Ladies and gentlemen, let me welcome all of you to this gathering– which serves as the highlight of my first 100 days of office as Governor of the Province of Negros Oriental—a journey which started last January 5, 2011 to be exact.
I would like to take this opportunity to personally extend my sincere gratitude to all of you— most especially the various members of media– because you have been very fair and just in your reports as to the state of affairs of the Provincial Government under my leadership.
Traditionally, the first 100 days of office of any leader is often called the “honeymoon period”— which I take to mean as a time for all parties concerned to get-to-know each other better; to shower each other with love and care; and to go easy on one another just like what real honeymooners do on their honeymoon.
That being the case— I for one really want this honeymoon period to last forever– but I know that it is impossible because at this point we really have to “level up” in all aspects of governance so that we can serve the people better.
I would like to make it clear, however, that my first one hundred days of office was not in any way a bed of roses.
In fact, if I may be allowed to say so– it was indeed a period of frenzied activities—one piled up on top of the other— to sum up into one very hectic schedule.
And if that was not enough, everything had become more spiced-up due to the numerous adjustments, disagreements, negative and positive comments, questions and doubts, and many more— which could have totally discouraged somebody with a weaker disposition.
I am just thankful to God and to my personal and professional background and training– that I was able to hurdle all the challenges of my first 100 days as Governor.
Some sectors might wonder why I singled out the importance of the role of the media in any government.
It is very important as they are considered as the channels by which we are able to reach out to the people everything that we want them to know about.
Meanwhile, the members of media on the other hand– are also our able partners in our efforts to achieve our dreams and aspirations–including peace and development in the Province– because it is one sector that honestly and fearlessly provides valuable inputs to the provincial leadership.
While it is true that each one of you may have a different approach in saying something or writing something about my administration— just as you have said or written both negative and positive comments about my kind of governance– but rest assured that either way, I welcome all your ideas.
Hence, I take all of them positively.
Like I always say, I do not pretend to know everything so that is the reason why I am always willing to listen and to learn based on the ideas of others– especially if they support or enhance the provincial leadership’s vision of a more develop and progressive Negros Oriental.
With this in mind, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the different sectors of society such as the local government units; the government agencies; the non-government organizations; the religious organizations; and the private sector for selflessly and generously extending the necessary assistance to the Provincial Government thereby making our responsibilities lighter and easier.
Admittedly, my administration is still in its infancy stage but in spite of this fact– I am very proud to say that, so far, we have received more positive feedback from the various sectors as compared to the negative comments channeled through the different media institutions.
This more or less tells me that the provincial government is moving in the right direction or else we would have heard of it already just in case we are not doing what is expected of us– knowing how responsible, honest and vocal our press people are.
As far as I know, and I am speaking based on experience, the press people in the Province are independent-minded and strong-willed thereby they are not afraid to speak their minds at all costs– if it is the truth.
Like what I mentioned in the beginning, today we celebrate the 100th day of my being Governor.
As part of my social and moral responsibility, I am obligated to inform the people of Negros Oriental of my major accomplishments within my first 100 days of office and they are as follows:
- We have officially launched our official tag line—Sa Probinsya-MagDEGAMO Ta!, which is actually a vehicle of our different programs and projects as defined in the centerpiece of my program of government under HELP which means Health, Education, Livelihood Programs and Projects for peace and development.
Sa Probinsiya-MagDEGAMO Ta! Is a vehicle that calls for unity, action and behavioral transformation as we push for the implementation of our different programs and projects.
- 1. Health Sector
- We have started upgrading our six Community Primary Hospitals (CPH), particularly in the establishment of their Basic Emergency Maternal and Obstetrical Care or BEMOC. For this purpose, each CPH got an allocation of six million pesos– 5 million pesos of which is for the construction component and the 1 million pesos is for the acquisition of the necessary equipment.
- We are also expecting the completion of the 7th CPH in Barangay Dawis, Bayawan City by June.
- We will soon start with the renovation of the Out-Patient Department (OPD) of the NOPH– which got a funding assistance from the DOH amounting to 80 million pesos. The bidding process is already completed.
- We have also started with the upgrading of the Bayawan District Hospital with an allocation of Php 12.5 million pesos and the Guihulngan District Hospital with an allocation of Php 25 million pesos all from the DOH.
- On top of these projects are the on-going improvements of the Rural Health Units (RHU’s) of the different local government units.
