Nov 07 2016

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CPG a constant inspiration for greater Bohol: NEDA-7 chief

The greatest Boholano and late Pres. Carlos P. Garcia is a constant inspiration driving Bohol leaders after him to a higher pursuit for their province’s fuller good, according to the region’s highest socio-economic planning official.
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Reg’l. Dir. Efren Carreon said Garcia’s “vision and wisdom have continued to live and inspire the outstanding achievements of Bohol leaders today.”
Carreon seemed sure of the Boholano president’s admirable traits to be also evident in the qualities of the public career and service of present Bohol leaders topped by Gov. Edgar Chatto.
The chief socio-economic planner in Central Visayas was the guest speaker during the 120th birth anniversary of Garcia on Friday, November 4, a Bohol holiday also known as the CPG Day.
Garcia’s niece, Marilou Valmoria Fudalan, spoke on behalf of the president’s family during the commemorative program at the Bohol Cultural Center.
She is a daughter of Mary Garcia-Valmoria, Garcia’s younger sister who also attended the celebration.
Garcia was married to the former Leonila Dimataga, of Opon in Mactan island, Cebu. They only had one child, Linda.
In his commemorative message, Chatto cited Garcia’s “Filipino First” policy that had “split the colonial mentality.”
Garcia acted on the Bohlen Serrano Agreement which shortened the US bases lease of 99 years to 25 years, renewable after every five years.
In effect, Garcia fathered an earlier independent foreign policy of the country, the governor said.
Chatto extolled Garcia’s character, virtues and values made evident in his acts and programs about austerity, wise spending and trustworthiness.
Garcia’s simple and modest life should always remind the people of a government with honesty, integrity and credibility, the governor said.
Carreon must himself be too proud of the Boholano president that the NEDA director said he “may have some Boholano blood.”
He said the “first 800 families that settled” in his birthplace, Dapitan City in Zamboanga, “came from Bohol and led by Datu Pagbuaya from the Kingdom of Dauis in Panglao island.”
It was in Dapitan where the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was exiled.
The ways of Garcia get to be more relevant as they inspire today’s Bohol leaders, Carreon said, citing how he had himself been proud of working with Chatto in the Regional
Development Council (RDC) for the last three years.
The Bohol governor then chaired the RDC with the NEDA official as co-chair while at the same time heading the RDC secretariat.
Carreon called Chatto a “model” Boholano leader and official, citing the governor’s “firm grasp of public management and governance and undivided pursuit for the development” of his province.
These are “treats of Boholano leaders which I strongly admire and believe to have transformed Bohol to what it is today,” he said.
Carreon believed and declared that, “with Garcia as inspiration, the progress of Bohol has not happened by chance.”
For Carreon, Bohol’s growth “is an envy of many” and a “product of careful planning, clear visioning and systematic implementation of strategies and programs as embodied in the provincial physical framework plan.”
He said the regional level of NEDA, which national chief is a Boholano himself, Director General Ernesto Pernia, is happy working with the Bohol leadership.
“Bohol’s transformation is a fitting tribute to Garcia, Bohol’s greatest pride,” Carreon said.
According to the NEDA official, Bohol did perform very well in poverty reduction in the last 10 years.
The poverty incidence among Bohol families had kept decreasing from 41% in 2006 to 38% in 2009, further to 32% in 2012 and 25% in 2015.
The 7.8-point reduction in the last three years, 2012-2015, was “truly amazing,” Carreon said, as it indicated a yearly 2.6% reduction average and “this is again an envy of many regions.”
Bohol’s reduction rate is far, far larger than the region’s 1.8% in the same three-year period.
If sustained, Bohol’s poverty incidence has to be around 15% after the next three years and can be one of the lowest poverty incidences in the country most likely in 2019, the NEDA official was optimistic.
Carreon congratulated the Boholanos for such “a very important accomplishment.”
The commemoration was also attended by Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Reps. Rene Relampagos and Aris Aumentado, former Philippine National Police Prov’l. Dir. Dennis Agustin representing Reg’l. Dir. Noli Taliño, and Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II and Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso.
Rep. Arthur Yap is still in London for a global travel mart.
Relampagos proposed to rename the Bohol circumferential road in memory of Garcia, the eighth Philippine president whose literary and oratorical prowess had earned him the titles “Prince of the Visayan Poets” and “Bard from Bohol.”
Carreon cited other growth indicators like the increasing tourist arrivals from 389,000 in 2013 to 455,000 in 2014 and 602,000 in 2015, the latter posting a 32% increase.
The increase percentage last year was “a very high tourist arrival growth rate—more than double the region’s 14% increase—proving a robust industry in Bohol.”
If sustained, which Carreon believed will be, especially when certain big-ticket projects like the Panglao airport will be completed, then Bohol can hit the one million annual tourist arrival mark in 2019.
This will be “very good for hotels, resorts, restaurants and transport businesses as well as for the graduating students who need jobs since more establishments and facilities will be put up,” he said with confidence.
But Bohol has to be more prepared in terms of support infrastructures, reliable power and water supplies to meet the challenges of development, according to the NEDA official.
Carreon said that because Bohol has leaders with foresight, all these can well be taken care of.
The province’s power consumption grew significantly from 283,000kwh in 2014 to 313,000kwh in 2015, indicating an around 10.5% increase as against the region’s 4.9%.
