ArchivesFebruary 2011State of the Province Address

State of the Province Address


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by Negros Oriental Gov. Roel R. Degamo

Mr. Presiding Officer; Honorable members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan; our City and Municipal Mayors; guests from the academe; our friends and partners from the different non- government organizations; representatives from the religious and business sectors; heads of line agencies; my colleagues in government, ladies and gentlemen.{{more}}

At the outset, may I thank everyone, most especially the members of Sangguniang Panlalawigan led by Vice Gov. Apolinario A. Arnaiz Jr., for giving me this opportunity to present to you our plans and programs during the remaining two and a half years of our term.

A little over a month ago and by the grace of God, I was sworn in as your Governor, and today, I come before you to present our Program of Government as mandated under Section 465 (iii) of Republic Act 7160. As I approach this job, I start with a simple promise to all of you: I will always listen. I will always seek your cooperation, and a thoughtful commitment to meaningful solutions. We are here to solve problems. We all have jobs to do. You have Districts to represent and constituents who want their voices heard and I respect that.

As leaders of this Province, we should be able to provide our people more and better opportunities to advance their personal well being, more particularly in the areas of Health, Education and Livelihood Programs.

While my predecessors have efficiently managed the Province exceptionally well, I know as well as everyone else that we still have a lot of things to do. Given the very limited period before us, it is important for us to work hard and work fast. More importantly, we should HELP each other to achieve our development objective which is: í¢â‚¬Å“to advance further the level of comfort of our constituents.í¢â‚¬

Ladies and gentlemen, we have an agenda for progress that needs our urgent attention. It is spelled H-E-L-P. H stands for Health, E for Education, L and P for Livelihood Programs and Projects.

It is easier for us to attain our goals if we HELP each other and work harder. Work, as they say in Spanish, is degamo. Therefore, to pick up from the favorite catchwords of my predecessors: Basta NegOr: Kasaligan! And may I add MagDegamo ta! May I repeat, Basta NegOr: Kasaligan! MagDegamo ta!

These are the things we need to do:


I believe there can be no real development if our people are not healthy. We need to improve on what we have, and provide our people with the necessary facilities for their well-being.

First, we will work for the completion of the four-storey hospital Central Block behind the main hospital building, and the multi- storey Ob-Gyne building to decongest the main hospital, and along with this, the Community Emergency Maternal Obstetrics Neonatal Care (CEMONC) for Bayawan City and Guihulngan City — all of which are funded by the Department of Health. I intend to finish these projects before my term ends in 2013.

The Central Block project is now on going. I have just been informed that the bidding procedure for these buildings have just been completed by the Bids and Awards Committee. And so I hope we can start construction within the year.

Second, we will strengthen our District Hospitals by providing them with the adequate and necessary support services to make them more accessible to our people and better equipped to handle quality health care.

Initially, we have added seven new doctors to the existing personnel complement who will soon be farmed out to these facilities. This development will not deter us from inviting more doctors to our residency training program.

Third, and corollary to the second, we will establish a Mobile Surgical Team to perform minor surgeries in the different District Hospitals of the Province, more particularly for indigent patients who may need to undergo minor surgical procedures. This is an expanded approach to the concept of bringing medical services at the doorstep of our people through Medical Missions. At this point, I direct Dr. Felix Sy, our chief of hospital, to immediately form the members of the team for this purpose;

Fourth, we will expand the coverage and services of the Provincial Health Insurance of Negros Oriental to include PHINO members who wish to undergo treatment in private hospitals.

Fifth, we will continue granting scholarships to students who wish to pursue a degree in Medicine at the Silliman University Medicine School, provided they will serve the required number of years in our own hospitals. For the record, we have produced and employed seven of our scholars.

Sixth, we will establish a partnership with Silliman University for the possible conversion of the Marina Clinic located in the municipality of Dauin into another Community Primary Hospital. This will greatly enhance and improve the delivery of primary health care services to our people in that part of the Province.

Seventh, we will complete the construction of the Community Primary Hospital in Dawis, Bayawan City — the seventh of its kind in the whole Province; and

Eighth, we will form a partnership with private hospitals in Dumaguete to strengthen the referral system between and among private and public doctors, and to maximize the potential of all the modern and state-of-the-art laboratory and diagnostic equipment acquired by our Negros Oriental Hospital System.


