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Home About Us State of the Province Address STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS 2011

STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS 2011

Distinguished Members of this august Body headed by Vice Governor Enrico R. Corvera, The Honorable Congresspersons and House Representatives of the 1st and 2nd Districts of Agusan del Norte, City, Municipal and Barangay Officials headed by their respective local chief executives, Heads of Regional and Provincial Line Agencies, our partners from the non-government and private sectors, my fellow workers in government, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant day to all.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The report I am bringing to the people of Agusan del Norte today is the result of our combined efforts aimed at promoting the well being of every individual under our jurisdiction. The details of my Report can be perused in the Annual Accomplishment Report of Agusan del Norte for Calendar Year 2010. Copies of these are available in Office of the Provincial Governor. 

 

The year in review had us joining efforts with the whole world in achieving the Millennium Development Goals or the MDGs. We have a lot of good news, some not so good news and areas still posing some challenge.

 

The quest for a better place and a better life for the Agusanons continue to be an overwhelming task. Our collaboration last year has brought us closer to the attainment of our goal.

 

POVERTY REDUCTION THRU EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT DELIVERY OF BASIC SERVICES

 

The province envisions a healthy, productive and empowered citizenry living in a clean environment. Hence, delivery of quality health care services that are affordable, equitable and accessible for all has been one of our primary concerns.

 

We believe that improved health care services for the most vulnerable sector in our society can consequently alleviate poverty. It reduces expenses on medicines and other incidental costs. That is why we have been pursuing the enhancement of our health facilities to improve our preventive, curative and rehabilitative services.

 

With the establishment of 77 Botika ng Barangay (BnB), our province earned the distinction of “The Best Performing Health Program” in Caraga for three consecutive years now. Last year, 24 additional BnBs were established. We are aiming 6 more to meet the national ratio of 1 BnB in every 2 barangays.

 

Our Blood Collection facility was likewise appreciated by the DOH as theBest Blood Collection Unit in the region, attaining the highest blood collected in 2010. The Unit has continued to ensure availability of safe and adequate supply of blood.  A total 24 bloodletting sessions were conducted last year thus enabling our facility to collect 731 units of blood from various donors.

 

It can be noted that despite the low ratio of our physicians of 1 physician per 33,000 persons (the national standard is 1:20,000) we were still able to serve 9,454 patients for admission and 20,294 persons at the out-patient department. This is an achievement that cannot be done by the faint hearted. And for this I wish to commend at the outset our health workers whose passions go out to the sick and the needy.

 

We take cognizance of the contribution of the Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) as they are among the frontline health service providers working hand in hand with our health teams in extending services on a 24 hour basis. At year’s end, there were 1,040 accredited BHWs providing support services to health professionals throughout the province. Among this health service providers are the Midwives assigned in the Barangay Health Stations.

 

As a result of our collaborative endeavors, infant mortality significantly reduced from 22 per 1,000 live births in 2009 to 10 in 2010.  Attributing to this is the establishment of newborn screening services in our provincial hospital and in selected rural health centers. These services determine birth defects so that early on newborn babies are given appropriate management and treatment like the Expanded Immunization and the Garantisadong Pambata where immunization and other health services for children below six years old are provided to ensure that they get complete and timely immunization.

 

For our Nutrition Program, Supplementary Feeding to some 781 severely underweight pre-schoolers was conducted throughout the province. These activities contributed to the province’s getting the highest score in the implementation of the nutrition program throughout the Caraga region for 2010.

 

To further promote good nourishment for our children, we provided children categorized as malnourished with Vitamin A supplementation. During the conduct of Operation Timbang, supplemental feeding programs for malnourished children were at the same time implemented. The malnutrition rate of the province for 2010 is 12.19%. This is a marked reduction of 1.12% from the prevalence rate of 13.3% in 2009.

 

For our maternal and child health care services, a total of 5,685 or 58.9% of those who became pregnant availed of at least four (4) pre-natal check-up in our health facilities. We will increase the number of facilities that could provide birthing services according to DOH standards. We need to underscore this thrust because last year alone, 5,062 or 63.8% of the 7,927 babies born were delivered in health centers or hospitals – a 95.6% improvement over the 2009 record.

 

As of December 2010, all RHUs in the province were already established as microscopy and treatment centers capable of accurate diagnosis and management of infected persons. Rapid diagnostic testing sites were also established in strategic remote barangays.

 

Agusan del Norte is already classified as Malarious B area because it has consistently reduced the number of malaria cases from 900 in 2005 to only 42 in 2010.  For four (4) consecutive years now, no death caused by malaria has ever been reported. This could be an indication that we can attain a malaria-free province status in just a couple of years. For one, Magallanes is already a malaria-free municipality. In 2010 we distributed anti malaria medicines worth              P577, 993.00 to our communities.

