The 20th of January, 2020 is forever etched in the memories of the people of Davao de Oro as this is the day of the very first State of the Province Address (SOPA) delivered by Governor Jayvee Tyron L. Uy on their new name, Davao de Oro. Halls across the province heaped up with people who attended the SOPA livestreaming. The updates that were delivered by the governor himself truly province has not only on its own two feet, but has started walking towards a promising future. Here are some of the highlights from the SOPA 2020.

Good governance: Bayanihan 4Ps Plus

Governor Tyron Uy’s SOPA 2020 focused on the mound of achievements the province has garnered over the past years, mainly surrounding his governance’s five core points—Planet, People, Prosperity, Peace, and Plus. As the Planet cluster focused on environmental protection and disaster management, Governor Tyron Uy reported that DdO’s waste diversion rate that has raised from 83% (2014) to 88% in the recent year. Very significant, especially in these days, this means that only 12% of the province’s waste end up in landfills. This year, the governor seeks to implement a province-wide regulation on the use of single-use plastics.

In hopes of restoring the heavily polluted Naboc River, the members of the Provincial Task Force on Naboc River were also finally able to successfully craft the Provincial Naboc River Rehabilitation Masterplan, which will serve as the framework for reviving the Naboc. Furthermore, the provincial government had also allotted a total of 5 million pesos for the 2019-2020 Green Mining Research and Development Project to one day be able to eliminate the use of liquid mercury in mining processes.

A Pro-people Government

The People cluster, focusing on the health, wellness, and education of each citizen, has launched programs like the Bayanihan para sa Kalusugan- Kusina ng Kalinga Program to combat cases of malnutrition within the province. Since then, child malnutrition incidences in the province has dropped from 4.59% (2017) to 2.11% (2019). Malnutrition in schools have also decreased throughout school year 2019-2020, from 8.89% to 6.7%. The statistics alone allowed our Provincial Nutrition Council to earn the Regional Green Banner Award for two consecutive years, as Davao de Oro held, and holds still, the first place for having the lowest number of child malnutrition incidences in the entire Davao region.

Governor Tyron Uy also applauded Davao de Oro’s 184 scholars from the Compostela Valley Scholarship Program, as 25 of them graduated with Latin honors, and five of them furthermore managed to land 10th, 9th, 8th, 6th, and even first place nationwide on the 2019 Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). With regard to a prioritization for education for the province, the government also reached out to geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas in the province, and built five schools from scratch, with one of them being in Manurigao, the farthest sitio in the farthest barangay in Davao de Oro.

The province also broke limits when its recorded blood sufficiency rate not only placed highest in the country, but also exceeded the national average, serving thousands of patients including those from other provinces, and earning Davao de Oro the Sandugo Award once again, as it also consistently has been the recipient of the said award for the past few years.

A Constant Rise

Davao de Oro’s rapid increase is undeniable as Governor Tyron Uy also announced that DdO is now the 13th most competitive province in the Philippines. From 63rd in 2017, to 30th in 2018, and now 13th in the recent year, the province clearly displayed an astonishing leap.

Agriculture is undoubtedly one of the most notable assets of the province, and within a year, the province’s cacao production has shot up to 300% with 4,600 farmers benefiting from the government’s intensified extension support services. The still increasing areas designated for cacao farming has greatly boosted both revenue growth, and opportunities for local farmers to be linked to the markets.

Davao de Oro is also one of the only seven rice sufficient provinces in the Philippines, and has also been a consistent National Rice Achievers Awardee. In 2018, Davao de Oro was proclaimed to be 102% rice sufficient.

The province’s rehabilitated, developed, and maintained road sections has reached up to 730 km with 83 road sections, including the concreted roads from September 2018 to December 2019 of 37.7 km, plus three unit bridges, all along with a 43.2 km ongoing road concreting, with six more unit bridges worth 606.2 million pesos. Road development projects not only eases the citizens’ struggle with rough roads, but also pave the way for the province’s goal of becoming a top investment for tourism destinations in Mindanao by the target year of 2030. The road projects will allow more unexplored and underrated destinations to get discovered both locally and globally. The town of Maragusan was also proudly highlighted to have become a hit destination for its sea-of-clouds view in the previous year. Governor Tyron Uy expressed his elation by saying, “I wonder what would be the next hit in 2020”.

Peaceful, Drug-Free Province

In 2019, Davao de Oro’s Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) achieved a perfect score and was adjudged as the gold awardee by the Department of Interior and Local Government. The PADAC’s functionality rate reached a hundred percent so that the provincial government was additionally classified by the national government as one of the only eleven “ideal” provincial government units. As of today, about 5,400 voluntarily surrendered drug dependents are reformed with the help of DdO’s very own anti-drug program: Oplan Liwanag

In addition to the Oplan Liwanag Program on the one hand, there is also the Oplan Pagbabago FlagshipProgram which focuses on former rebels who returned to the folds of law. In the span of 2018-2019, already 432 former rebels have received livelihood assistance through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program which was done in collaboration with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), not to mention that DILG-Region XI was also hailed as the best performing DILG in the entire Davao region as well.

The province’s Provincial Peace & Order Council was also commended by DILG of Davao Region and was also given a 100% functionality rate from the 2018 POC Performance Audit Report.

Looking Ahead

It is noteworthy to point out that Davao de Oro’s new seal went for a very modern design using only two-tones, namely, gold and brown. The uniqueness of this design can be likened to the province’s ignited desire to finally stand out from the rest, and with its current progress, it’s not too hard to see Davao de Oro getting the recognition that it deserves in the near future. In addition, the province is also looking towards launching a brand book that will serve as the guide in their whole International Organization for Standardization (ISO) endeavor. This will help institutionalize the Davao de Oro brand, and will make sure that the province is one of a kind.

But finally, a singing of the province’s new hymn ended Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy’s State of the Province Address 2020. The loud and upbeat new hymn sparked hope in the people’s hearts, giving them the extra push to become proud of their province, and to look forward to the also new milestones yet to be reached by the newly renamed province.

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