I adhere to one of the most familiar quotations of Dr. Jose Rizal which says: í¢â‚¬Å“The youth is the hope of the fatherland.í¢â‚¬ As leaders, it is our sublime duty to ensure that every child is given access to education. Thus:

1) We will continue with the implementation of the school building program initiated by the late Gov. Dodo Macias, dubbed Basta NegOr-Education 104 — which put up a total of 140 classrooms instead of 104 as its tagline says, and committed the Department of Education to increase the teacher-student complement in the Province by 100 more. DepEd still has to fill in the remaining 40 teacher items of its commitment. We will pursue this commitment of DepEd so as not to deprive our schoolchildren of quality education.

2. We will continue giving college scholarships to poor but deserving students who graduated as valedictorians and salutatorians in high school;

3. We will take care of the health of our school children by supporting the Essential Health Care Package program of the DepEd. The EHCP is actually a kit containing items for hand washing and tooth brushing, in effect teaching our children proper hygiene. I am pleased to note that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is sponsoring an ordinance to this effect through Board Member Peve O. Ligan.

4. We will continue to provide funds for teacher aides under the Educator-Co-Mentor Program.

We will also review the Negros Oriental Sports Development Program, and possibly integrate the same with the DepEd curriculum to make it more responsive to the physical and mental development of schoolchildren.


In my travels all over the Province during my Board Member days, and when I became Vice Governor, and now as your Governor, I have seen our vast natural resources, our great natural attractions, met our constituency, listened to them, and saw the great potential for our Province and people to grow beyond what it could be.

And how do we do this? Money and jobs go with tourism. Thus:

1. We will continue to promote eco-tourism as a major industry in the Province, along with the development of our tourism assets like Tambobo Bay in barangay Bonbonon, Siaton.

For the information of everybody, we have allocated almost P20 million this year for the development of the Provinceí¢â‚¬â„¢s various tourism sites. And I am also happy to note there is an Ordinance passed by this August Body which would pave the way for the development of Tambobo Bay.

2. We will review the functions of our two skills training centers — the Provincial Integrated Skills & Technology Center, and the Technology & Livelihood Development Center, and make technology transfer more within the reach of our people, especially for those coming from far-flung places.

3. We will continue to tap the private sector, and make them our partners in providing livelihood opportunities to our people. It should be noted that the Provincial government during the time of then Governor Macias entered into an agreement with different financial institutions and allocated some P3 million as counterpart for the Coopreneurship Surety Fund Program. This serves as equity for small-and-medium scale entrepreneurs in the Province to access to formal sources of financing without a collateral.

4. We will maintain our relationships with the private sector through the Negros Oriental Investment Promotion Center, the Negros Oriental Business Development Foundation, and the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce & Industry as partners in bringing more investments to the Province. The more investments, the more jobs generated.

5. With your cooperation, we will push for the passage of two major ordinances this year: the Revenue Code of Negros Oriental which is vital and necessary in increasing our revenues; and the creation of the Economic Enterprise Office which will put under one roof all the income-generating facilities of the Provincial government such as the Lamberto Macias Sports & Cultural Center, the rubberized track oval at the Perdices Stadium, the Lorenzo G. Teves Aqua Center, the mini-gym, the Negros Oriental Hotel & Convention Center, among others; we will also give priority to the completion of the Perdices Coliseum Hotel & Restaurant Complex to generate employment and added income for the Provincial government.

6. Along with H.E.L.P., we are also looking at establishing an Engineering Mobile Unit for every Legislative District in the Province. These mobile units will be responsible for the maintenance and improvement of roads and other similar structures in their respective Districts. We intend to establish these by the start of the third quarter of this year.

7. Moreover, we will form partnerships with the Philippine Army Engineering Brigade to help improve our road network in the hinterlands. This is one way of reducing costs, while addressing also other concerns related to peace and order.

In Agricultural Development, we will continue the vision of my predecessors to allocate at least 10 percent of the farm lands in the Province to purely organic farming. This is in keeping with our position to adopt eco-friendly technologies whilst working for greater productivity.

