PIA News Service - Monday, April 27, 2009

Agusan del Sur confronting another chapter for development

Agusan del Sur is confronting another chapter for development, specially the most vulnerable members of the society, the indigenous peoples living in the remote areas.

This is the statement of Gov. Maria Valentina “Tina” Plaza when she welcomes Sec. Gilbert Teodoro Jr. who visits Agusan del Sur to witness the on-going projects of the KALAHI Kalayaan Barangays Program in San Luis town.

According to Gov. Tina Plaza, Agusan del Sur is one most privileged and honored provinces in the country to be given so much attention by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo thru the visit of Sec. Teodoro in order to attain collective development and lasting peace.

As presented by AFP Eastern Mindanao Commander Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer, Agusan del Sur, particularly the municipalities of Prosperidad, San Luis and Trento, will receive some P103 million worth of projects ranging from suitable access or “Kalayaan roads”, classroom school buildings, level 2 water system facilities, electrification system facilities and suitable health facilities.

“In your province (Agusan del Sur), lined-up projects are 20 farm-to-market roads worth P76 million, eight school buildings worth P4.450 million, seven health centers with P3.5 million, six water system worth P9.5 million, five day care centers worth P2.5 million and 4 electrification system worth 7.55 million, with a total of P103.5 million. As of the moment, one project was already completed while the rest are on-going”, Gen. Ferrer said.

Given the chance to introduce the guest, former Gov. Eddie Bong Plaza said, the Sec. Teodoro did not only come here in Agusan del Sur to grace the Kalayaan projects, but also to give recognition to the efforts of the Agusanon in attaining lasting peace.

“My fellow Agusanons, our guest did not only come here to look for himself the progress of the Kalayaan projects but also to give recognition to our efforts in attaining lasting peace. It is my honor to tell you that we have the highest number of rebels who go back to the folds of the law and was rewarded by the government last month. Today, Sec. Teodoro will again give reward to another five who signifies their intention to live a normal life thru the “Balik-Baril Program”. This is therefore a concrete display that progress and development in Agusan del Sur continue”, former Gov. Eddiebong Plaza said.

In his message, Sec. Gilbert Teodoro said Agusanons are very lucky people having leaders like Gov. Tina Plaza or the Plaza family.

“I want you to know that when Gov. Tina Plaza asked funds from Pres. Arroyo for flood control projects, the President immediately approved some P103 million in favor of Gov. Plaza’s request. I also want you to know that opposite from what I have heard, your province is very rich! You are rich in LGU leadership, and natural resources! So I say, what you need is not poverty alleviation but empowerment to stand strong by your own feet so that you can very well develop the potentials in your province for you to benefit your natural wealth. Your rivers maybe destructive during rainy season because of floods but when infrastructure will be in place, these rivers will surely become a major factor for development and progress. By then, the meaning of “Kalayaan”, which means in visayan dialect “kagawasan” will be realized because you will soon be free from poverty”, Sec. Teodoro said.

According to Sec. Teodoro, the future of the country is here in Mindanao. As Secretary of National Defense, he sees to it that the function of the military will not only be in battle, but most of all, to safeguard the natural wealth and potential of the country so that Filipinos will enjoy the blessings that our country offers, in realization to the vision of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Ang swerte nyo ditto sa Agusan del Sur. Malapit kayo sa puso at pagmamahal ng Pangulo”, Sec. Teodoro ended. (Dave M. Suyao, PIA-Agusan del Sur)