(Speech delivered by Governor Jayvee Tyron L. Uy on his State of the Province Address last January 20, 2020 at the Session Hall, Legislative Building, Provincial Capitol, Nabunturan, Davao de Oro)

Okay.   Please take all your seats.  Mura’g gihangak pa ko. Pati ang mga Board Members nga nagsundo sa akoa.  Hehehe.  Thank you kaayo.

“By 2030, Davao de Oro is a top investment and tourism destination in Mindanao with healthy, peaceful, resilient and safe communities.”

Vice Governor Maria Carmen Zamora, sa atoang mga Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members, former Governor and Senior Board Member Arturo T. Uy, our two representatives in Congress, wala sila dito dahil first (1st) day din ng hearing nila doon, noh, session nila, – Congressman  Manuel Waykurat Zamora of the first district and Congressman Ruwel Peter Gonzaga of the second district, municipal mayors, municipal vice mayors and councilors, heads of national government agencies,  men and women of the security sector – the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, our provincial government department heads and employees, members of the business community, and civil society organizations, non-government organizations, family, friends, guests and visitors, fellow workers in government ug sa minahal kong mga taga Davao de Oro, bulawanong hapon kaninyong tanan! Gold afternoon!

I find it fitting to begin this year’s State of the Province Address by stating the vision. After all, today is January 20, 2020, a number that signifies clear vision, evenness, bright perspective and infinite possibilities.

I can still remember the last time I delivered the State of the Province Address in Monkayo. I ended my speech by a promise and a vision of Davao de Oro. A year after that speech, by virtue of 97 percent (97%) affirmative votes of the people of this province, I stand proudly today as a Dabawenyo fortunate enough to witness the history unfold.

What happened last December 7, 2019 was not just a mere renaming, it was an opportunity to bring the province’s trajectory even further. While we welcome our new name with high anticipation and renewed hopes, we will not forget what we learned when we were still Compostela Valley. ComVal taught us resilience and the undying importance of bayanihan and volunteerism.

We ended the decade on a high note and started a new one on high spirits. We’ve built momentum and the challenge is for us to sustain it.

Allow me to report to all of you the different milestones we achieved on our governance’s five (5) core priorities – in Planet or Environmental Management and Disaster Preparedness, People or Social Protection and Human Development, Prosperity or Economic Development, Peace or Peace, Security and Justice and Plus or Good Governance.

Mabuhay ang Davao de Oro!  Palakpakan nato.

Let me continue my report.

PLANET: ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

On Environmental Management and Disaster Preparedness or we call it PLANET.

Golden are our forests and our waters. They are the source of our food, our livelihood and it protects us from disasters. Our priorities under Planet include the management of solid waste, the protection of water systems, greening and reforestation, the promotion of green and responsible mining and effective disaster management.

In 2018, our province recorded a waste diversion rate of 88 percent, higher than the 83 percent we achieved in 2014. This means that only twelve percent are dumped in our landfills and eco-parks and all the rest are recycled and re-used. This low level of waste is due to the passage of important policies such as the Provincial Solid Waste Management Plan that was approved in 2014.

Furthermore, the efforts to regulate or ban the use of single-use plastics also contributed to this high waste diversion rate. We would like to commend the local government units of Monkayo, Maco, Maragusan, and Montevista, sila ang mga na-una ug adunay mga polisiya na na naga-implement ug regulation of single-use plastics.  In the part of the Provincial Government, we have started the ban on single-use plastics within the premises of the Provincial Capitol.  It should start now. If we are to encourage others to do the same, it is important that we show an example. Sangguniang Panlalawigan is currently institutionalizing a policy that will regulate the same in the entire province.

To protect our water systems, we have declared a total of 28 barangay protected watershed areas. Sa tuig 2018 ug 2019, nadeklara nato ang Barangays Bongabong, Tibagon, Barangay Matiao sa Pantukan ug Barangay Bucana sa Maco isip mga protected coastal areas. Ang Barangay Mamunga sa Monkayo, Barangay Concepcion sa Maco, ug Barangay Osmeña sa Compostela usab isip protected freshwater bodies.

The conservation of our water systems are also affected by the trees that protects them. In 2019, we have planted trees for 130 hectares in the province.

Our desire to promote environment-friendly mining in the province achieved an all-time high. We allotted a total of five million pesos for 2019-2020 for the Green Mining Research and Development Project in partnership with DOST and UP to search for greener ways of doing mining in the province.

The members of the Provincial Task Force on Naboc River successfully crafted the Provincial Naboc River Rehabilitation Master Plan that will serve as our framework in reviving and rehabilitating the Naboc River or our rivers in general. We thank our partners – the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Municipal Government of Monkayo led by Mayor Ramil Gentugaya for helping us advance this cause.

Our efforts to promote responsible small-scale mining were acknowledged by the National Movement of Small-Scale Miners as we hosted the 1st National Assembly of Small-Scale Miners here in Davao de Oro last year.

In terms of revenue collection from mining and quarrying, we have  collected a total of 12.4 million pesos for 2019. This is way higher than the 5 million and 10 million pesos we collected last 2017 and 2018, respectively.

