Press Release
August 9, 2008

Villar hails outstanding Visayan farmer

Senate President Manny Villar lauded the winner of the Visayas State University's (VSU) 2008 Outstanding Farmer Award at the farmers' and fisherfolks' day held during the university's 84th founding anniversary today in Baybay, Leyte where he was guest of honor and speaker.

Villar, a strong advocate of entrepreneurship, gave Vergilio Torino an additional P10,000 from his own personal funds as livelihood support, augmenting the latter's take-home incentive of P10,000 to P20,000.

"I strongly encourage the government and private sector to follow the lead of the Visayas State University's Ugmad Awards as a way of giving due importance to the contributions of our farmers and fishermen in nation building," the Senate President said.

The Nacionalista Party (NP) headed by Villar also recently awarded a total of P1.6 million in livelihood support to 16 promising small entrepreneurs dubbed "Pondo sa Sipag, Puhunan sa Tiyaga" which was conceived by Villar and launched during the NP's centennial anniversary.

Villar has also filed the Magna Carta for Agricultural Workers, a bill seeking to improve the economic well-being of agricultural workers through better working conditions and reward systems.

During the VSU event which also presented documentaries of farmers' experiences, the Senate President and VSU president Jose Bacusmo joined a boodle fight with farmers and fisherfolks, and listened to their updates and situations.

The Senate President then proceeded to Maasin, Leyte to attend the Pabulhon Festival held in time for Maasin City's 8th charter day anniversary and annual fiesta celebration where he was welcomed by Maasin Mayor Maloney Samaco and introduced as guest speaker by Rep. Roger Mercado.

Villar also cut the ribbon at the opening of the Agri-Aqua Fair and Garden Exhibit in front of the Maasin City Gym assisted by Rep. Mercado, Gov. Damian Mercado, Mayor Samaco, Vice-Mayor Ma. Effie Abiera-Sabandal, and the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Maasin City.

Likewise, the Senate President is also expected to keynote the Governor's Ball highlighting the 29th annual general membership meeting of the Lions Club International to be held tonight in Sabin Beach Resort in Ormoc.

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