Angara sets foot on Basilan during campaign swing

March 25, 2013 10:46 pm 

MANILA, March 25 –- Rep. Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara visited Basilan while on a campaign swing in Mindanao to address the 29th commencement exercises of the 1,038 graduates of the Basilan State College in Isabela City.

”It’s my first time to come here to Basilan. Though it is not a much-visited area during campaign, I took the opportunity to witness first-hand what is happening in this part of the country,” Angara, running under Team PNoy senatorial ticket, said in a press statement.

Angara attended a press conference before the graduation rites and underscored the province’s huge potential for peace, economic development and prosperity.

“Given the developments in the peace process and the signing of the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement, I think Basilan is a very promising province,” he added.

The lawmaker also lauded the local government of Basilan for the recent successful negotiation to free Australian Warren Rodwell from Abu Sayyaf militants.

“Prosperity cannot be achieved without peace. With the help of the framework agreement and your efficient local officials, we can hasten the economic growth of Basilan and improve the situation of the war-stricken province,” Angara said.

The representative from Aurora noted that Basilan’s priority investment areas should be targeted towards agriculture and tourism.

“Agriculture is the main source of livelihood of the people of Basilan. There should be a comprehensive agriculture development program to fully tap the rich agro-based resources of the province,” he proposed.

The veteran lawmaker is the author of House Bill 391 or the Rural Employment Generation Act which seeks to convert one million hectares of idle and underutilized lands into modern productive agricultural resources.

Under the measure, it is expected that one million rural jobs will be created, with annual farm income of at least P25,000 per hectare being generated.

“Basilan also has myriad natural attractions such as white sand beaches, pristine waters, coral formations, waterfalls, and historical sites that could accommodate business ventures in tourism and related services,” said Angara.

Angara also co-authored Republic Act 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009, which declares a national policy on tourism as an engine of investment, employment, growth and national development.

“If I get elected in May, I can assure you that Basilan will always have my support in pushing for programs and reforms to uplift the quality of life of the locals,” he said. (PNA)

HBC/JFM

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