 

During the year in review a total of 241,043 persons representing nearly 80% of the eligible population received anti-filarial medication when we implemented the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) Program. We shall increase coverage of case detection activities as well as the administration of mass scale treatment to cover 100% of the target population.

 

Due to successful program implementation, tuberculosis is no longer among the ten (10) leading causes or mortality in 2010. It used to be the 7th cause of mortality in 2009. We shall continue to combat this disease until it will no longer be a public health problem.

 

Our Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit or PESU was computer upgraded utilizing the Philippine Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (PISDAR) software. As a result, the 2011 report for dengue cases almost doubled with 201 reported infections. In 2009, the report was 117.

 

The universal coverage of indigent families under the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) has helped in the slight reduction of patients admitted as charity during the past five years. Should this figure fall further, the province will be earning well from this scheme and could possibly attain a break-even status in its hospital operating cost. Therefore, we shall continue to increase enrolment coverage of indigent families. Since the implementation of the PHILHEALTH Multi-payor Scheme Indigency Program in 2001, the province has already enrolled 28,162 families. In 2010, we provided over P6.9 M to cover our counterpart to the program.

 

Recognizing the vital role of the youth, the issues affecting the health of young adults are being addressed by developing a comprehensive plan participated by youth leaders and program coordinators in each municipality. Symposia on reproductive health, fertility awareness and STDs were conducted in schools and barangays so that the youth are made aware on the importance of cultivating good health-seeking behavior. The challenge now in youth development is to guide and mold them become productive and responsible adults.

 

Our drive for Environmental Sanitation saw significant coverage of households provided with access to safe water facilities. As of 2010, we are already approaching the 95% coverage with 58,233 households served. We shall achieve the 100% coverage before 2013.

 

In education, the province has consistently met the challenge of providing access to quality education with our commitment of attaining the target of Education For All. Numerous national and locally initiated programs and projects have been pursued by our schools in order to continuously improve our performance in the provision of access to quality education. Last year saw the participation rate rose from 75.50% in 2009 to 93.90%. Enrollment both in the elementary and secondary level has both seen an increase of 3.8% and 3.18% respectively. Likewise, we registered a Net Enrolment Ratio of 83.39%, a notable increment from the 75.50% accomplishment in 2009. Our Cohort-Survival Rate also registered similar increases from 67.14% to 69.04% in the elementary and 72.96% to 75.46% in the secondary level. Finally, our Completion Rate improved from 65.27% to 66.56% in the elementary level and from 68.43% to 71.12% in the secondary level for the same period.

 

The intervention programs we introduced for the past years resulted to the decrease of the Drop-Out Rate in the elementary and secondary levels in both private and public schools. Those programs also improved participation rate in almost all levels. This means that we were putting and keeping more children in schools and insuring that they complete their elementary and secondary education. Among these programs is the Government Assistance for Student Teachers in the Private School or the GASTPE. Through this program, over 174 students were sent to school via support to teachers in the private schools. Another program is the Food for School Program which provides a kilo of rice daily to day care pre-schoolers and elementary school children. The program which amounted to almost P5M benefited 2,752 children. Our Provincial Scholarship Program also provided educational support to more than 200 deserving students.

 

I am proud to report today that we continue to be one of the frontrunners in the schools of Caraga, with our MPS or mean percentage score placing among the highest in the region. In the elementary level our MPS of 85.98% is already above the 75% national standard. We still have to exert our coordinated support to the secondary schools with the aim of achieving the national standard and improving our over-all performance in the National Achievement Test.

 

To close the gap in basic learning resources we have constructed 22 new classrooms and 14 more were repaired.

 

Equal opportunities were also provided to the differently-abled children and those with needs for special education. A total 156 children were provided with Special Education in 2010.

 

Responding to global and industry requirements, we produced 14,944 graduates in our Technical Vocational and Training Programs and 1,704 graduates from these programs have already found gainful employment.

 

The province has continued sustaining its commitment to its people through effective and efficient delivery of welfare services.

 

In 2010, we successfully crafted the Children’s Welfare Code, a landmark legislation for the children of Agusan del Norte. I commend our Sangguniang Panlalawigan for this noteworthy legislation. With the formulation of the other components of the 4 gifts for the Children, Agusan del Norte was again recognized as one of the most successful implementers of programs for the welfare of the children.

 

Through our children’s welfare program, we have been providing workbooks to day care pre-school pupils. Last year, we distributed 13,174 workbooks to 235 day care centers in the province. A total 7,596 pre-school children were enrolled in day care centers in 2010.

