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Home About Us State of the Province Address STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS CY 2015




The Honorable, Ramon AGBungabong, Vice Governor and Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Norte, the Honorable Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan; fellow workers in government, fellow Agusanons, guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

I take great honor to report to the people of Agusan del Norte the State of the Province for Calendar Year 2015.Details of this report are contained in the complete volume which the Provincial Governor’s Office will be providing. 

Making life better for all Agusanons has always been our ardent quest and vision.  And, with everyone’s commitment and involvement including our international partners, the vision for Agusandel Norteis now clearly attainable.

For the past few years the Province of Agusan del Norte continues to invest in the young generation; hence, “Education for All”has always been one of our primary goals. Yet educating the mind alone without educating the heart falls short of our goal.As leaders and policy makers, it is truly a big challenge to provide education that would equip learners with the needed competencies and prepare them ready for life.Cognizant of these challenges, several programs were successfully launched to improve performance with the support of the parents and other stakeholders.As a result, a reduction of 1.53% of the dropout rate in Elementary Level was


achieved. With this continuing trend, we are confident that the gaps in the education sector would soon be addressed.

It is interesting to note that in 2015 our enrollment rate exceeded the school age population recorded by the NSO for the year.  A total of 42,557 students were enrolled as against the NSO count of 39,975.

In contrast school leavers dramatically reduced: for primary level – from 5.85% in 2012 to only 3.24% in 2015.  For the secondary level – from 8.69% in 2012 to 6.56% in 2015.  This is a sign that more and more students prefer staying rather than leaving school.Moreover, our performance in the National Achievement Test (NAT) in the grade 6 level improved to 87.47%fromthe 2014 achievement of 84.13%. The quality of educationwe provided produced students with exceptional talents and skills.As an example: Xavier Clyde S. Dubduban of NORMI who placed First in the Regional Science Fair Contest in Microscope Focusing and Karl Andrea Culta who placed 3rd Best Presenter in the over-all National Radio Production Championship in Broadcasting.  Similarly for the teacher category, Agusan del Norte was the National Champion for Science Investigatory Project (Physical Science) and on the Spot Improvisation of Materials in Science.

To broaden learning horizons, students were exposed to advanced technology with the provision of 70 N-computing computer sets. Supporting these efforts were the construction of 218 elementary and secondary school buildings amounting toP 194,757,194.77.

In order to institutionalize our strategy of “from school to work”, Agusan del Norte granted Special Program for Employment of Students(SPES) to 589 students and provided scholarship trainings to over 170 beneficiaries.  One hundred five (105) students were likewise granted Educational Assistance with a budget outlay of P2.9 M.

Job readiness is one of the outcomes of our endeavor.  During the year in review,1,038 qualified and deserving scholarswere assessed while2,150 were trained in various scholarships. The cost for government in implementing these interventions was over P 20.4M.  That year 1,361 scholars graduated from these training programs.The effort of the Provincial Government in education placed premium attention for our IP brothers, and, with much pride, I am glad to announce the success gained by 3 of our IP scholars who did not only complete their respective course in teaching, but also finished Cum Laude.  The 3 three have already passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET).

These achievements were attained because of our clear direction to provide quality education aimed at attaining full literacy by 2030.

        To ensure the safety of the children, our day care workers were trained on the Safety of Young Children during calamities and emergencies.  Further, the Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC) and the Annual Search for the Child Friendly LGUswere institutionalized as mechanismsof eradicating violence against women and children.  We take pride on the achievement of the City of Cabadbaran in getting the 1st Place Award for “Child Friendly, City/LGU”.

In 2015, our Day Care Programs served a total number of 10,842 enrollees through the untiring efforts of our  diligent day care workers. One program in this case was the distribution of 235 story big booksto all the 235 day care centers in the province. 

The social services program of Agusan del Norte served the needs of all age levels, hence in recognition of the elderly, 1,533 Senior Citizensreceived various assistance such as Burial Assistance, Lakbay-Gana and theIntegrated Social Development Assistance Program (ISDAP)at a cost of P 2,279,520.00.  After all, “Ang mga Lolo at Lola ay Mahalaga din sa Bagong Milenyo”.  

