By REY ANTHONY CHIU of the PIA
TAGBILARAN City––While the government bundles job openings for the nationwide May 1 Labor Day fair, in Bohol, some 24,000 farmhand jobs would be opened in Governor Erico Aumentado’s single formal act.
On that day, the governor signs a memorandum of agreement with Philippine National Oil Company-Alternative Fuels Corporation (PNOC-AFC) that would seal the fate for Project Jatropha here.
Project Jatropha, one that had Capitol and the PNOC-AFC huddling for quite some time promises to make Bohol jatropha source by making use of its idle lands into productive green-fuel source.
The MOA signing with Governor Aumentado and AFC Chief Executive Officer, retired Lieutenant General Romeo Tolentino, along with Petrogreen Holdings managing Director Poch Lamug would be witnessed by mayors from towns pre-identified as sites for the initial 3,000 hectares of jatropha curcas plantation, says Capitol spokesman Antonieto Pernia.
Speaking during the weekly The Governor Reports, Pernia said the signing also signals good things for Boholano farmers who now need not shell out any amount for the project.
He explained that the May 1 signing would be the governor’s gift to the laborers on that day, with the 3,000 hectares computed to generate no less than 24,000 farm hands in the towns.
The best thing, Pernia stressed is that a farmer would be paid P1.25 per plant and after 8 years when the plant bears, he still owns everything he could harvest.
The recent agreement has the PNOC putting up P23,000 per hectare as mobility fund, one that would be the source for planting materials, labor component and inputs, the spokesperson said.
Before the recent agreement, Bohol was supposed to allot P30M for the labor component as it was agreed that every jatropha planted would be paid P1.25 cents. Petrogreen, the source of the planting materials would also give P10 for every planting material. Now, we don’t spend anymore, he said.
Immediately after the signing and after Petrogreen hands in the check, Bohol would start the project.
One of the MOA provisions, Pernia points out, calls for the PNOC to buy jatropha from Bohol farmers in the next 25 years while considering the escalation costs.