 

The province also showed it cares for the living and also for those who have already passed away. We were able to serve a total 4,368 clients with financial, medical and food assistance at a tune of P2.42M through the Integrated Services Development Assistance Program or the ISDAP and our Medical Assistance Program. Our medical and dental outreach program served 7,780 residents in 28 barangays. Similarly, mortuary assistance of nearly half a million pesos were extended to 333 beneficiaries.

 

2010 is a very rewarding year for our Gender Program. The Gender Code of the province which provides series of programs and activities for women was adopted and approved. Thanks again to our dynamic Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

 

To complement the programs of the national government, the province allocated counterpart funds for the implementation of the Makamasang-Tugon Sub-Projects in Jabonga in the amount of P1.5M. This program enabled the beneficiaries to implement key projects designed to address the problem of low productivity and poverty. Furthermore, our initiative in providing livelihood projects to the economically challenged families through the Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (SEA-K) has for the past five years been proceeding with great success with a Recovery Rate 95%. Our 2010 allotment of more than P5M worth of projects resulted to the improvement of the economic conditions of the beneficiaries.

 

ECONOMIC GROWTH

 

The year 2010 brought bright prospects for the province’s economy. Exports generated sales of $4.986M up from $3.25M in 2009 while domestic sales also performed well from P36.6M in 2009 to P41.385M in 2010.

 

Total investments generated amounted to P655.146M increasing by more than P30M as compared to 2009. In the job market, we were able to facilitate the creation of 5,038 jobs thus exceeding our target by 162%.

 

In order to intensify our thrust toward food self-sufficiency, we geared up our programs and projects to enhance production of staple and high value crops, as well as livestock and fishery, with the parallel goal of increasing farmers’ income and making available affordable food on the table for every Agusanon. We encouraged farmers to plant more coconuts that will eventually replace the old and less productive ones. Incentives of P14.00 each plant was given to farmers for every good seedling grown. On the other hand and in line with the national government’s goal of rice self-sufficiency, we coordinated the distribution of 1,765 bags of Certified Palay Seeds to farmers across the province. Another 440 bags of Pioneer and Open Pollinated Variety (OPV) Corn Seeds were distributed. These interventions helped us attain an average yield of 4.1MT per hectare for palay planted in irrigated areas and 3.5MT per hectare in rain-fed areas.  To promote commercial vegetable production, we contributed the amount of P18,000.00 for the acquisition of 50 kg vegetable seed assistance for farmers.

 

Fifty one (51) farmers’ associations with a total membership of 1,315 were organized and strengthened through the implementation of various projects directed to empower them. Under the Small Enterprise Assistance Project, financial assistance through loans at lower rates to cooperatives amounting to P1M was also given. These programs have been successfully implemented since 2007. Its sustainability can be attributed to the improved capacities of our cooperatives in project management. Guided by our vision to develop empowered livestock and poultry raisers including pet owners, we extended veterinary services throughout the province to some 20,110 animal raisers.

 

We have always valued partnership with other stakeholders. So, to demonstrate our commitments to our partners, the province appropriated funds as counterpart to support the implementation of Foreign and Nationally Assisted Projects (FAP). One of these partnered projects is the Caraga Integrated Development Program (CIDP) which implemented projects in Irrigation Development, Farm and Fishery Production Machinery, Pre and Post Harvest Facilities costing P10.3M. Another is the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) APL-2 where we cost-shared P1,857,981.80 out of the total project cost of over P37M projects covering potable water systems, community irrigation system and farm to market roads. We did not limit our commitments to funding support only but we also mainstreamed the sustainability phases of maturing projects like the IFAD-NMCIREMP. These partnerships brought significant development to our rural agricultural sector.

 

Ownership of land is an acknowledged instrument which empowers our farmers. Last year, we were able to distribute 1,015 patents covering 396 hectares to over 1,000 stakeholders.

 

Recognizing that good infrastructure is vital to our growing economy we implemented over 80 infrastructure projects costing P112, 894,582.70. We also maintained a total of 83 roads including bridges. Complementing our efforts, the DPWH also implemented works on Roads and Bridges, Drainage Canals and Flood Control Facilities, Manpower and Human Resource Centers and Irrigation Projects. Total cost for these complement projects was P144 Million pesos.

 

 The province shall continue to pursue the challenge of attaining economic prosperity in order to give quality life to all Agusanons.

 

PEACE AND ORDER

 

The road to development can only be attained when there is peace. Without peace, progress is so farfetched. With that in mind, the province implemented measures to deter criminality and promote peace. Since 2009, crime pattern has been down-trending as evidenced by a huge decrease in the crime volume - from a total 903 in the previous year to 586 in 2010. The Crime Solution Efficiency for the year 2010 was 27.81%, while the Crime Clearance Efficiency was 40.10%. These accomplishments were attributed to our Customized Crime Reduction Program.

