Gov. Roel Ragay Degamo may not be getting all the political support he needs from most elected local government officials in Negros Oriental but his administration has withstood various battles, largely in the political arena, to dispense public service catering to the basic needs of the people.
“2013 was a good year for us”, said Governor Degamo, who delivered his annual year-end report. “The provincial government, under my leadership, continues to take into account, and adhere to its mandate to deliver quality basic services to the people it has committed itself to serve”.
The Governor, whose leadership has been tainted with controversies before and after the May 2013 elections, reported his accomplishments in health, education, infrastructure, sports and tourism, and other fields of priority for this year, despite the many challenges it faced.
Among the accomplishments he cited were the improvement of hospital facilities, and avenues for livelihood opportunities both here and abroad, the reduction of child and maternal death rate, filling the gaps in the education sector, and a drop in the number of casualties during calamities.
Degamo attributed these successes to the men and women of the provincial government for their “earnest dedication and commitment to extend the best quality service to our people”.
These accomplishments, however, were not easy, mainly because he said he believes this has something to do with his not being not aligned with the ruling administration of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, which the Governor describes as mainly the reason for “rough sailing” in some projects that were supposedly to be funded by national government agencies.
Also, due to political differences, the provincial chief executive’s agenda has been met several times with what he describes as apparent attempts by his opponents to slow down his administration’s thrusts.
But, according to the Governor, he believes that the delivery of basic services, as well as the Province’s projects, programs and activities, “are vehicles which call for unity and action to uplift the quality of life of the Negrenses.
Like a lone soldier in the wilderness, Governor Degamo — whose colorful political career which he fondly describes as “destiny”, and which has earned the antagonism of his detractors — slugged it out throughout the year, implementing projects and programs mostly with provincial funding.
One of the biggest accomplishments in the Degamo administration was the successful staging of the Palarong Pambansa in April last year.
The 56th Palarong Pambansa, also known as the 2013 Palaro, was held April 21-17 in Negros Oriental, specifically with the main playing venues in the capital city of Dumaguete and other nearby towns.
Degamo lamented that the Department of Education had “failed” to deliver its promise for assistance, with the national athletic association games mostly subsidized by the provincial government.
Another significant accomplishment that the Governor reported is Capitol’s heightened emphasis on disaster management and reduction efforts.
While thankful that the Province was not badly affected or hard hit by major calamities that left a trail of devastation in other areas especially in the Visayas, the provincial government has expressed its sympathy and has condoled with those who are now reeling from the aftermath of the recent disasters.
Capitol has allocated P13 million as financial assistance to the calamity-stricken areas, with the amount gleaned from the province’s Quick Response Fund of P21-million.
The provincial government has procured rubber boats, rescue equipment, and other logistics, as well as trained personnel on search-and-rescue, disaster response and mitigation on separate incidents to ensure a minimal loss to lives and damage to property in future disasters or calamities.
The provincial government continues to improve on the delivery of health care services to its constituents by way of improving various hospital facilities, including the community primary hospitals in the hinterlands, the district hospitals, and the Provincial Hospital.
This is directed at achieving its goal of zero maternal and child mortality in the Province, and is one of the major concerns of the millennium development goals.
This year, the provincial government upgraded its six community primary hospitals, particularly in the establishment of the Bais Emergency Maternal & Obstetrical Care. (PNA)