SABLAN, Benguet – The Municipality of Sablan, the Fruit Basket of Benguet, kicked-off their 3rd Fruit Festival Celebration with a float parade showcasing the fruits produced in the 8 contending barangays of the municipality with the theme “Working together in sustaining a fruitful Sablan.”
Gracing the activity was Regional High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) Regional Coordinator Joan D. Bacbac of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office- Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-RFO-CAR).
In her message during the occasion, she defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs.” She mentioned 3 factors that should be considered in the pursuit of sustainable development as follows: 1) people, 2) environment, and 3) profit. People should work together because everyone has a particular role. The environment should be conserved with the help of DA and other agencies. And, profit should be considered because aside from producing fruits there should also be profit to provide other needs such as food, education for their children, among others.
In support of agriculture, Representative Harry Roque, Jr. of Kabayan Partylist, one of the guests, promised that his party will provide livestock such as goat and cattle for 2017-2018 and fruit planting materials to the residents of Sablan.
Other guests were Benguet Governor Cresencio Pacalso, delegates from Guam headed by Mayor Kevin James Susuico of Agat, Guam, USA, and mayors & officials of neighboring municipalities such as Kapangan and Tuba.
Mayor Arthur Baldo said the town’s fruit festival was held this month because most fruit varieties usually are in season during August and September but the fruiting season came earlier this year. He encouraged the farmers to plant more fruits for the municipality and for the country and to avail of quality planting materials from certified trees and accredited nurseries.
Bacbac promised the Department of Agriculture will continue its support to the municipality provided they know what they want to achieve in the future saying, “outsiders can help but insiders should do their job.”
The celebration was done September 2-4, 2017. Aside from the float parade featuring the town’s fruits, activities included the agricultural trade fair, poster making, wall painting, ground demonstrations and the serving of the largest fruit salad.
By Karen T. Gawigawen