To lessen the vulnerabilities of our communities from disasters, we allotted 37 million pesos from 2018 up to the present to fund 19 disaster-mitigating infrastructure projects to prevent landslides and flashfloods, two of the most common disasters here sa atoa sa atong probinsya.

Apil na niini ang slope protection project nga gitukod nato para sa katawhan sa San Jose to Awao, Monkayo, Provincial Road.  Daplin ni sa Barangay Center didto sa San Jose. Malikayan na ang mga landslides inig panahon sa ulan tungod niining proyekto. Dili na maapektuhan ang ilahang seguridad ug magpadayon ang ilang mga adlaw-adlaw nga aktibidad nga wala’y hasol bisan sa unsang panahon, init man o ulan.

The people of Poblacion, Nabunturan has also benefited from the rehabilitation and improvement project of tributary canal along Purok 20, Poblacion, Nabunturan. Sa panahon sa tag-ulan, dili na kaayo magproblema pod ang mga taga Purok 20, Nabunturan tungod kay mas dali na lang ang pag-agi sa tubig ug malikayan na ang pagbaha.

In 2019, we also strengthened the implementation of no habitation policy in high-risk areas through the passage of PDRRMC Resolution No. 2. Gisugdan na usab nato ang pagpalit ug mga relocation sites alang sa mga pamilyang nahipuyo niining mga high-risk areas. Sa kantidad nga 13 million pesos, aduna na’y kabalhinan ang mga pamilya sa Bankerohan Sur sa Montevista, Barangay Pasian, Monkayo, Barangay Rizal, Barangay Upper Ulip ug Barangay Baylo sa Monkayo, Barangay San Antonio sa Mabini ug Barangay Mipangi sa Nabunturan.

Our province has never been safer as we were able to train 2,100 disaster responders from all over the province.

In our lowest times, during the devastation of Typhoon Pablo and the tragic Masara Landslide, we remember 2009, people from the different walks of life came to our province and assisted us in any way they can to help us recover. We have not forgotten their goodwill to us. In 2019, we also did, and also this year, noh, this January lang, we also did the same to our brothers and sisters from other parts of the country that have suffered the same especially during the recent earthquakes that struck Mindanao.

In fact, tomorrow, I will be personally going to Davao del Sur to turn over the checks that we have for them, noh, for their rehabilitation, one million (P1M) for the Province of Davao del Sur and for the affected municipalities we have Three Hundred Thousand (P300,000.00) each.

Let’s go to PEOPLE.

PEOPLE

No single intervention was done without thinking of our people – the life they have, the jobs they do, the potentials they are gifted with and the opportunities they have to seize. The local government is here to uplift, protect, and usher our people in fulfilling their destiny.

We always see the gold in each one. And we will always find the gold in our people.

We begin our interventions from womb to tomb where no single stage of life is neglected. Health and nutrition are always on top of our priorities and our children are no doubt, in the front row. Our malnutrition incidence decreased in both age groups. This only affirms our efforts in combating hunger in Davao de Oro.

From 4.59 percent in 2017, child malnutrition incidence dropped to 2.11% in 2019. Malnutrition in schools also decreased from 8.89 percent in School Years 2018-2019 to 6.7 percent this School Year 2019-2020. This decreasing malnutrition incidence is due to reinforced interventions namely the capability building of barangay nutrition scholars, our BNS, provision of micronutrient supplement to preschoolers and the intensified implementation of Bayanihan para sa Kalusugan-Kusina ng Kalinga Program in partnership with the Department of Education and the Local Governance, it is a community-based feeding program, and Adopt a Child Program.

We commend our Provincial Nutrition Council for having been awarded the Regional Green Banner for two consecutive years recording the lowest child malnutrition incidence in the entire Davao Region.

We would like to commend also the Municipality of Maco for being a consistent regional outstanding winner in nutrition for three consecutive years.

We also recognize Ma’am Marrieta Albores of New Leyte, Maco for being the Regional Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar and Mawab, Municipality of Mawab, for gaining second place in Kaugmaon Award, Municipal category.

While we secure the health of our people, it is but of equal importance to also secure the shelter of our women and children who are victims of abuse and exploitation. Our province allotted five million pesos for the construction of a two-storey residential building that we will call Bahay Pangarap of Davao de Oro to be their temporary home. It is expected this year to be implemented.

The empowerment of our constituents covers all ages and is executed in different forms. We arm our children with good education through Bayanihan para sa Karunungan Program, where we gathered 400 youth volunteers to teach 3,000 pupils last 2019. The Indu Sang Isu, an education program customized for the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) trained 15 IP teachers who in turn, taught 60 IP pupils total about Mansaka culture and tradition.  This is a power program that will enhance the learning, the appreciation of the culture and tradition of this Tribe.  And we are hopeful that  we can do it also in other Tribes as well.

The success of our young people is the triumph of the whole Davao de Oro. It is with great pride to announce to you that we have a total of 184 scholars from our Compostela Valley Scholarship Program, 25 of them graduated with Latin honors. Five of our scholars landed in 10th, 9th, 8th, 6th and even the first in the entire country during the 2019 Licensure Examination for Teachers.