Likewise, the Social Pension for indigent Senior Citizens in the amount of P 67,160,500.00 for 11,222 beneficiaries was remarkably a worthy recognition of the contributions of our senior citizens in transforming Agusan del Norte into what it is now.

The over-all service coverage of our Integrated Social Development Assistance Program (ISDAP)by the way has already covered 11,878 persons for a total cost P 15,200,000.00.Complementary programs for over 3,600 beneficiaries in the amount of P2.067M also came in the form of medical assistance, support to individuals in Crisis Situation, assistance to victims of violence, among others.

By the same token, the Phil Health Indigency Sponsored Program was able to cater 12,205 families.  This health care insurance covered those families who do not have the capacity to pay their hospital bills.  The cost for Agusan del Norte was P 18,120,000.00.  The program was able to disburse claims and reimbursement in the amount of P 126.1 M in 2015.

Our continuing Medical and Dental Outreach activities on the other hand were able to serve 14,963 persons in 37 barangays thus bringing more services closer to where they are neededmost.  Likewise, the total number of services rendered by the hospitals under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Governmentwere30,438 for Admission and 88,984 for Out Patient consultations.

The implementation of the Health Infrastructure Development Project in the province resulted in the following: 1) Upgrading of the Agusan del Norte Provincial Hospital Phase 3 worth P 58 Million and an extra work worth P 3 Million;2) Completion of the hospital’s Sewerage Treatment Plant worth P 5 Million;3) Water Supply System and Distribution Lines for   P 2 Million; and,4) the Supply Office and warehouse for P 2 Million. Again, in partnership with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and the Department of Health (DOH) we received a “GeneXpert Machine” worth P 1Million for sputum examination.

The Philippine Red Cross of Agusan del Norte complemented the requirements of our health services withactivities like the collectionof 7,286 units of blood which eventually served 5,567 units of whole blood to clientele.  Cost of these activities reached more than P 18M.

In acknowledgment of the efforts of our Barangay Nutrition Scholars in mainstreaming healthy lifestyle among the populace, we provided P 1,050,000.00 honorarium or P 600.00 eachmonth to the 175 Barangay Nutrition Scholars,a substantial improvementfrom the previous honorarium of P 200.00/month.

Our collaboration with our partnershas made great strides.  The PantawidPamilya Pilipino Program for instance served about 40,050 or over 100% out of 37,222targetedHouseholdfor 2015.Total disbursement for the year in review was P 421.86 Million.  Another testament of our multi-agency collaboration is the PaBulSa or Partnership for Building Livelihood and Sustainable Asset for the Poor.  Financial accomplishment for this Program exceeded targets by15%or P36.37M (P36, 373,972.58)as against budget allocation of P31.52M                            (P 31,520,000.00).  In a similar program, 4,050 beneficiaries also benefitted from the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) with a total disbursement of P 36,373,972.58.

Construction of Day Care Centers, Health Stations, School Buildings and social-related infrastructure projectsamounting to P 94.19M             (P 94,194,825.00)were also made possible through the KALAHI-CIDSS Program.

The continuing activities of the Social Services Sector which promoted the well-being of the vulnerable also included the following: 1) Supplemental Feeding Program for 14,613 children worthP 20,850,960.00; 2) Assistance to 9,283 individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) worthP 29,148,659.73 Million;3) Expanded Students Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation for 249 beneficiaries worth P 14,702,400; and, 4) distribution of 322 water system facilities such as jetmatic pumps and pipes to different barangays all over the province.

Recognizing that economic development can be hastened if appropriate public infrastructuresare in place, 2015 saw thecompletion of105 different infrastructure projects with a total cost of P 891.2M                   (P 891,229,765).Road improvement and rehabilitation were implemented along the Agusan –Bukidnon Road/Buenavista Section,Nasipit-Buenavista-Masao Port Coastal Road,the Nasipit Port Road and, Improvement of Provincial Roads.  Other Improvement Works such as Slope Protection, Drainage and Sidewalks were also maintained.

