Monday, February 22, 2010

Development in Bohol Island

  This is the development style Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado is pushing for the countryside – piloting the second district for better manageability.

  Referring to the plan as the present provincial administration's "graceful exit for a dramatic entrance", the governor said the Barangay Master Planning under the Integrated Area Development Strategy lays down the finishing touches on the needs of the common people.

  He presented the concept to barangay captains and municipal officials during the string of inaugurations of school buildings in San Miguel and Inabanga towns in his trip last week.

  For the simultaneous growth and development of the villages in the pilot district, Aumentado allocated P1 million for Barangay Master Planning to be conducted by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

  Under this plan, more school buildings will be built. He will distribute brand new computer units with internet connection for which he has asked the Bohol Division of the Department of Education (DepEd) to inventory the existing functional computers in the schools throughout the province.

  These will be used, he said, to implement the Gearing-up Internet Literacy and Access for Students (GILAS) project in partnership with Ayala Foundation, and the revival of the Sine'skwela in partnership with ABS-CBN. a 30-minute television show on science and technology shown in the mid 90's educate and entertain children.

  "This is to uplift the quality of education in public schools, so they can stand at par the private and leading institutions," Aumentado explained.

  He also proposed the Barangay Road Support Program, completion of the Bohol Circumferential Road Improvement Project Phase 3 that includes concreting of the roads traversing the towns of Ubay to Mabini, Candijay, Cogtong, Anda and Guindulman or the Anda Peninsula Highway, with funding assistance of P1.4 billion from the Korean government.

  The only hitch remaining is the conversion of the road from provincial to national since the Official Development Assistance (ODA) concessional loan will be paid by the national government.        

  Waterworks systems and electrification are also top in the barangay development agenda, as well as the improvement of ports including the development of the Tapal Wharf in Ubay into a multi-industry cluster (MIC) seaport.

  As such, it will serve as the major port for the transportation of products from multi-million investments like the bio-ethanol, organic fertilizer and biomass electricity to be extracted from seaweeds, jatropha and other raw materials.

  The Ubay Airport will also be developed to cater to domestic aircraft and training aircraft of aeronautic schools.

  He also identified the Bohol-Cebu Multi-Access Friendship Bridge, anchoring in Getafe town on the Bohol side and Cordova, Mactan on the other side, as the leverage to cascade economic activities to the towns of Clarin, Inabanga and Ubay.

  The bridge will also complement the eyed special economic zone to rise in barangays Tanghaligue, Bagacay and Burgos in Talibon town with expansion eyed to reach barangays Tulang and San Jose on the Getafe side.

  To connect the interior town of San Miguel to the special economic zone and onwards to the proposed friendship bridge, the provincial government will allocate an additional P3 million to open a road leading to the coastal area.

  In a recent meeting at the Korean Embassy in the Philippines, Aumentado said the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) will soon start the feasibility study and drafting of the detailed engineering design for the 22-kilometer bridge after the proposed project site had been inspected by Man Hwan Park, country director of the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of the Korea Export-Import Bank (Eximbank), and Korean Ambassador Choi Joong-Kyung, together with a technical team.

  Koica will spend US$3 million for the feasibility study. For the actual construction, Park estimates the cost at about P30-40 million.

  The interior part will be developed for agriculture and eco-tourism, the governor said, as he welcomes San Miguel Mayor Claudio Bonior's initiative to draft a tourism plan for his town.

  Aumentado also proposed to develop the raffia industry and other handicrafts or cottage industries in the second district to boost the micro, small and medium enterprises and to strengthen the cooperatives of farmers, fisherfolk and other cooperatives.

  He has facilitated the release of P60-million to implement small reservoir irrigation projects (SRIP) in Bonotbonot in Buenavista town, Hibale in Danao town, and Benliw-Cagting in Ubay town, each starting with P20-million from the Department of Agriculture's 2010 budget.

  Also in Inabanga, the Provincial Engineer's Office will implement the asphalting of the town's circumferential road from the highway in Poblacion to the church up to the Riverside tourism center where officials usually hold meetings to the tune of P4 million.

  Still in Inabanga, the governor had also requested Vice-Governor Julius Caesar Herrera and Provincial Board Members Josephine Socorro Jumamoy and Ma. Fe Camacho-Lejos to take charge of the legislative requirements to convert the road along Nabuad High School (NHS) in barangay Nabuad into a provincial road so that it can be allocated with a budget for maintenance.

  Moreover, Aumentado said, he had agreed with Herrera and Jumamoy to raise P40,000 as counterpart to the P20,000 allocation from the municipal government to complete the construction of a fence around NHS.

  The governor also announced the approval of his recommendation to allocate P36.5 million as counterpart for road construction connecting San Miguel-Danao, San Isidro-Catigbian, Sagbayan-Danao, Danao-Mahayag, Danao-Panghagban (Buenavista)-Lapacan (Inabanga), Cangmundo (Getafe)-Kauswagan (Trinidad)-Tomoc (San Miguel) and other areas that need road improvement to boost food production, tourism, education and efficient delivery of health and basic services to the people.

  He said the Provincial Road Management Facility (PRMF) funded by the Australian Agency for International Development AusAID) is already up for bidding as discussed during the governor's meeting with the management team, taking as priority the Danao-Mahayag and San Isidro-Catigbian roads, these being the components of the project. It will be through an international competitive bidding to ensure that international standards will be followed.

  AusAID already has P48 million for the two roads while the provincial government will release P36.5 million as counterpart.

  He thanked Vice-Governor Julius Caesar Herrera, Jumamoy and her colleague Amalia Tirol for pushing the approval of a P28 million supplemental budget as additional funding since the 2010 budget carried only P6.9 million. AusAID had required a 12% equity from the province. 

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