Palakpakan nato sila.

Our Compostela Valley Scholarship Program was also recognized as 2019 Regional Gawad Paglingkod sa Sambayan or (GAPAS) Awardee on Best People’s Organization by DSWD Regional-XI and 2019 Regional Winner on Search for the Outstanding Volunteers by NEDA Regional-XI.

Our Youth Welfare and Development Program explores all possible approaches to unleash and unfold opportunities for our youth. We give them seat in policy-making and allow their voices to be translated to policies beneficial to the next young generation. A localized youth parliament, the Davao de Oro Youth Parliament crafted 14 resolutions that tackle the different issues that the young people of Davao de Oro face. Among these resolutions are the resolutions on social media use, art, malnutrition, anti-smoking and rights of persons with disabilities. The youth takes up space in Davao de Oro. As a former youth parliamentarian myself, I’m sure they equally shape our province’s future and direction.

We search for the ones whose hope is fading – those who thought of giving up and losing their future. With the Uplifting Out-of-School Youth Welfare and Growth or USWAG-Kabataan Project, 1000 out-of-school youth were enrolled to DepEd’s Alternative Learning System with two million pesos financial assistance from the province.

We did not stop here. We continue to find the gold in our youth whose freedom is locked inside the prison doors. With our Eskwelda or Eskwela sa Selda launched last 2019, 22 youth inmates from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and 25 inmates from the Provincial Rehabilitation Center were granted to enroll to DepEd’s Alternative Learning System still with financial assistance to each once they completed the course.

We’ve advocated pro-youth programs that cater to variety of interests of the young sector. Sports for one is our avenue for camaraderie and youth empowerment. We have engaged in a long list of sports, had matches with several cities and even provinces, sent out our best athletes and catered to almost 6,000 athletes across the province.

Ten years since we hosted DAVRAA, I’m excited as everyone’s looking forward to see DAVRAA 2020 happen in the Province of Davao de Oro. With Department of Education as our partner, the bayanihan spirit or convergence is made more alive with the goal to leave our athletes in the entire Davao region with a golden moment they won’t forget this coming March of 2020.

Prior to this, our province also hosted the biggest gathering  of scouts all over Eastern Mindanao, the Eastern Mindanao Regional Jamboree. Scouts from three regions namely Davao Region, Caraga, and SOCCKSARGEN came to the Municipality of Compostela, Davao de Oro to witness andparticipate the event. Thanks to the Municipality of Compostela  headed by Mayor Lema Bolo.

Part and parcel of human development is employment. Davao de Oro has facilitated the employment of about 35,000 individuals through the conduct of regular employment facilitation, job fairs, special recruitment activities and emergency employment programs. More than 3,000 individuals also acquired additional skills with training provided by our province in partnership with DOLE, DTI, and TESDA. Salamat kaayo sa inyohang strong support sa amoa sa probinsya.

From employment, we go micro. Didto ta sa atoang mga igsoong, kaigsoonang IP, sa atong IP Sector to further address the concerns and protect the rights sa atoang mga kaigsoonan, the creation of Ancestral Domain and Indigenous People’s affairs division under the Office of the Governor is now underway. A legislation shall soon be passed to make it functional. This office is expected to be the umbrella of IP governance and cultural promotion.

Another policy presently being drafted is the Ancestral Domain Revenue Code. It incorporates transparency initiatives that will reinforce IPs right to their ancestral domain. Furthermore, to better facilitate legal documents, birth registration of IPs will be conducted. We expect to have a better data banking for the IPs, allowing them to enroll to basic government services enabling them to have better access to all of these.

This 2020, our IP’s will receive free housing through the grant provided to us by the National Housing Authority. We thank Congressman Waykurat Zamora, Senior Board Member Arturo Uy, and Board Member Albert Camana for their invaluable efforts to make this project come into reality and also in the help of the NCIP. 300 IP houses are now set to be built in three different towns – in Municipality of Monkayo, Municipality of New Bataan, and in the Municipality of Montevista.

Every culture is treasured in Davao de Oro.  We also put up Madrasah buildings in our Muslim Communities.

Meanwhile, as empowerment happens in all of our sectors, it is worthy to highlight the milestones of our women sector. For the first time, they have hosted the 16th General Assembly of the Philippines’ Federation of Local Councils of Women enjoining 600 women leaders across the country. Another breakthrough to note is the participation and exposure of our IP Mandaya weavers to both local and international platforms showcasing their design heritage and products.

Kanang mga gisuot sa atong mga Board Members, kanang accent nato diri came from the Mandaya Weavers.  ‘Yan.

Our Provincial Women Development Program also sealed its links with the University of Southeastern Philippines through a memorandum of agreement on technical trainings and livelihood intervention of the Liwanag ng Pamilya Program.

On scholarships both local and abroad, the Provincial Women Development Program through a partnership with Kerry Parson’s Foundation granted a full scholarship to 25 students of Davao de Oro with one international scholar sent out to Murdoch University, Australia from the Municipality of Mabini last 2019.

