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Home About Us State of the Province Address STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS CY 2012

STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS CY 2012

Just three years away from today, the world will reckon how much of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have we achieved.  Similarly, my report to the people of Agusan del Norte today recognizes the MDGs as its benchmark.  This is why I will be citing some trends and some comparisons as well.

The State of the Province Address (SOPA) will also provide a venue for all of us to forge collaboration so those generations after us are ensured of a better future.  Details of the SOPA can be examined in its entirety from the whole volume which can be requested at my office.

As a result of our efforts of providing “Education for All”, the 187 public elementary schools in Agusan del Norte, posted an increase in enrollment of 11.88% in the pre-school and 3.83% in the elementary. The interventions employed to increase school enrolment has indeed paid off.  It can be recalled that in School Years 2006-2007 & 2008-2009 NET ENROLMENT RATIO or NER was only 74.00%. Because of the programs we initiated our NER starting 2009-2010 inched upward to 75.50%. It further improved to 83.39% in 2010-2011; exceeding the 80% mark of the national level.

Last year continued to be rosy for the education sub-sector as demonstrated by the increase in our COHORT SURVIVAL RATE or CSR; 69.04% compared to previous year’s 67.14%. The COMPLETION RATE or CR on the other hand improved from 65.27% to 66.56% in 2010-2011. The implementation of programs and projects aimed at improving the holding power of schools resulted to the increment in the percentage of pupils who were able to finish elementary education. The completion rate has been continually increasing since SY 2005. Conversely, due to programs like: Student Tracking System, 4Ps and Adopt-A-Pupil,  incidence of drop out decreased by 2.16%. If we can maintain this rate, we can achieve the goal of ZERO DROP OUT by 2015.

The achievement in our elementary education system can be best exemplified by Ann Mae Monique R. Jongko, a Grade VI student of the Cabadbaran South Central Elementary School, recognized and awarded as 2nd runner-up in the prestigious National Oratorical Contest during the Rizal National Festival of Excellence. It proves our kids in Agusan del Norte can compete with the best in the country.

The same achievements were attained in the secondary level. Enrollment has increased resulting to a Net Enrollment Ratio of 52.30, thus surpassing the 50% national level mark. The Cohort Survival Rate inched upward from 72.96% in 2010 to 75.46%. As a result, our COMPLETION RATE improved from 68.43% in 2010 to 71.12% in 2011 bringing down the dropout rate to 6.21%.

The province of Agusan del Norte has always valued technological education and training and its contribution to our society.

During the year in review, persons provided with technical and vocational education and training reached 7,084 up from 5,433 in 2010. The Scholarship Program through Training or Work Scholarship Program was also able to serve 1,084 scholars in 2011 increasing their number by 201. From 6,079 in 2010 to 7,353 in 2011, an increasing number of trainees were assessed, and, out of these trainees, 4,985 passed and were given the National Certification; meaning their skills are now duly certified nationwide.

In 2011, 26 graduates got employed contributing to the overall number of 5,550 Technical Vocational Education Training or TVET graduates who have landed employment. Among these graduates are those produced by the Las Nieves Training Center (LNTC) at Barangay Mat-I. From a handful 18 in 2010 they numbered 113 trainees in 2011 specializing in Shielded Metal Arc Welding and Food and Beverage Services. Competency Rates have also improved from 61% in 2010 to 81% in 2011.

The Provincial Training Center in Cabadbaran also produced a growing number of TVET graduates; from 312 in 2010 to 324 in 2011. Certification Rates for the National Competency Assessment have likewise been increasing from 94% in 2010 to 98% in 2011.  So, was the number of high school graduates and out-of-school youths who were provided with the Scholarship Program. A total of 215 TVET graduates from the Center have already found employment.

As a complement scheme, the Provincial Government granted 50 scholarships to qualified students under the Provincial Technical Scholarship Program. The 2 year program covers financial support of P7,500.00 per scholar per semester. We also implemented a full-course scholarship program specifically designed for the Indigenous Peoples (IP) of Agusan del Norte. As of 2011, 10 IP scholars have been awarded P50,000.00 scholarship grant per semester.

We acknowledge that the youth are the hope of our country; this is why we have institutionalized our CHILDREN’S WELFARE PROGRAM. To insure that children are attended well, the province strengthened the Local Council for the Protection of Children in the Municipalities. We continued to implement our yearly commitment of providing workbooks to all children enrolled in the daycare service program. Last year, workbooks worth P1.5M were given to these children numbering 9,382 all across the province.