The province has also substantially completed 2 major projects: the Construction of Cabadbaran Puting Bato Lanuza Road costing P84,843,219.06 anda road network traversing Poblacion -Hinimbangan in the Municipality of Kitcharao costing P150Mwhich will soon be completed (testimony).  Pre-implementation documents like preliminary engineering surveys and detailed engineering designs for eleven projects costing P 371,907,048.00 were completed, as well. 

Equally important in our development thrusts are Food Security and increased income for our farmers.   Various programs were provided for our farmers which resulted to rice production of 47,805 metric tons oran average yield of 3.65MT/hectareand, 17,572 metric tons in corn production.  We take pride in the achievement of Mr. Oscar R. Tuyor of the Provincial Agriculture Office for garnering the 2015 National Quality Corn Achievers Award.  His efforts reflected excellence resulting to the increase in average yield of 5 MT per hectare in corn.

Aware of the importance of good and healthy nutrition, organic agriculture has been adopted in Agusan del Norte. An Upland Agriculture Demonstration Farm for the Indigenous People was established in the Lawan – Lawan – Lekda areas.  As a start 200,000 pieces of grafted cacao and vegetables seeds were provided.  Our IP partners from the area have already started marketing their produce using the vehicle the province bought for them.  The effort was further bolstered by the Construction of a Ramp-Pump water facility in the Lawan-Lawan-Lekda radiation area.  Let us hear the testimonies of Datu Bawang Ampiyawan and Datu More Migduyan, the leaders of the beneficiaries of the project.

All over the province organic demonstration farms are replicated. In these farms, livestock and poultry are integrated in vegetable gardening.

Included in our service to our IP Brothers, and in coordination with Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP),a claim of 15,000 hectares located at Sitio Dinarawan in San Pablo, Jabonga have been on-process fordirect CADTapplication. Culturally responsive socio-economic programs were likewiseimplemented in CADT 135 and CADT 118, the two areas identified as beneficiaries of the Agro-Forestry Project with allocation of P 412,500.00 each.

The Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP) of the provincewas submitted to the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) of theDepartment of Agriculture.This Plan will guide Agusan del Norte in identifying critical programs and projects that would enhance agricultural

productivity. Along this line, Business Plans for the other Nine Commodities with Value Chain Analysis (VCA) have been prioritized under the Investment in Rural Enterprises and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity (I-REAP) Component of the Project.The approval of the PCIP resulted to the subsequent approval of  the Integrated Abaca Enhancement Enterprises Project costingP31.22 Million.  Let us listen to what Ms. Leonora A. Mila has to say about their group’s experience

This partnership will continue to be strengthened since the NOL 1 or No Objection Letter from the Philippine Rural Development Projectfor the Concreting of Bay-ang – Mahaba Farm-to-Market Road with Bridge sub-project at a total cost of P 148.5 M (P148,500,000.00)has already been received.

Recognizing that the growth of our economy continues to rely on agriculture, interventions for livestock farmers correspondingly saw a marked increase in the number of farmers served.  In 2010, the number of farmers served was only 17,400.  In 2015 it grew to 27,300.  To insure good quality stocks, more than 31,000 livestock and poultry raisersreceived animal deworming services.

Related to this, four community fish landing facilities costing P 11.4 M were provided to 133 fisher folks.  This resulted in the increase of their fish catch which eventually contributed to an increase in their incomes.

A testament of our efforts to continue the practice of good governance is the launching of RABMIS or the Rabies Management Information System, a first of its kind in the Philippines.  This information computer system manages anti-rabies related activities and establishes a data base for monitoring of dog population and recovery of dog bite patients and anti-rabies recipients.

        Our program for the growth of the provincial economy included activities which have long term effects.  As such, the Planting and Re-planting Program of coconuts were continued, and, last year 5,325 hectareswere planted with 532,475 coconut seedlings. Distribution of 17,000 bags of fertilizers for free to 186 Coconut Farmers Organizations was also implemented during the year in review.

Further in the economic front, the employment generation drive of Agusan del Norte saw some 3,968 jobs created from the P 1Billion worth of investments generated.  Domestic sales last year reached P 213M.