We thank and congratulate the Provincial Women Development Council headed by my one and only Sholai.

On the other hand, 400 PWDs celebrated the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation week with 100 PWD’s benefiting from our livelihood trainings.

Weighing as important as all other sectors are our senior citizens. Through the efforts of our Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices and support mechanisms by our Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, an increase of 54 percent from the registered senior citizens in 2018 was recorded. Now, 54,200 seniors can now fully utilize the government’s grant. Palakpakan nato sila.

Davao de Oro goes beyond helping only its own people. It lends support even to people from neighboring provinces. With our blood sufficiency rate recording highest in the country, even exceeding the national average, we were able to serve thousands including patients from other provinces and have been a consistent recipient of Sandugo Award for a decade now.

Ako, nagpasalamat sa mga suporta sa atoang mga Municipal Local Government Units headed by the Mayors, the Barangay Officials headed by the Kapitans, our  Barangay functionaries nga nagsuporta niini, and luyo sa tanan, ang mga nagdonar gayud sa ilahang time and effort, ug dugo para makatabang sa atong isigkatawo. Truly, all our accolades are fruits of all of our joint efforts.

Our crisis intervention programs ease the burden of our people. In 2019, we allotted 9 million pesos for the burial, medical and fire assistance. Meanwhile, an addition of 6 million pesos were allotted for this program securing a budget of 15 million pesos in total this 2020. It is noteworthy, that 16,000 more or less individuals were served in the last three years.

We thank the Department of Health and Senator Bong Go for the establishment of our Malasakit Centers that already served 17,600 patients since its operation in our four (4) Provincial Hospitals. We thank Mayor Inday Sara Duterte also for being instrumental in making this happen and the Office of the President for the budget.

We extended services worth 421 million pesos in 2019 through our four hospitals and with the combined assistance from the Office of the President, Pagkalinga sa Bayan, Philhealth, DOH, Congressional Medical Assistance Program, and our local funds, 98 percent of our patients availed zero billing and were treated for free.

The Department of Health also chose our province, Davao de Oro as one of the pilot implementation sites of the Universal Healthcare Law. Last December, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with DOH. This law will help our people especially the poorest to have a universal access to medical and health services.

Mohangyo ko sa atoang Stakeholders, especially the Local Governments, Municipal Local Governments, ug ang atoang mga Barangay, and especially the Health  Sector, to cooperate in the implementation of the Universal Health Care System.

These social protection and human development programs’ main goal is to really alleviate the conditions of poor. Looking at our poverty incidence among families, we see a huge decrease in the last decade. From 31 percent of families living below poverty line in the beginning of 2010, it shrunk to 18.5 percent in 2018 based on the PSA. Evidently, the data shows that thousands of poor people were moved out of poverty and our efforts are never in vain.

Let’s go now on PROSPERITY.

PROSPERITY

It is our goal that by 2030, our province will become one of the top investment and tourism destinations in Mindanao, with robust agriculture industry, bustling businesses, entrepreneurial initiatives and a haven for innovation.

Agriculture is one of the largest assets we have in Davao de Oro. The production of cacao has shoot up to three hundred percent (300%) with 4,600 farmers benefited from our intensified extension support services.

Notably, our cacao area in the province increased by sixty percent  (60%) in hectarage since 2016. Its expansion is much felt with the establishments of two additional units of chocolate processing facility in the Municipality of Maragusan and in New Bataan that was facilitated by our PAGRO and the Department of Agriculture. The impact of this is said to come in many ways – revenue growth, employment generation, and it will also serve as a good social enterprise, linking the poor to the market and giving them opportunities.

As to the banana industry, we were able to save 50,000 hectares from the infestation of fusarium wilt. The spread of fusarium was prevented through intensive campaign to bio-security measures and provision of disease resistant variety seedlings from our tissue culture laboratory located at Pasian, Monkayo.

In 2019, we recorded a dispersal of 171,000 hills of disease-resistant variety seedlings to 71 farmers covering 35.5 hectares that translates to income generation equivalent to 26.6 million pesos.

In 2019, we were one of the only seven rice-sufficient provinces in the country. We have consistently been a National Rice Achievers Awardee. I’m proud to say that in 2018, the Province of Davao de Oro is one hundred two (102%) rice sufficient.

Along with it is the effort to improve the quality of our rice through establishment of 30-hectare compact hybrid model farms.

We have posted a 7.7% increase in high quality seed utilization of hybrid, tagged or high quality seeds. Meanwhile, Davao de Oro has two demonstration sites for Green Super Rice varieties, a new rice variety that could withstand drought, salinity and many others.

In support to technology modernization demo trials, Rice Crop Manager (RCM) mobile application was also mainstreamed. If RCM protocols are religiously followed, an estimated 4,000 pesos increase is, will be secured in the income of our farmers. Today, a total of 4,900 adaptors have availed this program in the whole province.

Our Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers or SURE Aid Program has granted 12 million pesos to 800 marginalized rice farmers throughout the province without interest to improve their production.