       Not just providing food for the brain, we also embarked on endeavors aimed at molding children into physically healthy citizens. Operation Timbang activities were conducted all over the province serving a total 44,920 pre-schoolers. Food Assistance programs through supplementary feeding activities were implemented in coordination with the DSWD and the municipalities. As a result, the prevalence rate of malnutrition in the province has been steadily decreasing from 13.32% in 2009; 12.19% in 2010 and last year 10.18%. Because of these efforts and based on the Regional Nutrition Evaluation Result, we were adjudged FIRST PLACE in the implementation of the nutrition program in Caraga for 2011

       Even for those who might have treaded waywardly, the province saw to it that a place where they can be rehabilitated, with the end view of guiding them back to a productive life is provided. Hence, we constructed a YOUTH CENTER OR BAHAY PAG-ASA to house children in conflict with the law.

       The vulnerable sector including the elderly are always at the heart of our basic delivery services efforts. In 2011, 5,090indigent families were provided assistance at a total cost of P2.85M under the Integrated Social Development Assistance Program (ISDAP). Another 466 families availed the burial assistance amounting P699,000.00. The Sagip Kalusugan sa Barangay program of the province, on the other hand, was able to serve a total of 46 barangays and provided 15,520 beneficiaries with free medicines and medical and dental services.

       To cap this basic service delivery schemes, our PhilHealth Indigency Program provided the means for families to access hospital services at least cost. In 2011, the province enrolled over 25,000 families and allotted P7,792,260.00 as counterpart for the coverage.

When heavy torrential rains hit the province, we responded by serving relief goods to the 6,507 affected families in hard-hit municipalities.

Our relief operations went beyond the province when we sent our Relief Team to provide assistance and deliver relief goods to the victims of “SENDONG” in the cities Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. Good Samaritan-hearted officials and employees of the province contributed in kind and hard-earned money enabling us to raise the amount of  P59,600.00 to aid the victims of “Sendong”.

These efforts went hand in hand with the contribution of our partners like the Red Cross who continued to pursue their goals of protecting lives.  Last year they provided disaster relief to about 1,220 families.

For our local health system, we remain focused on our vision of a healthy, productive, empowered citizenry equitably enjoying quality preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services in a clean and healthy environment.

Similarly, the province has been keeping up with its mission to provide, adequate, competent and committed personnel to deliver quality health services to the people of Agusan del Norte. The current ratio of rural physicians in Buenavista, Nasipit and the city of Cabadbaran is already within the national standard of 1:20,000. Our midwife to population ratio of 1:4,000 is better than the national standard of 1:5,000. 

The reduction of Maternal deaths to 5 in 2011 compared to 12 in 2010 or a maternal mortality rate of 0.66 per 1,000 live births and the decrease of the morbidity rate demonstrated the results of our efforts of promoting good health. The province has continued to provide services that ensure safe pregnancy and delivery for women in facilities of standard quality. A total of 6,245 pregnant women have visited our health facilities and availed of ante-natal care services. About 85% of the pregnant women were assisted by skilled birth attendants (SBA) during their delivery. Deliveries in our health facilities reached 75.2% in 2011. This increase is attributed to the presence of birthing facilities with trained personnel in our RHUs and BHSs.

To insure access to quality health facility, the province is constantly upgrading its health facility. Through the DOH’s Health Facility Enhancement Program (HFEP), upgrading of our Provincial Hospital Bldg. (Phase I) at cost of P20M and about 10M from our coffers has been on-going. Other facilities in our prime health facility were also upgraded like the rehabilitation of the emergency room, water tank and pipelines, chapel and painting of exterior wall and the construction of waste septic vault. All in all, we have invested a total of P3.15M for the additional upgrade and rehabilitation of these facilities. Further, as one of the recipients of a grant from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Agencia Española de Cooperacion International Para el Desarollo – AECID) Phase II project, Rural Health Units (RHUs) in the municipalities of Kitcharao, Jabonga, Santiago, Magallanes and Cabadbaran City were identified as recipients of the grant. Also included in the grant are projects of Construction or Expansion of Barangay Health Station in recipient-barangays. The overall, project cost of the AECID grant is close to P15.5M.

In order to support saving lives, the Provincial Hospital’s Blood Collection Unit conducted 27 bloodletting sessions and collected 692 units of blood from various donors.  With our partnership with the Red Cross who also collected 1,337 units, a total of 2,029 units were made available last year.

Significant strides were achieved in our Dengue Control Program, remarkably in 2011, where reduction rate was posted at 231%.  

The unselfish devotion of our health personnel did not go unnoticed. In 2011 we received the Star Performer Award for excellent performance demonstrating unparalleled commitment to the achievement of global and national targets for TB elimination.

