After barely a year in office as Governor of the Province, I am proud to report to the people of Negros Oriental, who I consider my bosses, that we have immediately gained grounds in the various aspects of governance under my administration; so that as the year comes to a close, the Provincial Government was able to accomplish a lot.
These accomplishments are something which any LGU, for that matter, can be proud of.
For starters, I am very happy to inform you that we have increased our rice production in the last two quarters of this year.
We have reduced the child and maternal death rate.
We have filled in the various gaps in our education sector.
We have increased the avenues for livelihood opportunities.
In fact, we are ranked number four among the ten best implementing provinces in the country by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
These various accomplishments were highlighted by the recognition citing the Province of Negros Oriental in the number four spot among the top ten best performing provinces in the country in the DILG’s LGPMS program.
With all of these happening one after the other in such a short period of time, what else can I say except that the Province of Negros Oriental is in the pink of health in as far as its state of affairs is concerned.
On this very positive note, I wish to welcome everyone in today’s activity.
Through you, I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who supported my administration including the various sectors which extended their help to my administration.
You have certainly made our job easier.
My dear friends, I wish to reiterate what I said earlier.
The Province of Negros Oriental continues to soar high.
Based on records, our Province is soaring higher as compared to the other provinces in the country today.
Negros Oriental is in a position where it can very well manage its own affairs.
In short, our Province has become more stable through the passage of time.
Personally, I consider as one of our biggest accomplishments was the apprehension of two alleged hired killers sometime in November this year near my residence in Siaton.
That apprehension led to the filing of charges on certain individuals believed to be guns-for-hire including the alleged mastermind.
It was a major accomplishment because it is in line with the goal of my administration to provide a safe and peaceful environment for our people.
Admittedly however, despite the strong foundation laid down by our past leaders, we still have a lot of things to do in order to attain my vision of total peace and development in Negros Oriental.
In order to attain that goal, the Provincial Government had set a specific direction in order to provide all concerned with a comprehensive and clear vision of where we want to go.
This is clearly stipulated under our program of government dubbed as the Sa Probinsiya MagDEGAMO Ta! Program with H-E-L-P or HELP as its centerpiece.
HELP stands for Health– Education– Livelihood Programs and Projects– for peace and development.
The MagDEGAMO Ta! Program is used–not to promote my name—nor to further my political ambition.
It is actually a word in the dialect– which means “mag-andam”—dili pag-pangandam.
It is like saying—magdegamo ta para sa pamahaw—o para sa mga bisita.
In our case—magdegamo ta alang sa kalinaw ug kalambuan sa lalawigan sa Negros Oriental.
In brief– the MagDEGAMO Ta! Program is a vehicle– which calls for unity and for action in order to bring all the government services closer and more accessible to the people for the purpose of achieving total peace and development in Negros Oriental.
The MagDEGAMO Ta! Program is also aimed to strengthen food security and to provide livelihood opportunities for the people of the entire Province for them to live healthily, peacefully and happily.
It is basically because of this particular program, as I have mentioned earlier, that the Province of Negros Oriental is ranked number four among the ten best performing provinces in the entire country.
It is because of the many new projects that we have implemented within the first few months of my administration, under the major components of the MagDEGAMO program in health, education, livelihood programs and projects.
We are now in the process of improving our various hospital facilities.
This includes the community primary hospitals, the district hospitals and our provincial hospital.
This is aimed at improving their facilities and also in achieving our goal of zero maternal and child mortality rate in the Province.
This is one of the major concerns– of the millennium development goals or the MDG’s.
- We have started the upgrading of our 6 Community Primary Hospitals (CPH) particularly in the establishment of Basic Emergency Maternal and Obstetrical Newborn Care or BEMONC. We have initially set up this facility on top of the allocation of six million pesos for each of the CPH. 5 million pesos is for the construction component and 1 million pesos is for the acquisition of the necessary equipment for the BEMONC.
- We have completed the construction of the 7th CPH located in Barangay Dawis, Bayawan City. I already approved the start of the operation of said CPH starting next year.
- We have also started the upgrading of both Bayawan District Hospital for 17 million pesos and Guihulngan District Hospital for 21 million pesos all assisted by the DOH. This is for the establishment of a Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care (CEMONC).
- We have started the renovation of the Out-Patient Department (OPD) of the NOPH which got a funding assistance from the DOH amounting to 80 million pesos.
- We have continued the construction of the NOPH 4-storey central block. We are finalizing all the technical and legal requirements for our plan to secure a loan from banks to bankroll the construction of said facility.
