire for safe and healthy food was the city’s basis to

conduct Training on the formulation of natural fertilizers thru the City Agriculture Office long before the creation of the Organic Law; their farmers found Organic Agriculture to be a very natural way to combat the climate change phenomenon. With the farmers adopting these practices, the LGU then distributed at cost several facilities to help them produce fertilizers. Because of this, the LGU was the first awardee in the region of the Organic Agriculture Achievers Award in 2015. To date, Ormoc City has 8 OA learning sites duly supervised by the LGU and ATI. All their efforts is guided by their common vision of Ormoc City to become a regular, and eventually, the biggest producer of organically grown commodities.

On the second day, July 5, 2017, the participants visited four showcase organic farms in Ormoc City and

Kananga, Leyte before heading to Lake Danao in Kananga, Leyte for lunch. Gracing this two-day Congress were the following:

• Ms. Christine Montes - representative of Engr. Christopher Morales of the National Organic Agriculture Program.

• Atty. Rhegie Camaña - representing Senator Cynthia Villa

• Mr. Ramon Marañon of the National Organic Agriculture Board

• Ms. Grace Mandigma of the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards

• Dir. Leo P. Cañeda of the Field Operations Service, DA Quezon City

• Mr. Crispin Cabal - Manager for Product Development, Pecuaria, Camarines Sur

• Engr. Arman Arcamo of the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Quezon City

• Dr. Elvira Torres - representing Dir. U-Nichols A. Manalo of DA-Region 8.

• Dr. Vilma Patindol of the Agricultural Training Institute

• Dr. Nancy Dayap of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region 8

By Ms. Maria Christina E. Colasito