      

 

The core of the problem besetting our province is Poverty. Cognizant to the challenge of alleviating poverty, the province provided P2.5M as counterpart for the implementation of the Makamasang Tugon project. Similarly, a total 17,513 qualified recipients benefitted from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, a poverty alleviation program where as of late P56M was released to the beneficiaries of the province. On its 6th year of implementation, the Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran Program (SEA-K) has provided some 39 livelihood projects all over the province with a total capital of P5.64M. I am proud to report that overall recovery or repayment rate is already 93%. The KALAHI CIDSS has also started  4 projects  in Carmen amounting P4.5 M and 6 in Jabonga with total project cost of P10.1 M. These are among the interventions we have been implementing and I hope all of these will be sustained when I move to another calling.

The Botika ng Barangay (BNB) program has been one of the most significant investments we took.  The program merited recognition from the Center for Health Development as among the best health programs in the CARAGA region for four consecutive years starting 2008. Our recent provincial ratio of 1 BNB: 1.4 Barangays still surpassed the national target ratio of 1 BNB: 2 Barangays.  As of 2011, we already established 118 outlets and generated a net profit of P 858,784.82.

The Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte firmly believes that the strength of our economy can help define the well being of our people, hence we exerted every effort to grow the economy of the province. The year 2011 brought unprecedented growth as evidenced by total investment inflow of P1.78B, the highest in the region. This more than doubled the P700M investments 2010. International trade policy negotiation, industry and MSME development and investment promotion services all contributed to the giant leap in our economy. Businesses have flourished as well, as reflected by the increase in the number of establishment registered which rose from 1,754 in 2010 to 2,172 in 2011. The increase in trade and investments consequently brought the number of jobs generated at an all-time high of 12,586 in 2011 from 5,489 in 2010. The year in review also posted positive increase in export- generated trade and investments at $15.34M; more than tripling the previous year’s $4.982M exports.  Our local enterprise endeavor in the same vein has started to reap a good harvest.  Cash income in 2011 was P4.26M or a 190% increase from 2010.  The highest contributor was the co-management program which earned for the province some P1Million.

All economic indicators point to Agusan del Norte as the undisputed economic leader in the region. I welcome investors all over to invest in Agusan del Norte. This is the right and the ripe time.

       Another indicator which reflected our healthy economy is the rate by which we produce goods.  While annual palay production declined in 2010, it nevertheless bounced back in 2011 from 68,000 metric tons to more than 70,000 metric tons. The increase in palay production is attributed to the increasing use of certified palay seeds and the availability of financial assistance for rice farmers.  Yield per hectare was 4.2 MT/ha for irrigated rice fields and 3.9 MT/ha for rained rice fields. Corn production has also grown steadily and as of 2011  yield  per hectare was already 3.6 MT/ha. Before I continue, I would like to specially convey my heartfelt gratitude to the 9,500 farmers and fisher folks without whom the cited productions would not have been made possible. SALAMAT KANINYONG TANAN NGA MGA MAG-UUMA UG MANGIGISDA.

To further enhance the performance in the agri-fishery sector, we allocated P8.8M to provide assistance for rural-based organizations (RBOs) and showcase appropriate technologies and livelihood opportunities for replication by farmers and fisher folks. These efforts are geared towards attaining food sufficiency and security, spur economic activity in the countryside and increase rural income.  Our program in People Empowerment and Entrepreneurial Skills Development  was able to train 441 farmers, rural women, youth and agricultural extension workers in skills development that include fish processing, rug making, natural farming technology system and enhancement courses on extension delivery. Moreover, a total of P475,000.00 was granted to finance 10 agricultural livelihood projects ranging from palay trading, goat raising, cattle, swine, and native chicken and quail production for out-of-school youths. Also, in consonance with Provincial Ordinance No. 116-2001, we earmarked P1M to provide the needed funds and inputs to ensure agricultural productivity and increase farmers’ income. Eighty-one marginalized farmers enrolled in the program. We partnered with the DA in implementing the MRDP-2.  Our counterpart was P 7.1M for the P 114.4 Rural Development Program which include infrastructure support, livelihood projects and capacity enhancement for farmers and implementing agencies.

Last year, the province’s swine production project earned revenues of P1.074M, a figure which is 5.47% higher compared to CY 2010.  To complement this undertaking, we serviced 22,000 poultry and livestock raisers thru vaccination, treatment of animal disease and artificial insemination.