Energization is a major input to economic growth. Including energizing594 households in 21 sitios,the effortof providing uninterruptible electricity has taken great strides.   Soon the gap will be closed. 

Anotherindication of our improving economy is the increased passenger trafficin our ports.  The year 2015 registered 282,220 passengers or 4.82% higher than the 2014 records.  Port collection also increasedby 40% compared to the previous year after shipment of cargo increasedfrom 3Million MT to 4.1 Million MT. 

Interestingly, the number of registered vehicles plying our streets also increased.  In CY 2015, over 10,000 motor vehicles were registered: another indicator of an improving economy.

Peace and order and security are integral mechanisms towards attaining prosperity and sustainable development.In order to sustain the gains we achieved in promoting peace, implementation of major programs in rehabilitation and renewal of offenderswere strengthened.

As a result, 57% of the total crime volume was cleared while 35% of cases were solved. Through the back breaking work of law enforcement, one hundred thirty-four (134) persons were arrestedfor violation of the provisions of RA 9165 pertaining to illegal drugs.

Our efforts of attaining peace were not only focused on the prosecution of offenders.  We also implemented humane programs like the Oplan Balik Panginoon and other rehabilitation programs which saw a 98% participation rate among offenders and community volunteers.

Asset forming programs were also implemented in the pursuit of peace and order.  These included the Construction of Puting Bato-Lanuza Roadand the Construction and the Upgrading of Poblacion-Hinimbangan Road at a combined cost of P 427.2M (P 427,210,006.23).

Living in a safe and secure environment is one of the success indicators of our vision.  However, climate change threatens to undermine our success. People all around the world including Agusan del Norte are already feeling its effects such as decreased crop production, unreliable access to food and water and extreme weather patterns. 

In response to this, the Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Management have been mainstreamed in our Provincial Physical Framework Plan. The same is true in the corresponding Plans of the component LGUs of the Province.  This ushered the 100% successful implementation of several measures aimed at mitigating and preventing the drastic effects of calamities, such as, the 100% completion of the establishment of multi-hazard community based early warning systems in environmentally constrained areasand, the 100% completion of the formulation of the Local Climate Change Adaptation Plans.  A total of 5 disaster mitigating infrastructure projects costingP 18M were also implemented in response to this phenomenon.

        In addition, the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Program coverage in Agusan del Norte provided assistance to affected families in the form of family food packs, emergency shelter assistance and burial assistance amounting to P 8.26M (P 8,266,949.92).

The participation of the community wasinstrumental in the effort tomitigate the effects of environmental hazards through their involvement in rehabilitating degraded areas.  This included the production of about 2.8M seedlings for planting in the degraded areas of Agusan del Norte.  Mangrove reforestation and rehabilitation were carried out by planting propagulesto about 215 hectares of degraded mangrove areas. 

Our efforts in this area earned for us a national recognition;placing 2nd in the 2015 National Gawad Kalasag Search for Disaster Resilient LGUs and HumanitarianAssistance in Provincial DRRMC Category.

Another key point in the drive to promote environmental integrity is the approval of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Plans(ESWMP) of 5 municipalities.  The plans of the remaining LGUs are already up for deliberation.  I trust that by the end of this year all LGUs in Agusan del Norte shall have completed their respective Solid Waste Management Plan.

Notably last year, the detrimental effects of typhoons were minimized because aside from the implementation of mitigating and rehabilitation measures, weather observations numbering 2,920 were diligently performed and SENT ON TIME.

Despite the challenges faced by our economic enterprise, we were able to generate a total income of P 6.13 M (P 6,130,967.83).  The effort of investment generation was also buoyedby the improving economic growth of the nation.  Our challenge then was getting investors to put their investments in the province.

Equally important in our drive for fiscal capability and self-relianceis the amount collected to support the thrusts of the Provincial Government.  Adding last year’s assessment for2,567 parcels valued at                                      P 609.5M, the Province’s over-all Real Property Tax assessment now stands at P 2.45 Billion for 65,144 parcels. As a result,P 1.08B(P 1,088,160,305.86) was collected. Disbursement on the other hand was reported at P1.05B (P 1,005,955,122.10). 