We will make operational the Kasaligan Transport Service. At this point, I direct our Provincial Agriculturist Mr. Gregorio Paltingca to look into this aspect.

In addition, we will speed up development in the different communities of the Province by creating the Governorí¢â‚¬â„¢s United Assistance Rural Development or GUARD under Engr. Dominador Dumalag Jr.

Furthermore, we will strengthen the research and development component in the agricultural and aquaculture sectors to improve the yield of our high-valued fruits and vegetables, including rice, corn and upland fishery.

On Environmental Concerns, we will push for the adoption of the climate change adaptation and mitigation plan which includes integrated water resources management, wildlife conservation and biodiversity, prepared by the different LGUs. I am directing Mrs. Mercy Teves, chief of our Environment & Natural Resources Division, to ensure this will be carried out in the light of climatic changes that have already wrought havoc in lives and properties in the Province.

Corollary to this, we will reinforce the existing crop of our SaRNegOr, our Search and Rescue team, so we could have stand- by teams to respond to emergencies in every city and municipality of the Province. This forms part of our Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan. I direct Mr. Angelo Tiongson, our Disaster Risk Management officer, to look into this aspect. We will strengthen our regulatory function on the utilization of the Provinceí¢â‚¬â„¢s natural resources, such as sand and gravel, and other valuable minerals, by putting in trust the proceeds collected from users so that this can be plowed back for the efficient and effective implementation of regulatory laws.


Hereí¢â‚¬â„¢s good news for all the members of the Provincial Government! In keeping with our verbal request for every employee to render í¢â‚¬Å“Service with a Smileí¢â‚¬, we are considering the granting of incentives and awards to our employees for exemplary performance in their line of work under the Program on Awards & Incentives for Service Excellence or PRAISE. This should serve as a motivating factor for everyone in the organization to do good and look good. In short, to be more productive and become Model Civil Servants. At this point, I am directing Mrs. Daisy Vamenta, our Human Resource Management officer, to immediately convene a Committee so that the mechanics of this particular award can be drafted. As to whether we will give cash or incentives in kind, I will leave that to the Committee.

Moreover, we will also pursue the aborted plan of the late Gov. Tuting Perdices to give recognition to ordinary folks who have made outstanding accomplishments in their communities. This is in line with the Outstanding Oriental Negrense Award.

Moreover, we will continue to promote and advance the rights of our women and children, the differently-abled, and the elderly, in cooperation with UNICEF. Further, we will continue providing assistance to individuals in crisis situations.

On Development Administration, we will make use of the wonders of modern technology by possibly adopting the so-called paperless transaction system. We will work on making Negros Oriental a model on this, considering that we have installed the Fund Management Information System, and the Hospital Information System. We are now starting to establish our Personnel Information System.

Furthermore, we will make representation for Negros Oriental to be the home of the National iTAX Headquarters. The late Governor Macias had laid the foundation for this, in cooperation with the German Technical Cooperation Agency. For information, several local government units in the country have sent their staff to train here in the Province for the iTax Program.

Finally, to be more transparent, we will make use of new technology by making the Provincial government and the Governor accessible through text. The Project called, í¢â‚¬Å“I-text Mo kang Degamoí¢â‚¬ will receive and answer queries and feedback on governance from the citizens. We have assigned a dedicated cellphone for this purpose, and we expect the public to make use of this technology.

My friends, ladies and gentlemen, our list of things to be done could go on and on. But for the meantime, we are giving more focus on the í¢â‚¬Å“doablesí¢â‚¬ — the things we need to do and hope to accomplish in the last two and a half years of our term.

We thank the Lord Almighty for giving us the gift of public service. And no matter how big the challenges may come our way, we cannot waver or falter, knowing that God is with us. I ask the members of this august body, the academe, our NGO partners and friends from the private sector, our local officials and colleagues in government service, and most of all, the people of this Province, to join and HELP us advance the welfare of our people.

Letí¢â‚¬â„¢s get moving. Sa probinsya, Mag-Degamo ta! Let us work as a team, because together, we can make a difference.

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