In order to insure availability of safe, accessible and affordable food for all, a total of 103,178 seedlings and planting materials of high value crops were distributed across the province to improve farmers’ productivity. The Provincial Government also facilitated financial deliveries of $940,788 from the International Labour Organization’s Climate Change Adaptation Project to boost production of rice, corn, fruits and vegetables and mitigate the effects of climate change in farming communities. A total of 836 farmers benefitted from this project.  The project also installed weather monitoring devices in various part of the province.  Another 4,377 bags of certified in-bed seeds equivalent to P2.6M were distributed to identified beneficiaries in the province under the DA’s Rapid Seed Supply Financing Project.

The year 2011 was an exciting and busy year with investors from China, Korea and from our country trooping in to invest in our co-management program. Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) and Memorandum of Agreement (MOAs) were forged between these investors and the province.  An MOU between the province and Newphilcorn Corporation was signed in the early part of the year. Another MOA signing last June 13, 2011 with Southphil Palm Oil Development Corporation gave the corporation the go-signal to start development inside the co-management area.

With the aim of increasing the capital base of our agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), Agusan del Norte continues to help farmers by implementing agrarian reform tools and strategies geared towards land tenure improvement, agrarian justice delivery and program beneficiaries development. Last year, 2,747 hectares of public and private agricultural lands were distributed. During the same period, 1,368 landless farmers were transformed into landowners and are now part of the 17,020 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries enjoying the benefits of the land.

The province has a land distribution scope of 36,094 hectares. So far, we have distributed 86% or 31,027 hectares of agricultural land to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries. That leaves us with 5,067 hectares or 14% more involving 1,689 ARBs to be awarded in the next three (3) years.

The additional supports which our economy got included the following:

Various infrastructure support facilities numbering over 80 with a total project cost of P277.1 M. These projects which include roads, bridges, irrigation systems, schools and river control few were completed during the year in review;

Investment in heavy equipment which is now starting to pay off as it play a significant role in the maintenance of provincial roads and bridges thus ensuring continued accessibility and comfort to motorists and the public;

Energization of 20 more sitios at a total cost of P 7.073M; and

Release of Micro-financing in the amount of P4.7 M  to 635 ARBs. 

 

PEACE AND ORDER AND SECURITY is vital for full development.

During the year in review, the province registered 415 crime incidents. Out of these, 257 cases were cleared resulting in 61.93% Crime Clearance Efficiency (CCE). Further, a total of 214 cases were solved reflecting a 51.57% Crime Solution Efficiency (CSE). A crime reduction of 171 or 29.20% was also attained. As a result of focused police operations to neutralize wanted persons, the campaign against wanted persons led to the arrest of 113 persons. These figures placed the province in an advantage position in the region being comparatively secure and true to its vision of serving as a safe haven for investors- a much needed boost for our economy.

Again, our campaign against illegal logging resulted to the recovery of abandoned logs and lawa-an flitches with a combined market value of P160,000.00.

       We are not solely for apprehensions. A social integration program has been a part of our peace and order drive.

In coordination with Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process or the OPAPP we welcomed back former rebels by giving them emergency and livelihood assistance in preparation for their integration into mainstream society. Six (6) beneficiaries were assisted with financial aid amounting to P171,000.00. Last year more than a half or 125 of the 142 inmates were also released and allowed to join the mainstream society.

Our FISCAL CAPABILITY continues to get stronger year after year. For  Calendar Year  2011, our total collections of P619,436,991.26 was an improvement of more than P40M compared to the year 2010. Part of that collection consist of the General Fund which basically came from the P520,695,958.00 Internal Revenue Allotment and from the local collections of P48,065,205.57 and the P2,769,994.39 from other sources. Income generating offices contributed to the locally collected revenues. The hospitals contributed P29,501,856.89; PEEDMO - P3,354,251.00; ENRD – P1,869,372.27; PAO – P1,600,857.50; GSO – P822,700.96; and PEO – P442,641.16. Internal Revenue Collection was also significant at P 119.3M. These accomplishments did not go ignored. Last year, we were awarded by the Department of Finance FIRST PLACE among Provinces in Caraga in Tax Administration and Revenue Generation.

       Environmental events and realities are compelling reasons for us to give utmost care for the environment. Hence, in managing our forestland, we continue to be guided by our mandate to promote effective protection, development, management and conservation of forest and watersheds. We have always  given emphasis and support to the eleven (11) CBFM projects in Agusan del Norte. Issuance of Certificates of Stewardship Contracts and conduct of inventory of planted trees inside the Integrated Social Forestry (ISF) Areas were expediently coordinated with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Upland development was also undertaken through the establishment of 34.5 hectares of forest and 10.5 hectares of fruit tree plantations. Maintaining vital waterways through river protection using bio-engineering and bamboo plantation aimed at ensuring the natural flow of the river and its immediate habitat were tested and found effective.