Meanwhile, we have turned-over hauling trucks worth 3.64 Million with mini storage building, weighing scales, and plastic crates to Small Coconut Farmers Cooperative (CASCOFCO) under PRDP I-REAP Subproject “Enhancement of Cardava Banana Consolidation and Marketing Enterprise”.

On the other hand, 31 units of farm machineries, 49 units of post-harvest facilities and equipment and 6 units of solar-powered irrigation system has provided by Department of Agriculture to influenced the efficiency and production of our farmers allowing them to reduce losses of rice and corn up to 37%, increasing its harvest coverage to 30 hectares per day using combine harvesters and equipment and dry up to 750 bags.

On fishery development, a total of 420,000 pieces of tilapia fingerlings were dispersed to 334 fish farmers and other interested stakeholders’ province wide with a production of 63,000 kilograms that is equivalent to an earning worth 7.5 million pesos.  Apparently 33 percent increase in the total aquaculture fish production in 2019 was recorded with the current operation of the 64 marine fish cages in our Mari culture parks in the Municipality of Pantukan and the Municipality of Mabini. To better assist our fish farmers, we strongly collaborate with BFAR-XI and each Municipal Office. A total of 150 units of motorized fiberglass banca were distributed in coastal Municipalities of Maco, Mabini and Pantukan.

Our Micro-credit Assistance Development Program remains vital in increasing the assets of our constituents. Presently, a total of 15,800 benefited from the loans granted to 31 member cooperatives worth 73.8 million pesos. Comparing the member-cooperatives average assets in 2015 to 2017, it is clearly observed that the increase plays between 40 to 100 percent of their assets prior to the granted loan while the average income of these cooperatives increase to 400 percent of their previous earnings prior to their loan. This only shows that our people are good stewards of the loan grants provided by this government.

Progress would be incomplete without giving the same weight of importance to our livestock. Remarkably, with the full implementation of the Liquid Nitrogen Processing Plant, 2,700 farmers benefited through increase in yield as a result from crossbred buffalos that weigh more than the native species, that are also feed-efficient and fast growing. Its profitability rests on the quality of its meat, and dairy.

Our 97-hectare Agro-ecotourism Park in Barangay Pasian, Monkayo is geared towards expanding to become a multiplier farm with three major components such as duck production, honeybee production and native chicken production. 3.5 million pesos was allotted to pursue this trajectory. To further complement our end hunger program, a Dairy Processing Plant in Pasian will soon be established with three primary goals: First, as specialty outlet for daily products, second as support mechanism for the nourishment of pregnant women, toddler, and school children and lastly the said the plant will be an avenue for vocational trainings in Dairy Cattle Production through TESDA and PESO programs that may in turn lead into local or overseas employment.

We believe that roads make way for progress. Our road length for rehabilitated, repaired and maintained road section has reached to 730 km with 83 road sections. We also account the concreted roads from September 2018 to December 2019 with a length of 37.7 kilometers with 3 unit bridges in the amount of 590 million pesos, along with this is the 43.2 km on-going road concreting with 6 unit bridges worth 606.2 million pesos.

It is worthy to note that the upgrading and improvement of our roads inter-municipality roads Compostela Tubo-tubo-Monkayo Provincial Road with 8.52 km road length funded by DILG-CMGP worth 125.5 million pesos is now underway together with the rehabilitation of Barangay Poblacion – Barangay Naboc farm to market road by the PRDP worth 113.6 million pesos with a total road length of 11.47 kilometers.

Connectivity, promotions and investment are ingredients for a bustling economy.  Since Tourism Road Infrastructure Project Prioritization started pouring its support to the province last 2017, a total of 56.9 kilometers of paved and concreted roads with 17 kilometers on-going and 19.9 kilometers yet to be implemented road projects make up the 80% of the total tourism access road networks of Davao de Oro. We thank the partnership of the Department of Tourism and the Department of Public Works and Hiways, and the Congressional Office for this endeavor.

Complementing to this is the improved access to trade and industry by ROLL-IT Program with a total road length of 32.9 kilometers linking production to market locations. These road projects allow more unexplored, unknown and underrated destinations to get discovered locally and globally. Today, we get delighted seeing those undiscovered sceneries in our Facebook newsfeed to be found in our province. More and more tourists are enticed to take a snapshot of the sea of clouds located between the boundaries of Barangay Araibo, Pantukan and Barangay Mapawa, Maragusan. It became a hit last year in 2019, I wonder what would be the next hit in 2020. One thing is certain. The discovery of a new destination creates a domino effect in our value chain. Revenue and job generation are sure to take place.

Simultaneous with road projects, nearly 500,000 beneficiaries are also expected to benefit from the completion of constructed and repaired buildings, covered courts, school buildings, health centers, tribal halls, social halls, and other government buildings. In 2019 we have completed, 69 projects with a total worth of 124.3 million pesos while 35 units are still on-going with a total amount of 273.2 million pesos. Furthermore, 20 projects are yet to be started soon with total worth of 33.6 million pesos. To complete our infrastructure projects, our water system rehabilitation and construction in various barangays is set to benefit more than 13,000 households with its 13 unit completed projects, 6 on going and 12 new projects.