Carreon commended the province for prioritizing power development, which is also a premium concern of the RDC, “because we know the implication to development when we do not have reliable, sufficient power.”
Power interconnection between Cebu and Bohol is included in the development plan of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
“With Gov. Chatto, we have pushed for an early completion of the project in 2020 instead of its original target year of 2023,” Carreon said.
He said they already communicated to the NGCP and hope for positive response for a more stable power supply.
Bohol does need a “back-up” power connection from Cebu to avoid a repeat of the lingering total blackout in Bohol when the Leyte power system was devastated by super typhoon Yolanda.
Further, the NEDA regional chief said that despite the economic expansion here, Bohol enjoyed “a very stable inflation rate of 1.5% compared to Cebu’s 1.8% in 2015.
He said this suggests that the people in Bohol have been enjoying very stable prices of goods and commodities.
Extending his analysis, Carreon said inflation is expected to rise when there is continuous economic expansion because demands for goods and services do get high.
By NEDA’s assessment, this has fortunately not happened to Bohol because of available goods and services and the efficiency of distribution of goods, both from Bohol and those coming in.
Carreon added that this reflects good logistics because inflation has remained stable.
He challenged the Boholanos to “take good care of our agriculture sector,” the major source of food which prices would tend to go up if there are no or less farm products.
The improvement of irrigation dams will boost agricultural productivity, a major economic driver, and many projects have been lined up for implementation. Carreon said.
The NEDA official said more figures could show the levels of growth in Bohol but his disclosures would already alone suffice to indicate the province’s socio-economic development.
In the coming years, these figures will even dramatically improve when big projects are fully done, Carreon said.
As endorsed by the Provincial Development Council (PDC) and RDC, Carreon cited the recent NEDA Board approval of the design variation works for the P7.7 billion new Bohol airport, which construction is on-going, and P2.2 billion modernization of the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital.
By NEDA’s monitoring, the airport project’s concrete implementation was already 10% accomplished as of September until its completion in the first quarter of 2018.
A modern Gallares hospital definitely implies quality facilities and services that will be accessible by the Boholanos, who will no longer go to Cebu or even Manila for treatment.
Carreon likewise cited the ugrading and expansion of the different ports, which are strategic to improving physical and economic connectivity with the rest of the growth centers in the country and spur further economic expansions here.
It was known at the provincial Development Council (PDC) Executive Committee meeting last week that the Tagbilaran City port has grown to P110 million in revenue from P22 million at the start.
The port has averaged 4,500 passengers a day and, just last October 8, passengers reached 9,000, making Bohol number three in port passenger traffic in the country.
“In few years, Bohol will enter or participate in the information technology-industry and business process management-business process outsourcing (IT-BPM-BPO) industry.
He said the fiber optic network has been installed and areas for potential IT parks identified.
Carreon estimated that “if there are 1,000 call center workers in Bohol, around P15 million fresh money comes in every month,” referring to the salaries generated.
The NEDA official imagined the “tremendous amount of economic linkages” to be created.
Cebu has some 100,000 IT-BPM workers whose total salary, he said, easily translates to P2 billion monthly, an amount that creates a lot of economic demands for goods and services.
“Sooner, I will be seeing Bohol participating in the IT-BPM as the next wave province,” Carreon boldly predicted.
“I salute to the Bohol governor, your leaders, for their foresight in proposing impact projects to improve socio-economic cpondition,” the NEDA director declared.
Carreon said all the data which he mentioned were just “outcomes of all the efforts of the leadership of the province.”
He stressed that Bohol’s socio-economic standing today is a product of careful planning and projection, drawing constant inspiration from Garcia who is Bohol’s most illustrious son.
Chatto said “we know that Garcia dreamt to see one day a Bohol that is so developed and prosperous because he knew that there would be Boholanos after him who could carry on his vision.”
Carreon wished all the best that the Boholanos deserve as he vowed his agency to keep working for a much better Bohol thru project planning, development, facilitation, approval and monitoring.
The CPG Day commemoration was also highlighted by the recognition of the capitol-sustained recipients of the CPG Scholarship Program, which was created by a provincial ordinance authored by Chatto while he was vice governor.
There was likewise a ceremonial launching of the playing on air / broadcasting of original Boholano songs/musical compositions on all radio stations in the province.
As a tradition, this year’s CPG Awards recipients were named and honored—Dr. Cristeta Tirol in the field of education; Joseph Gara, music; Emma Castillo, community service; Val Anthony Uy, sports; and Arsenio Lagura, Jr., heritage.
Alberto Rodolfo dela Serna, the first Mr. Supranational Philippines 2016, received a special citation.
A special presentation was performed by the Holy Name University (HNU) Chorale, the mixed choir category gold medalist and folklore category silver medalist during the recent 1st Lanna International Choir Competition in Thailand.

Permanent link to this article: http://edcom.bohol.gov.ph/cpg-a-constant-inspiration-for-greater-bohol-neda-7-chief/