The province has likewise promoted the optimum utilization of its mineral resources. To keep us in the right track, we have equipped our manpower with mapping tools and adopted it a policy so that they have access to current technology. We also strengthened the coordinative efforts of monitoring committees at all levels.

Through our environmental management program, we strictly implemented the mechanics of its IRR resulting to waste disposal getting controlled and managed.  Related to this, we distributed construction materials for the installation of Nine (9) Material Recovery Facilities in support to the solid waste segregation program. Strict implementation also  resulted to mangroves getting well maintained thus protecting the breeding grounds of fish.

To complement the National Greening and Climate Change Adaptation Program of the government, our provincial nursery produced and distributed a total of 27,529 fruit and forest trees to the academe, civil society, religious groups, NGOs, and local government units.

Because of our concern in Water and Sanitation we implemented 35 sub-projects which included construction of reservoirs and installation and re-habilitation of Jet-Matic Pumps amounting to  P1,062,680.00. As a result 14,973 of the province’s 59,067 households  have gained access to Level III or house-connected water supply systems.

The strong partnership between the executive and legislative departments laid the groundwork for good governance.

Fulfilling its mission of formulating effective and responsive resolutions and ordinances, the 15th Sangguniang Panlalawigan continued to deliver landmark legislations.  In the year 2011, the august Body passed and approved a total of three hundred twenty-seven (327) resolutions and enacted eleven (11) ordinances.

 

 

Legislations that merit praise and recognition were those responding to the concerns of administrative governance, social and economic development and environmental management, one of which is an ordinance which seek to institutionalize the Public-Private Partnership as a development strategy of the Province. The august body also approved the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (DRRMP) of the Province of Agusan del Norte which set the stage for the implementation of projects and activities related to disaster preparedness and mitigation.

As a measuring tool for development, the province implemented the 2nd round of the CBMS which features the paper-less upgraded version of the software. In order to equip the barangays with the technology, 167 laptops were distributed and training for its proper use was conducted.

       In pursuit of our thrust of empowering our grass root partners, the province co-implemented a total of fifteen (15) Manpower and Human Resource Development and Productivity Enhancement Centers at a combined cost of P6,498,885.00.  Other projects ranging from electrification, flood control, health centers and purchase of lot, all amounting to P1,639,671.25 were also co-implemented. For projects funded under the Participative Initiatives in Governance (PING) the following  were implemented: Ten (10) Manpower Development  Centers, twelve (12)  drainage and flood control, five (5) potable water system projects and a project each for barangay health station, procurement of computer and appliances and installation of street lighting.  Thirty-eight multi-cabs were also acquired and distributed to qualified barangays to improve accessibility. What is very remarkable in these ventures is the willingness of the beneficiaries to raise the counterpart for their respective project.  A TRUE MEASURE OF EMPOWERMENT!

My fellow Agusanons, we are so blessed for having accomplished a lot. From the time I was entrusted the reins of the provincial government back in 2004, the province has since then earned multiple awards in governance. And just only last year, we were selected as the Regional Winner of DILG’s Gawad Pamana ng Lahi Award entitling the province to receive P3M as cash incentive in recognition of our exemplary performance in good governance. It was followed by another DILG award of “Seal of Good Housekeeping” making us a recipient of the Local Government Support Fund amounting to P10M.  Yet the challenge remains tough. Allow me to pose these challenges to all:

Poverty incidence while the lowest in the region has to be addressed frontally so that more and more people will graduate from such plight;

We need to work harder for the education of our children. While indicators look promising, I urge all Agusanons to lend a hand so that the Education for All program is sustained;

Last year 7,559 babies were born. While infant mortality has drastically decreased over the years, it is my ardent desire to see the time where mortality of new born babes are virtually a thing of the past;

While our TB Program has a detection rate of 93.1%, our cure rate of 90.3% is a challenge I want addressed. This is also true to other diseases;

Basic services and needs like potable water, sanitary toilets and sound waste disposal methods are challenge which can be fully addressed. We just have to work together and prioritize funding for these facilities;

Agri-fishery and farm productivity coupled by the effects of climate change  is a pressing concern which I ask all Agusanons to help address; and,

The housing backlog of Agusan del Norte continues to be a major concern. About 15,000 households still do not have a home they can call their own.

 

I consider these challenges like a rung of a ladder. Every challenge hurdled is a step towards our aspiration for a prosperous and happy populace. I can only be courageous in facing these challenges because I firmly believe that we are one in this aspiration. With the providential help of the Almighty, I again invite all of you to join me this time in our pursuit for the well-being of all.  Thank you and God bless.

 

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