We would like to thank also the Secretary of Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Emmanuel Piñol for allotting funds for the feasibility study that will study for the establishment of the bulk water system here in our capital town of  Nabunturan. He personally came here to Davao de Oro to assure us of his support and his Office’s support especially in technical terms.

This is complemented by the different electrification projects in a total of 31 million pesos especially in the far flung areas. In 2020, we will pursue more of these projects to increase the access of basic utilities for our constituents.

The gateway to golden opportunity is built alongside with our private partners. In the first quarter of 2019, we remember the first ever De Oro Business and Investment Conference where we gathered 155 significant participants including the consular offices from Austria, Indonesia, China, the American Business Chamber and European Union Business Chamber with a total of 1.33 billion worth of investment leaders. Several investors visited Davao de Oro for the following business opportunities – Renewable Energy, Sorghum Production for Biomass, Agricultural Products processing centers, township development, bulk water system development and water treatment facility development.

Our good relationship with international partners had also opened opportunities for our people to also experience green pastures in other parts of the world. In the recent opening of the Summer Camp of Huaquiao University in China, five CVSP scholars were able to join. Through the initiative of Consul General Li Lin of the Chinese Consular Office in Davao, we will soon be matched with Long Yan City of Fujian as future business partners of development.

Our employees were also given a chance to learn, not only our employees but the different leaders of our community, was given a chance to learn about Chinese language and culture as part of our deepening relationship with them. We also have sent five students to Huaquiao University as full scholars.

It is worthy to note that all our efforts in pursuit for progress is affirmed and recognized by the National Government. The Province of Davao de Oro was hailed by the Department of Trade and Industry as the 13th Most Competitive Province in the entire Philippines,  (At this juncture, there is clapping of hands.) 50 ranks higher than its place in 2016. We are the second most competitive province in Davao Region. The recognition was determined based on government efficiency, infrastructure, economic dynamism and resilience. On top of this, we were hailed by the Commission on Audit as the province with the second highest number of assets in the whole country. Huge investments for infrastructure projects were instrumental in achieving this.

We look forward to see a major breakthrough in our product development and global partnerships with leading countries. This year, we will foster partnerships with Japan as we have done with China last year. Our goal is to adopt the best innovations of these countries as we work hand in hand with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Science and Technology. We want our brand to be known not just in the Philippines but to the rest of the world. Innovation is our key to the global market.

Our road networks and market linkages become wider, more people have access to better government services, we see influx of investors leading to global partnerships, our economy is getting better and our people is gradually moved out of poverty. This is the golden time for Davao de Oro and we will continue to live that way.

Almost a decade ago, we’ve been challenged by conflict and catastrophes but our resilience is stronger. We have become better as years went by. We have witnessed the transition, the change of pace and the rise of Davao de Oro.

On PEACE.

PEACE

Peace, for our children in the highlands, means the ability to go to school freely. For entrepreneurs, it is the ability to do business without worrying about harassments and extortion. For many of us, it is ability to sleep soundly at night. Peace, in its essence, means security, stability, and our very well being. Here in Davao de Oro, there is no greater cause than the cause of peace.

Our campaign against the use of illegal drugs reached significant feats in 2019. The Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council of Davao de Oro achieved a perfect score and was adjudged as gold awardee by the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Our PADAC’s functionality rate reached one hundred percent and one of the only eleven provincial government units classified by the national government as ideal.

Our very own program, Oplan Liwanag, a community-based drug rehabilitation program continues its mission of reforming moderately affected drug dependents in the province.  For 2019, 66 percent of the total barangays in the province have already rolled out the Oplan Liwanag. We thank our Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Councils headed by the mayors, and Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils also headed by our Barangay Kapitans  for co-owning this program and sharing the obligation to redirect the lives of former drug dependents towards good health, and love for their selves, their families, and their communities.

As of today, around 5,400 former drug dependents are now reformed because of Oplan Liwanag. With no intention to rest our laurels, we have not only covered drug dependents who voluntarily surrendered before the government but also those who were apprehended by law. Last year, we launched Oplan Bagong Buhay. In partnership with our courts and the legal community. As of today, 57 have already graduated from the program.

In Davao de Oro, no life is beyond redemption.

Our Provincial Peace and Order Council also achieved significant strides. The Department of Interior and Local Government of Davao Region gave our PPOC 100 percent functionality rate out from the 2018 POC Performance Audit Report.

Palakpakan nato ang PPOC.

A dynamic and fully functional Provincial Peace and Order Council is the key for better peace convergence efforts. Oplan Pagbabago, our flagship program in tackling community armed conflicts perpetrated by organized crime groups has already rolled out in two pilot implementation sites- in Araibo, Pantukan and Barangay Rizal, Monkayo. Even prior to the creation of EO 70, our province has already started reaching out to these  communities in partnership with different national government agencies and Non-government Organizations (NGOs) and our Local Government Units  headed by the Mayors . By 2020, we will work on the full implementation of Oplan Pagbabago ELCAC in all priority areas within the province and we look forward for the establishment of the Kalayaan Center, a venue for rehabilitation and reintegration of former rebels into the mainstream of the society.

