In Mindanao, Cesar Montano Bares Countryside Development Agenda

Apr. 21, 2007

Butuan CityIn his sortie last night in Butuan, Agusan del Norte, Lakas-CMD senatorial candidate, internationally acclaimed actor, director and movie producer Cesar Montano bared his agenda for the development of the rural areas. In an extemporaneous speech that moved the crowd in Butuan, Cesar Montano said that his platform to develop the country-side is simple but effective. It is summed up by his nameC.E.S.A.R. This stands for Cooperative, Entrepreneurship, Support Services, Rural Productivity, and Rural Infrastructure. Contrary to my critics claim that I have no agenda, Montano said, my name represents my agenda for country-side development. Pngalan ko and paninindigan ko (my name is my commitment).

He said that he will push for the establishment of more cooperative in the rural areas focusing on credit so that farmers and farm workers can have access to capital needed to buy farm implements, seedlings, or even use the money to send their children to school. Montano is also batting for more skills training that can pave the way for the rural folks to become entrepreneurs and not just be tied to the land as tillers. He proposed TESDA and the Department of Trade and Industry to increase their exposure down to the baranggay level.

Speaking in Tagalog and Visayan, in which he is also fluent, Montano said that in order for the tillers of the land to rise above the poverty level, continuous support services from the government is needed. This is in the form of skills training, capacity building, at appropriate farm technology. Related to support services, according to Montano is Agricultural Productivity. We need to increase the production not only of the big farms but also the production of small households, continued Montano. As a former student of civil engineering, Montano said he knows the important role played by infrastructure in the rural areas. Here, Montano gave strong emphasis on farm-to-market roads, irrigation systems, potable water supply system, electricity and post-harvest facilities.

Montano is usually the last to speak in the Team Unity sorties so the crowds would not leave. He is usually mobbed by adoring fans. Some of those who attended the rally at Butuan were happy to know that Cesar Montano has an agenda for the development of the rural areas. And that it is easy to remember as it is embodied in the name of their idolC.E.S.A.R.

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