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Governor 'Among Ed' Panlilio's State of the Province Address

An Accounting for the Province
On the occasion of his 2nd Anniversary as
Governor of the Province of Pampanga
June 30, 2009

Let me begin by thanking all of you for your presence today. But more than your presence, we thank you for your support in working with us to keep our province steadily moving forward. The growth and development of Pampanga can not be sustained without the commitment and industry of provincial employees in partnership with other local government units and civil society groups.

The past year was again another very trying year for us, given the recall-resign move against me initiated by our rabid critics as well as the other challenges that came our way during the last several months. Notwithstanding these political storms, we chose not to be distracted as our determined bid and relentless efforts have scored impressive gains and reaped huge dividends for our people.

Our quarry revenues over the past 24 months have scaled unparalled heights as we collected more than Php413 Million during the subject period. The dramatic 300% increase in quarry fees has earned for the provincial government the Gawad Galing Pook Award 2008 in the field of revenue collection. As of May 31, 2009, municipal and barangay quarry shares have reached Php138 Million. This is indeed a huge windfall that would go a long way in meeting the essential needs of the concerned communities.

Our Pamisaupan Caravan remains active as ever, delivering various social services such as free medical/dental check-up and treatment, skills training, supplemental feeding, and a lot more to 31 barangays since its inception in August 21, 2007 in Sagrada, Masantol, Pampanga. More than 52,000 of our constituents in more than 31 barangays of the different municipalities benefited from these services.

  • Free medical/dental check-up to more than 17,499 patients;
  • Filmshowing/bookreading to more than 3,994 children
  • Employment opportunities to more than 1,161 jobseekers
  • Livelihood trainings and capability building to more than 771 entreprenuers
  • Anti-flu/pneumonia vaccination to more than 1,150 elderlies
  • Anti-rabies vaccination to more than 3,986 dogs
  • Seeds distribution to more than 4,215 households, and so on.
The very essence of these Pamisaupan Caravans is the fact that we brought to the Capitol to the hearts and minds of our people and they too were able to tell us their concerns. To the different department heads and capitol employees who gladly served our cabalens, I thank you.

I am also proud to report that we have invested Php232M for infrastructure development. Roads, canals, government facilities, public schools and hospitals and covered courts were paved, concreted, repaired and constructed. I wish to emphasize that these projects were built without the add-on cost of SOP. I repeat, wala pong komisyon dito. And for this, let me thank our engineers and the members of the Bids and Awards Committee who monitor their proper implementation.

During my last year’s report to you, I said that we would fine tune our flagship program, HEAL which stands for Health, Education And Livelihood for our needy constituents. For this purpose, we have provided more than Php31.5 Million for public health programs, allocated more than Php26.5 Million for supplemental feeding and have served more than 10,000 undernourished school children so far. Php92.77 Million was also allotted to other marginalized sectors such as senior citizens, persons with disabilities, youth, and indigenous people and more so to our indigent constituents for their health and other pressing needs.

Moreover, we have allocated Php22 Million for Philhealth cards, of which more than 10,711 persons have benefited in response to their pressing medical needs. We have given priority to barangay health workers and barangay tanods as beneficiaries of this program. Accordingly, our efforts was recognized by Philhealth in the 6th General Assembly Philhealth Governors Forum.

In the area of education, we continue to distribute various construction materials for the improvement or repair of dilapidated school buildings through our CPM office. The Pamiaduangan 57-75 program which aims to raise the quality of education in the province continues. Php1 Million was allocated as seed money for this project, not to mention the other assistance we are giving to our schoolchildren. And for this, we would like to extend our warmest appreciation to Holy Angel University and our other partner institutions.

For those of you who frequent the 2nd floor of the provincial capitol, you must have noticed during the past few months the crowd of students waiting outside the Provincial Administrator’s Office. They are the 7,940 recipients of financial educational assistance being granted to bright but indigent college students in our province.

Last summer, in line with our Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment, our students were granted summer jobs. Aside from their help to the different municipalities and to the capitol, the information they have gathered will pave the way for a skills registry where jobseekers could look for job openings here. These will also be listed in the Phil Jobs Net, a national institution where employers look for their needed workers. At present, we have provided Php3 Million assistance to 955 summer student workers for the different municipalities of the province.