- Through the Surgical Mobile Team, we were able to extend free surgical and medical missions to a total of more than one thousand residents in three rounds of said mission. This was first conducted in the Siaton District Hospital, then in the Bindoy DH and in the Bayawan DH. This undertaking is in cooperation with the Philippine Association of Medical Specialists (PAMS), the Associated Cebu Eye Specialists (ACES), the Philippine Army Medical Team, the PNP and the local government units.
- We have continued the school building program for the purpose of providing additional classrooms and also teachers for our schools. Under my watch, 36 new constructions were funded. 29 of them were already completed and 7 are still under construction including 4 in barangay Linantuyan. These are purely provincial government funded projects since they do not need any counterpart from the LGU’s.
- We have continued the scholarship programs started by my predecessors. Under my administration however, we have expanded the coverage of the program. From the usual valedictorians and salutatorians, we also include poor but deserving students. This refers to those who have high marks or grades but are not salutatorians and valedictorians. We have more than 800 scholars at present enrolled in the various NORSU campuses. Of course we have maintained the scholarship program for the school of medicine and allied health courses.
- We have allocated a total of 5.3 million pesos this year for another round of implementation of the Essential Health Care Package (EHCP) since the program now includes the city divisions. We continued the implementation of the EHCP for the proper hygiene of our school children and the scholarship program among others.
- We have added the number of Educators-Co-Mentors to fill in the vacuum caused by the lack of teachers.
We continue to ride on our tourism potential as one of the main avenues in creating job and livelihood opportunities for our people.
- We have continued the development of our various support infrastructures for the identified tourist spots in the Province amounting to almost 20 million pesos. This includes the development of Balanan Lake, Baslay Hot Spring in Dauin, Balinsasayaw Twin Lakes in Sibulan, Mabinay Caves and the Mantalip Reef in Bindoy, among others.
- The biggest chunk of the budget for tourism site development is for the on going development of the Tanjay City Mangrove Forest amounting to 7 million pesos.
- We have re-launched the Sidlakang Negros Village through the Abril-Gana with the aim of making the facility open and operational the whole year-round.
- We have put in an additional four million pesos to the Coopreneurship Surety Fund (CSF) as additional counterpart to the program.
- We have also set aside funds for cooperative development in the entire province especially for BHW’s, BNS and BPDO’s.
- We have set aside 500 thousand pesos for the production of native animals such as: chickens, goats, pigs and cows.
- We are presently in the massive implementation of various infrastructure projects. Some of them were programmed and funded dating back to the term of Gov. Dodo Macias.
- We have ventured into another technology called the seed inoculant—another strain of Trico-derma which is capable of converting fertilizers into important elements needed by plants. This can reduce the fertilizer requirements of the farmers as to as much as 50 percent.
- We have allocated 1 million pesos this year for the construction of more BADC’s.
- We are also put up an additional component to our organic fertilizer production through rapid composting. This is in addition to the usual vermi composting.
- We have tapped various technologies in our agriculture sector in order to increase farm production especially on rice through the use of the Systems of Rice Intensification or SRI. The first demo farm in Zamboanguita produced the desired results of more than a hundred percent increase in rice production.
- We have allocated 500 thousand pesos for the improvement of the Bagsakan Center inside the Tabo sa PAO compound. This is intended for pure organic products.
- We have extended cash assistance to OFW’s who were forced to be repatriated because of the ongoing chaos in Libya and some other parts of the world.
- We launched a massive information drive for disaster risk reduction campaign through our Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Council (PDRRMC) and in cooperation with the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD). We already conducted seminar workshops in practically all LGU’s. We funded two batches of Search and Rescue or SAR training before the year end.
- We have provided additional financial support to local government units on top of their annual share of the 20 percent economic development fund.
- We have extended financial assistance amounting to 5 thousand pesos to the siblings of the alleged two NPA members who died in a clash with the army in the hinterlands of Santa Catalina.
- We have collaborated with the Philippine Army and other sectors in the Oplan Bayanihan activities.
- We have allocated one million pesos as counterpart funds for the construction of a dormitory in NORSU Guihulngan Campus.
- We are also finalizing all the necessary requirements for the acquisition of new heavy equipment. This is intended for the establishment of a Mobile Engineering Unit, Disaster Preparedness and peace and order related concerns.
My dear friends, these are just among the few programs and projects that we have started, accomplished and those that need to be continued.
Rest assured that we will continue to double, triple our efforts in order to implement programs and projects that are essential to attaining total peace and development in Negros Oriental.
With all these as my guides in running this province– and through the help of the various sectors– most especially the private sector– I must say that the Provincial Government is not letting its guard down in order to achieve our vision of total peace and development in Negros Oriental.
All I want is for our people to live healthily, peacefully and happily.
Thank you very much.
Sa Probinsiya-MagDEGAMO Ta!