SOPA highlights Bohol victories
Chatto vows continued Bohol
support in ‘different capacity’
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, February 21 (PIA)—With cracking voice and evident sadness, Governor Edgar Chatto haltingly capped his three terms as the highest provincial official with a promise to continue getting involved in charting Bohol’s development in a different capacity, and support its development projects.
Speaking before a packed Bohol Cultural Center on the occasion of his last State of the Province Address which came in time on his birthday, the governor, who completes his third term, the second governor after have done so after Governor EricoAumentado, is training his sights on a comeback into the Congressional seat.
Himself a representative of Bohol’s First District before getting into the gubernatorial seat, Chatto has been in the bitter end of a word war defending his Administration’s policies from criticisms.
“I believe that people may destroy your image, stain your personality, but they cannot take away your good deeds, because no matter how they describe you, you will still be admired by those who really know you better,” the governor, in cracking voice, broke down in tears, as the crowd made mostly of Capitol employees, heads of national government agencies and supporters responded with a polite applause.
In his report to the SangguniangPanlalawigan capping his nine years in service to the provincial government, he picked his administration’s major accomplishments in infrastructure, social services, peace and order, local government reforms and innovations, equitable growth and environmental sustainability, disaster response, health, education, agriculture, tourism, information technology, and culture and heritage preservation.
Banking on shared leadership from the start, Chatto said Bohol’s crafted plans and programs were always in consultation with Bohol’s stakeholders, resulting in major victories for the province.
Chatto presented facts and figures of consistent socio-economic improvement shown in attracted investments from 2014-2018 reaching P21.2 billion, and some over P2 billion new micro, small and medium enterprise investments.
In his term, Chatto also took to the increase in tourist arrivals.
He said in 2018, the Department of Tourism recorded 1.496 million tourists, this, Chatto pointed out is a staggering 32% increase 2017, which too was recovery stage after the massive earthquake that brought Bohol to its knees.
In as much as the rise in tourist arrivals would also mean food, the governor pulled Department of Agriculture statistics citing Bohol’s contributing production to the region’s rice supply at 86.4% from 2016-2018.
The slow but sure economic development also propelled local employment, which, citing from the data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, accordingly reached a high 96.3%.
This, Chatto also linked to whatBangkoSentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr., has reported: local economic growth tracked by the country’s central bank at average growth rate of 9.1%, higher than the 6.7 national average.
Biggest among the cited victories of the Chatto led local government is the consistently decreasing Poverty Incidence in the province.
“Bohol had an extremely high poverty incidence in year 2000 at 50.2%, and was in the top 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines. Thanks to our combined efforts, we have succeeded in bringing down Bohol’s poverty incidence to an unprecedented 21.7% in 2015, which according to the PSA is lower than the regional average.
Chatto trumped on the local AusAID funded Provincial Roads Management Facility which is the template for the nationwide KALSADA Program, or the Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces, a Bohol innovation.
From 159 kilometers, he said the provincial concrete and asphalt paved-roads increased to 441 kms in 2018, while shedding off 119 kilometers of provincial roads via conversion to national roads.
In addition to that, from various sources of national and local government funds through the years, Bohol has paved a sum of 192 kilometers of roads, a fact Chatto claimed as the most number of local roads, and a great challenge for the next administration to continue.
While the 2013 earthquake posed a huge reconstruction and rehabilitation challenge for Bohol, the government’s Bohol Earthquake Assistance (BEA) projects allowed the province to complete 1,038 projects.
Among these, he cited the crown jewel of our infrastructure projects is the three decades dream: Bohol Panglao International Airport.
He also took pride in having the dream construction of the New Bohol Provincial Capitol, which was also blessed on that same day.
Among the major infra projects the governor cited were the new National Museum from the old Capitol, the rehabilitation of Plaza Rizal and the Old Provincial Library,Albur Sanitary Landfill and a sea plane port in CogtongCandijay.
In terms of disaster and risk reduction management, Bohol dealt with natural disasters better with its active Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and an ordinance-backed PDRRMO through an ever upgraded our equipment and facilities.
“We now have the TaRSIER 117 Textblast System, as well as a new PDRRMC Command Center,” he reported.
The TaRSIER 117 is now institutionalized, and is set to expand in other areas of Bohol. Statistics show that our response to emergencies has been consistently increasing since it was first established.
In education, by augmenting on the Department of Education programs, Bohol has innovated in its EskwelaAgrikultura, an agriculture entrepreneurship training strand and TuroTurismo Senior High School Tourism Learning Facility in Panglao.
This is over and above the continued funds for Pres. Carlos P. Garcia Scholarships, the educational subsidy program, ICT integration and an education center to connect and link education initiatives in the province, now becoming a model in the country.
The governor, who is bowing out in June, also citedpromising developments in Tourism: these include the 1.4M tourist arrivals in 2018, over 3,000 international guests in international cruise ship port calls, more flights and hosting more local, national and international conferences while continuing to be bullish about Bohol tourism promotions in its own branding.
As the governor steps off from service, he assured Bohol is not resting on its laurels.
As he stepped into service, Chatto was undaunted by the task and dared to dream, and as he steps off, he enumerated forthcoming projects in Bohol’s 12 year plan.
Such include Inter-island Bridges connecting Bohol to our neighboring islands, Panglao Island-Tagbilaran City Iconic Bridge, another bridge to Panglao Island, the fourth one, a new Chocolate Hills ComplexProject, Malinao Dam Upgrading Project, Bohol Northeast Basin Multi-Purpose Dam, Drug Rehabilitation Center Project in Cortes, Business Process Outsourcing Center at the former Tagbilaran Airport, in partnership with CAAP and the DOTr, Gov. CelestinoGallares Memorial Medical Center in Cortes, a 525-bed capacity medical facility set to offer specialized care for oncology and trauma, as well as an acute stroke unit,the GrabTrike Premium soon to operate by March.
In closing, Chatto, who has visibly been under criticism himself admitted: “We are not perfect in everything that we do. For things that I might have missed or, unknowingly, any hurt that I may have caused to anyone – my sincere apologies. Every failure is an opportunity to learn and become a better person.” (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)