- We are now continuing the initial stage of the construction of the NOPH 4-storey central block.
- We have formed the Surgical Mobile Team– tasked to move around the province to take care of minor and major surgical procedures on identified indigents– which require such procedures together with a team consisting of eye specialists– who will take care of eye-related concerns. The Surgical Mobile Team will officially kick off on April 25 at the Siaton District Hospital.
- We have continued our partnership with HIMEX Corporation in the operation of the newly-renovated Diagnostic Imaging Department of the NOPH.
- We are in the process of reviewing the PHINO to strengthen its implementation.
- 2. Education
- We will start with the construction of 29 additional classrooms in the identified public schools in the Province that need more classrooms. The Provincial Government has set aside some 20 million pesos– taken from the Provincial School Board for this project. This would also mean additional teacher items for Negros Oriental under the Basta NegOr Education 104 Program.
- We are now in the process of screening beneficiaries for both our regular and non-regular scholarship programs and another scholarship program for those who want to study medicine and other allied health courses.
- We have allocated 4 million pesos this year for another round of implementation of the Essential Health Care Package (EHCP). The packages will be distributed this June during the start of the classes for school year 2011-2012.
- 3. Livelihood Programs
- We are now in the process of implementing the various support infrastructures for the identified tourist spots in the Province amounting to some 11 million pesos and another 5 million pesos for the construction of rest rooms along strategic tourists’ routes.
- We have re-launched the Sidlakang Negros Village highlighted by the ABRILGANA with the purpose of making the facility open the whole year-round.
- We have put up an additional two million pesos for the Coopreneurship Surety Fund (CSF) as the Provincial Government’s additional counterpart to the program.
- We have set aside funds for cooperative development in the entire province.
- We have set aside another 500 thousand pesos for the production of native animals such as chickens, goats, pigs and cows.
- 4. Project Component
- We are presently doing massive implementation of various infrastructure projects. Some of them were programmed and funded during the term of Gov. Dodo Macias. There are about 70 projects on-going at present amounting to some 46 million pesos.
- We are in the process of finalizing all the necessary requirements for the release of 20 million pesos for the distribution of farm inputs to farmers. The amount will be used for the purchase of 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 to as much as 50 percent.
- We have allocated 1 million pesos this year for the construction of more BADC’s.
- We are also putting up an additional component to our organic fertilizer production through rapid composting. This is in addition to the original vermi composting.
- 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 allocated 3 million pesos for various environmental projects which is coupled with livelihood components.
- We have continued all our environmental protection and protection activities covering the areas of Watershed Management, Integrated Social Forestry, Integrated Water Resource Management, Coastal Resources Management, Waste Management and Climate Change Programs.
- We have extended cash assistance worth 10 thousand pesos each to OFW’s who were forced to be repatriated because of the ongoing chaos in Libya. So far, we have provided assistance to about 27 OFW’s.
- We have launched a massive information drive for a disaster risk reduction campaign through our Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Council (PDRRMC). We already conducted seminar-workshops in Vallehermoso, Pamplona, Zamboanguita and Siaton.
- We have opened a hotline called I-text mo kang DEGAMO! This is something that I thought of so the public will be able to air their concerns and also for the anti-red tape campaign of the government.
- From January up to the present I was able to issue a total of 15 executive orders refining, harmonizing, amending, renaming and reconstituting various special bodies created by the Provincial Government.
- We have provided additional financial support to local government units on top of their annual share of the 20 percent Economic Development Fund.
- 5. Peace Efforts
- We have extended financial assistance amounting to 5 thousand pesos to the siblings of two alleged 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 our counterpart funds for the construction of a dormitory in the NORSU Guihulngan Campus.
- We are also finalizing the program of work for the construction of a halfway house in the NORSU Bayawan 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 for disaster preparedness and for peace and order- related concerns.
My dear friends, these are the programs and projects that we have already started– and those that we are about to start– within the first 100 days of my administration.
Rest assured that we will continue to double, or even triple our efforts in order to implement programs and projects– that are essential in the attainment of total peace and development in the Province.
As your governor, I want to see all to live a healthy, peaceful and happy life.
Finally, I would like to challenge each and every one to go by our battle cry “Sa Probinsiya-MagDEGAMO Ta!” so that together we will move forward as one entity determined to fulfill everything that we aspire for.
Thank you very much and God bless us all!