Tarlac City, Tarlac – to jumpstart the week-long celebration of the 147th founding anniversary of the Municipality of Anao, no less than Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo with former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III graced the inauguration of the town's Ylang Ylang Center as this year's guest of honor and speaker on March 13 in Anao, Tarlac.
In her address, the vice president extended her gratitude to the Korean Government for extending its support in production technology and emphasized that effective local governance transcends differences.
"Nakikita po natin ang potensyal ng center na ito. Sana ay mahalin ng mga tao ang industriyang ito" (we can see the center's potential. I hope this industry will be loved by the people), Robredo said.
Tarlac Governor Susan Yap also lauded the municipality's effort to continue the two-decade-old industry that harnessed the economic potential of the Ylang Ylang, being the source of one of the most expensive essential oils in the world.
"It took decades for this project to come to fruition. We are very grateful for our Korean counterparts...what is most important is the transfer of technology and capability building in Anao," Yap added.
Anao Mayor Betty Lacbayan thanked the Provincial Government of Tarlac and other national government agencies for helping the project succeed despite the limited resources of the LGU.
Atty. Hwijin Jang of the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) shared the background of the agency's partnership with the LGU which started in 2013. He furthered that economic adjustments had to be made then to best suit the town's capability. He also hinted the establishment of a three-hectare Ylang Ylang Plantation in the town in late March.
Anao's tourism officer, Joey Astrero said the blooming Ylang Ylang industry started in 1989, which accounts for the significant increase in the town's annual income.
The processing center features a nursery and laboratory that extracts essential oils from the Ylang Ylang flower. The oil is used in creating local products such as soap, perfume, massage oil, repellent, and other hygienic products.
The inauguration was attended by DILG Regional Director Julie Daquioag and Assistant Regional Director Araceli San Jose with DILG Tarlac Provincial Director Belina Herman, Program Manager Angelo Alexis Barroga, Cluster Team Leader Ener Cambronero, MLGOO Juanerio Verano, other directors and officers of national government agencies, LGU officials, non-government organizations, and the media.
The town's recent feat proves that small population and land area are not deterrents to an LGU's development.