Vital offices such as the Provincial Assessor’s Office (PASSO), the Provincial General Service Office (PGSO), the Environment and Natural Resource Division (ENRD), the Provincial Economic Enterprise Development Management Office (PEEDMO), the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) and the Hospitals, contributed to last year’s collection. The Hospitals alone remitted a combined collection of P103.15 M. Local collectionwas bolstered by thecollection of our national government agency partners, such as the BIR that collected almost P 2Billion during the year in review.

Agusan del Norte has been a consistent awardee of the SEAL of GOOD HOUSEKEEPINGnow called THE SEAL OF GOOD LOCAL GOVERNANCE. The transparency and good governance awards were results of our strict observance of the Procurement Law, full disclosure policies demonstrated by consistent postings of financial documents in transparency corners and timely updating of plans and programs which guided the province in its development directions and investments. 

Several innovations which contributed to the further improvement of the administrative capability of the Provincial Government to effectively and efficiently discharge its functions form part of the core of its mission.Since 2015, the Office Performance Commitment Review and the Individual Performance Commitment Review(OPCR/IPCR) were institutionalized in establishing commitmentsand measuring performances of organizational and individual accomplishments in relation to the strategic goals of the Provincial Government.  The Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte is one of the first few organizations that implemented this performance targets-accomplishment measure in the Region.

We are blessed because we have already completed the 4 tranches of the standardization of salaries of provincial employees.  To date, we have started the 1st tranche of the 2ndSalary Standardization Law.

Of important note, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Nortepassed and approved 382 resolutions and enacted 32 enabling ordinances such as: 1) Ordinance No. 393-2015 – Extending additional coverage of ISDAP for scholarship to the poor but deserving student of the province; 2) Ordinance No. 375-2015 – Protecting animalsfrom any form of cruelty; and 3) Ordinance No. 402-2015 - Providing cash incentives to all Day Care Workers. These measures distinguishes the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Norte as a pro-active partner in governance.The Provincial Attorney’s Office helped strengthen these measures by contributing their legal opinions.

        Last year, 2 new information systems were developed to keep records of available stocks of medicines for the Integrated Social Development Assistance Program (ISDAP).At this juncture, I am directing the MIS to develop and deploy to all hospitals a similar computer systemlike the one deployed at the PSWDso that stocking and inventories of medicines in these service facilities are improved.  The Rabies Information System (RABMIS) which I discussed earlier is the other system which Agusan del Norte is first to implement.

        In compliance withthe DBM-NEDA-DILG-DOF Joint Memorandum CircularNo. 1, Series of 2007 dated March 8, 2007, observance with harmonized planning and budgeting has already been institutionalized.  As such, 9 budget documents were prepared and submitted on time.  These came with their complementary Annual Investments Plans and 20% Development Plans. 

Full observance and compliance with accounting and auditing rules resulted to stronger fiscal management.Consequently significant numbers of outstanding cash advances were liquidated: a result of keen compliance of the safeguards in our internal audit.

My dear fellow Agusanons, we have just completed a very challenging democratic exercise.  And now is the time for all of us to work on the promise of Agusan del Norte.  We all have social commitments to fulfill.

Much still needs to be done to close the gap in the area of health and education. The unemployment rate of 4.1% while already decreasing can be totally erased if we strategically work together by generating more investments. Agusan del Norte by herself is already an investment haven. The Peace and Order situation of the province on the other hand, though considered one of the bright spots in the island can still be improved.  Our economy looks brighter year on year, however, the threat of a changing environment looms before us.Our vision of a prosperous Agusan del Norte is already close at hand, but attaining our collective aspirations cannot be done by Government alone. We have to work together. Each one of us must do our share. Each one of us is a carpenter in achieving the goals we have set for our beloved province.Thus, let me extend this invitation to all Agusanons.  Let us be united and work as one for the attainment of our collective aspirations of a prosperous and livable province.

Thank you all and God bless.