In the same manner, we together with Pampanga Agricultural College will enter into a Memorandum of Agreement to support fully one-hundred of our indigent but bright students. Most of them are children of our farmers.

For the agriculture and aquaculture sectors, it is only now that provincial funds were allocated. We have allotted Php41.9 Million in order to increase our production in rice, vegetables, at various fishes and give assistance to our farmers and fisherfolks.

In the matter of livelihood, our Aku ing Bayung Entrepreneur (ABE) program has so far assisted 1,230 entrepreneurs, providing Php6.15 Million for micro financing. The cooperative movement in the province has gained more strength and has, in fact, been conferred the best Cooperative Development Award during the 1st Regional Cooperative Congress held in Olongapo City .

Ladies and gentlemen, these are only some of the ongoing programs and projects which have been implemented by the provincial administration in the last two years. There are many more that need mentioning but time constraints and the limited attention span of our audience prevent me from enumerating all of our accomplishments here.

While a few of our friends in media say that this is all form, amounting to little substance—particularly the creation and convening of more than 30 different boards, councils and committees which have remained dormant over the years—I say this is an important and integral part of our advocacy towards responsive and consultative governance. The undisputable statistical data speak for itself.

Our aspiration to persist on implementing these programs have radically the way of doing things at the capitol (where discipline was instilled), in quarry operation (where procedures were put in place in securing permit and truck accreditation), and in the repair and rehabilitation of roads and government facilities under the Pamisaupan concept.

As contentious as the issues that continue to confront us today, we must remain on our toes to meet the most pressing challenges. Much is still needed to be done to alleviate poverty, generate jobs, improve living standards and widen access to education, health care, food security and shelter.

Thus, during the past several months, we have laid down several strategies in order to generate additional income for the province, such as:

  • revision of all existing tax ordinances;
  • general revision and tax mapping along with the integrated tax administration system;
  • making the PEO compound free and available for commercial use; and
  • rehabilitation and development of the San Matias property.
But foremost to that, we have to be aggressive in making the following projects a reality:
  • the rehabilitation of the Macario Arnedo park;
  • construction of new buildings for ENRO, PEO, PSWDO, OPA, and VET and/or the rehabilitation of existing ones;
  • provision of top-of-the-line medical equipment and additional funds for drugs and medicines and medical and laboratory supplies for our nine districts and one provincial hospitals;
  • repair and rehabilitation of all offices at the capitol building; and
  • the construction of an environmental recovery and waste facility.
This is not to mention the repair and rehabilitation of all provincial roads and bridges as well as the repair and rehabilitation of municipal and barangay roads, schools, barangay halls and day care centers, for which we shall provide funds amounting to more than Php350M.

In the past two years, we took the lead in cleaning up, nor only the system but also the structure of governance. We are bringing justice to our people by filing charges against erring officials of the previous administrations for the malversation of at least Php568 Million from quarry collections. We will filed charges against the contractor of the botched computerization project of the previous administration. This is not to mention the charges we have filed to some provincial government employees for their violations of their sworn duties as civil servants.

These are challenging times. We cannot afford to lose hope and faith in one another. Our people expect much from us. We vowed to this responsibility.

I pray that it will not take a major upheaval for us to unite as Kapampangans. There is much room for collaboration right here and right now. I am therefore inviting all stakeholders in our province, specially our partners in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, to stand for a common purpose. My appeal for support and cooperation does not come without my being cognizant of the need to respect the right of the august body to responsibly fiscalize and oppose my administration on matters of principle and policy or honest differences of opinion. We are all seated in the same boat. We have no other choice but to pull together, to row in one direction and in unison to reach our destination faster. Instead of finding fault, let us find ways to help and encourage one another. Instead of condemning, let us seek to remedy and build on the gains that were started.

In closing, I express my appreciation to all provincial government employees, the nameless, faceless workers, who have bestowed upon the province the bounty of their labors. My sincerest gratitude to all for your diligence and hard work.

Lastly, may I invoke the blessings of the Almighty God upon us all. Hail the breed of Pampanguenos.

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