A major impact of all our efforts to bring public services to the people is the rise of former rebels who returned to the folds of law. For the period of 2018-2019, 432 former rebels have received livelihood assistance through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the DILG. This was done through collaboration with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which by the way was hailed by DILG-Region XI as the best performing DILG in the entire region.  Congrats, Sir Noel Duarte, for job well done.

We understand that education is a crucial and effective peace-building mechanism. This 2019, we worked so hard to reach out to the farthest areas in the province classified as Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas. In a matter of 20 days, we were able to establish five schools in different sides, Side 4 in Barangay Mangayon, Puting Bato in Barangay Ngan, and Purok 3 in Barangay Panansalan, all in Compostela, Sitio Bongloy in Pagsabangan, New Bataan, and Sitio Sapanglubog in Tibagon, in the Municipality of Pantukan and in Danawan, Manurigao, the farthest sitio in the farthest barangay in Davao de Oro.

Allow me to express my thanks to all our private partners who funded these schools namely APEX Mining, Udenna Foundation, Hexat Mining, A-CUP Foundation Sumifru Incorporated, and Ulticon Builders . Thank you also to all the volunteers, to all the offices of the provincial government especially atong mga empleyado who devoted time to build these schools and to all individual volunteers who have shared this endeavor. We will surely make miracles happen for the sake of our children.

Our young people had been a reliable partner of our peace-building efforts. We commend the efforts of the Youth for Peace Movement in teaching our youth the ways of peace. Their efforts had not gone unnoticed since they were awarded the Young Peace builders Award by the National Young Leaders for Sustainable Development. Ato silang palakpakan.

Hopefully, you will continue to help us especially in the Oplan Pagbabago Program reaching out the farthese barangays and the priority barangays of this province.

These major feats in peace and security were made possible by employing the whole of nation approach. I thank all the members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council especially to DILG and our partners from the security sector – and atoang Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

Sustaining the bayanihan spirit will be our guiding post this 2020 and peace will finally come to our land.

On PLUS:  GOOD GOVERNANCE.

PLUS: GOOD GOVERNANCE

The backbone of good governance is always a government that works for, by and of the people. We also made notable reforms in improving the processes of the Provincial Government to better serve the public.

On July, 2019, Davao de Oro’s human resource management received bronze award or Level 2 accreditation by the Civil Service Commission. We also earned the Civil Service Commission’s approval in its Honor Awards Program as three of its entries reached the regional level and one was even acknowledged in the national level. We congratulate Vice Governor Maricar Zamora, Senior Board Member Arturo Uy,and Ma’am Janice Clarion, our Youth Development Officer, and our Provincial Blood Service Program that was hailed as a national semifinalist.

Through Vice Governor Zamora’s initiative as a former Congresswoman, our department heads are undergoing series of workshops termed as GOLD or Governance and Leadership Development facilitated by the Development Academy of the Philippines. This is really helpful to us especially in making sound decisions for the provincial government. Since last year, we are also embarking on our very own ISO journey. We thank our ISO focal persons for steering their respective offices in this tough but necessary task for standardization. To institutionalize the Davao de Oro brand, we will soon launch a brand book that will guide us in this whole ISO endeavor. The brand book will make sure that Davao de Oro is one of its kind and unique. Here lies a challenge to all of us, come this April or May of 2020, we will pass the ISO assessment with flying colors.

To compensate the hardwork of our employees, we will also raise their basic pay this year. Our job order workers, those who are classified under Salary Grade I shall enjoy a 46.5 percent increase, from P279.00 per day to P409.00 per day.

While those who are still below five years shall get a 23 percent increase in their salary. And for professionals, they will receive a 45.4 increase in their wages.

This is my promise to our workers last December of 2018 and we are now keeping it.

Mao ni paagi na, mga pamaagi nato nga magpasalamat sa atoang mga empleyado nga naningkamot intawon ug trabaho para makahatag ta’g maayo nga serbisyo sa atoang mga katawhan.  Saludo ko ninyo ug daghang salamat sa inyong tabang sa inyohang tanan.

Financial management-wise, we applaud our Provincial Revenue Generation Task Force and the Provincial Tax Enforcement Program for exceeding the 100 percent mark in their tax collection efficiency. In all taxes the provincial government is entitled to collect namely real property tax, fees and charges, business taxes and economic enterprises, we have reached a total of 135.5 percent efficiency rate.

O.  Kay kung dili ta maka-achieve ani, minus pod atoang serbisyo nga ihatod sa katawhan.

Taking into account a report from September 2018 to September 2019 revenue generation reports recorded a 122.8% increase in our business tax collection with top 5 Local Government Units, namely: Maragusan, Monkayo, New Bataan, Pantukan, and Montevista.

