THE Korean government, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), has selected Misamis Oriental as a pilot site for the establishment of a multi-agro industry cluster in the Philippines.

This was announced by Gov. Oscar Moreno during his weekly radio program following information from the Department of Agriculture (DA) over the weekend.

With this development, Moreno expressed thanks to the Korean government for selecting the province of Misamis Oriental as a pilot site for the project.

“This is also a welcome development and another milestone for Misamis Oriental and for Misamisnons,” Moreno said.

The project intends to provide technical and financial support to the province’s agriculture industry, particularly on corn.

It was learned that during the selection, there were six candidate sites for the project. These include Isabela, Aurora, Quirino, Bohol, Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental, which were evaluated and assessed based on a set of criteria that includes infrastructure support, physical resources, soil conditions, industrial facilities, among others.

Relative to this, representatives from the six candidate sites attended a two-week training course in Korea in October to familiarize themselves with the multi-industry cluster (MIC) sites in Korea.

Maricel Casiño-Rivera, executive assistant III and head of the Provincial Press Office, attended the said training in Korea to represent Misamis Oriental.

Casiño-Rivera said the project is an offshoot of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Korean government last year as part of the Korean government’s commitment to help the Philippines, which was also part of the 60th anniversary celebration of the Philippine-Korea diplomatic relations.

“Misamis Oriental, in terms of the criteria, has an edge compared to the five other candidate sites for the project. Although we also have some disadvantages the same as other candidates, it’s only minimal. Besides, the province is typhoon free compared to Luzon,” she said.

article by Annabelle L. Ricalde of SSC

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