 

Communication and response capability of our police force was enhanced by our donations of handheld radios, desktop computers and one unit mobile vehicle.

 

Campaigns were sustained to rid the provinces of loose firearms, illegal gambling, illegal drugs, illegal logging and wanted persons. Last year, our law enforcement agencies confiscated 23 pieces of loose firearms; Twelve (12) persons were apprehended in our drive against illegal gambling, and; 2,476.56 board foot of lauan were confiscated.

 

FISCAL CAPABILITY AND SELF-RELIANCE

 

The entire 2010 provincial collection of P530,820,252.29 was comprised of the  internal revenue allotment of P481,883,885; other sources of P1,149,340.59 ;and the local collections of P 47,787,056.70. This locally collected revenue was notably augmented by the income generated by our income generating offices.

 

For the year in review, the PEEDMO generated a total of P2,421,576.93;                       the ENRD - P4,570,316.00; the GSO - P1,082,967.00; the PEO - P455,044.00;       the PAO - P1,676,962.39; and the hospitals – P25,853,783.81.

 

While the ratio of the Internal Revenue Allotment as compared to our non-IRA collections continues to be a challenge, our local revenues are remarkably improving and growing every year.

 

As demonstrated by our borrowing capacity of 1 Billion Pesos, the province is clearly moving towards fiscal capability.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND REHABILITATION

 

 

The province considers our natural environment as a resource and an investment. We only get as much as the resource would allow us.  We place investment on the environment to ensure that future generations would still enjoy the benefits that mother nature has given us.

 

The implementation of the LASBUENASCAR Sustainable Agro-forestry Development Program, a co-management project between the province and the DENR brought promising success in terms of giving opportunities to qualified claimants who were granted legal rights to develop, to manage and to protect the former NALCO area. This scheme of utilization cum protection will insure the area’s environmental integrity. In 2010, the province distributed a total of 167 certificates to qualified beneficiaries living in the project area.

 

We also have inked a memorandum of understanding with Korean investors for the development of 5,000 hectares of banana and palm oil in the tribal barangays of Las Nieves.

 

Last year, we intensified all efforts to mitigate the worsening effects of environmental degradation. We have inked a project with the International Labor Organization - Millennium Development Fund (ILO-MDF) Climate Change Adaptation Program which deals with the ill-effects of climate change. The ILO provided an average of P1M each for the beneficiary-municipality to enhance resiliency among the vulnerable communities.

 

To jump start our objective of sustainable production of fishery resources and for the protection of coastal areas from environmental hazards, a five (5) hectare mangrove reforestation project aimed at rehabilitating the depleted mangrove resources in the coastal barangays of Cabadbaran City was implemented.

 

The importance of bringing awareness on solid waste management was strengthened by our participation in the observance of Earth Day Celebration. During the celebration we took part in distributing Information and Education Campaign materials to workers in government.

 

Our accomplishments in the environment sector were made possible with the support of national line agencies, LGUs, NGOs, POs and people of Agusan that worked hand in hand towards a common goal of attaining a prosperous economy while maintaining ecological balance.

 

 

DYNAMIC AND RESPONSIVE ADMINISTRATIVE MECHANISM

 

Our strength in the quest for good governance lies in the harmonious working relationship of the executive and legislative branches of our local government. The 15th Sangguniang Panlalawigan, in its earnest to fulfill its mandate has passed and approved several landmark legislations. Among these are the Children Code and the Investment Code. A total of 145 resolutions and 11 ordinances that are responsive to the needs of the people of Agusan del Norte were approved and enacted.

 

Working directly with the grassroots barangays, we were able to implement a province-wide water supply project at a cost of P 2.5M. This project ensured that households have access to potable water.

 

Grass roots level interfacing was further strengthened when we implemented the mobile birth registration in far flung areas like Las Nieves

 

Under the Provincial Material Assistance Project of the 20% Development Fund, we facilitated the implementation of 34 Manpower Development Center projects that included school buildings, Day Care Centers and other barangay infrastructure development projects. The total cost of these projects was                          P9, 864,191.18.

 

Projects compliant with the requirements of the CBMS were implemented in 96 barangays. Under the Participatory Initiatives in Governance Project, funding support of P50,000.00 representing material and financial assistance were allocated for each  barangay.

 

 

CLOSING STATEMENTS

My dear fellow Agusanons, despite the odds we encountered last year, we have always seen the better parts of things. We have always emerged victorious. But the work goes on. Let us move on with stronger resolve so that our quest for a life of prosperity for all shall draw nearer.

 

Thank you very much and God bless.

 

 


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