We will also work on enhancing the information communication portfolio of our province. In the digital age, Davao de Oro will make its presence felt. In the last E-Governance Awards, we were able to bag two awards – first  place for our Document Management System that reduced tracking time of documents from minutes to second and second place for our Blood Donation Management System which maximized availability of blood units in our hospitals.

We would also like to thank the City Government of Davao led by Mayor Inday Sara Duterte through their program, Byaheng Do30 that featured some of our good initiatives within the province. As we aspire to be one of the top investments and tourism destinations in the entire country, we will utilize the digital media through our facebook pages- @govtyronuy, @davaodeoroprovince, and @davaodeoroprovincialinfo, and our website, www.davaodeoro.gov.ph to market our province to all potential visitors, tourists investors, and clients.

CONCLUSION

Allow me to thank everyone who became part of these feats and milestones nato.

First and foremost to God, to whom we owe everything, for giving us the gift of right decisions, the wisdom. God is good all the time as He continues to sustain and strengthen us;

To President Duterte for leading our country, whose vigor and political will inspires us in the local level to do the same;

To our two (2) Congressmen Manuel Waykurat Zamora and Congressman Attorney Ruwel Peter Gonzaga for their continuous support to all our endeavors in the local government especially in all our programs, projects, and activities;

To Vice Governor Honorable Maricar Zamora for being a strong partner in instituting good governance in the provincial government. Thank you kaayo, Vice, sa imong tabang.

Likewise, I wish to extend the same gratitude to all the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for being there in times that I need your help.  Salamat kaayo sa inyong tanan;

To all our partners, national government agencies, municipal local government units especially our Mayors, our non-government organizations, our CSOs our Civil Society Organizations, the business community, the religious sector, the IP sectors,  our peacekeepers, barangay functionaries, our health workers, and everyone who works for the well-being of the people of Davao de Oro, we thank you for always responding to our call whenever the provincial government needs your help;

To the members of the Executive Committee led by our Provincial Administrator, Ma’am Virgilia Allones, our department heads, executive assistants and program holders, thank you for all your hardwork. I cannot ask anything from all of you. You are the best Executive Committee any governor can have.

To all employees of the Provincial Government, dili man ko permamente makapasalamat sa inyo, apan ako, dako man gyud ko’g utang kabubut-on ninyong tanan, noh. I am only your representative. It is your hardwork that truly made all these difference. Kung unsa man ang probinsya karon, tungod kana sa inyong mga pagpaningkamot. The province is in good hands with you, our dedicated civil servants. Thank you.

Since I started out in governance, I was also entrusted to lead important councils in the region. Allow me to extend my gratitude to these people whom I consider my mentors and advisers, to Regional Director Alex Roldan of the DILG for guiding me in my whole stint as Chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council, naa ba si Sir Alex?  Thank you, Sir.   And now to the Regional Development Council, the NEDA Director Ma’am Maria Lourdes Lim of the NEDA who is now helping me run the RDC as the RDC Chair. Thank you for all your advice. I cannot surely do it without your help.

To the most important people in my life, my family, to Papa, kay Mama who is currently recovering from her health, get well soon, Ma.  And, sa akoang wife si Sholai, thank you sa suporta, my children – Yunice and Althor, thank you for being behave now.  Hehehe. Thank you sa akong igsoon pod nga naminaw, nia akong igsoon nga Konsehal sa Pantukan si Cathy.  Thank you sa inyohang tanan, sa inyong tabang sa akoa isip akong inspiration. Thank you very much for always lifting my spirits and for providing me inspiration every single day in serving this province.

Ug magpasalamat ako sa katawhan sa Davao de Oro, ang tinuod nga bulawan kamo gyud, walay lain. Thank you sa inyohang pagsalig sa akoa for putting me here in the second term last May of 2019

There is no word that can perfectly capture how grateful I am for the trust that you have placed in me.

21 years passed but the dawn of the golden era has just begun.

Davao de Oro holds the gold that will last.

Davao de Oro has more to unveil.

Davao de Oro will unceasingly nurture its nature.

Davao de Oro will tirelessly find the gold in its people.

Davao de Oro will make its economy more robust.

Davao de Oro will find the balance to make peace lasting.

And lastly, Davao de Oro will continue to adhere to transparent and participatory governance.

We will see more greens and blues, more homegrown talents and countless opportunities in this golden era.

This is the promise of Davao de Oro. This is us. This is who we are becoming. And with our becoming comes our golden identity.

As we embrace this identity, allow me to present to you the new seal of the Province of Davao de Oro.

This seal is us. Golden are our seas, our mountains, our harvest and our people. Golden is the living culture of convergence, golden is peace that lives in us and golden is the future that is set for us by the Almighty.

Kita ni.

This. Is. Us.

Davao de Oro. The Golden One.

May I request Vice Governor Maria Carmen Zamora, our Senior Board Member Arturo Uy, and all the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members to join with me here as we unveil our official seal and to present our official Provincial Hymn.

We also request Mayor Yugo, representing all the Mayors.

We will countdown.  In ten (10), nine (9), eight (8), seven (7), six (6), five (5), four (4), three (3), two (2), one (1).

(Davao de Oro hymn is played)

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