Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr. delivers his sixth State of the Province Address (SOPA) at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall on Tuesday, October 25, 2016. At right is Vice Governor Christine Garin.
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. took great pride in the various awards obtained by the Province of Iloilo during his sixth State of the Province Address (SOPA) at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall on Tuesday, October 25, 2016. He also thanked the national government agencies and foreign organizations that have helped his administration get things done especially in the realization of projects which are beneficial to the people.
Under his leadership, Iloilo province achieved numerous awards and recognitions from various agencies because of its outstanding performance in different fields.
Among others, he cited the Department of Interior and Local Government’s Excellence on Local Governance Awards which named Iloilo as Best Performing Province, the most outstanding award from the Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Officer, Inc. (ALSWDOPI), the National Best Public Employment Service Office Award from the Department of Labor and Employment and the Kalikasan Award from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
This Friday (October 27) Gov. Defensor will be receiving the 2016 Seal of Good Local Governance, a second for Iloilo province, at the DILG central office in Manila.
“All the honor and acclaim that come our way are but bonuses for the work we have done and continue to do. We simply do our best to attain the greatest good for the greatest number of our people. If we can’t do that, awards are meaningless. If we do that, awards are not necessary,” the governor noted.
Defensor also expressed gratefulness to all national government agencies and non-government organizations for their partnership with the province in the implementation of various projects.
He particularly cited the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) which is currently implementing a concreting of vital farm-to-market roads through the Agrarian Reform Communities Project Phase 2 in the municipalities of Barotac Viejo, Bingawan, Dumangas, Lambunao and San Rafael in the total amount of P242 million with the province having a counterpart fund of P38.7 million.
He also mentioned three ongoing projects under the World Bank and Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP), namely, the 28-kilometer Passi City-Gemumua Agahon road which costs P264 million, the 10.2 kilometer Poblacion to Tacuyong Norte road in Leon that costs P114.8 million, and the 7 kilometer Parara-Jamog road in Tigbauan, costing P77 million.
The concreting of a 15.3 km road connecting Anilao, Dingle and San Enrique is also ongoing under the KALSADA program of the DILG, said Gov. Defensor.
He also cited the invaluable help of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) which recently turned over to the Province of Iloilo the newly-completed Comprehensive Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care facilities and newly-purchased equipment for the Aleosan District Hospital in Alimodian, the Jesus M. Colmenares Memorial District Hospital in Balasan, and the Dr. Ricardo S. Provido Memorial District Hospital in Calinog. The project upgraded the bed capacities of the three hospitals as well as its services.
“The rest of our hospitals are also undergoing similar transformation, especially with the implementation of the Hospital Facilities Enhancement Program in partnership with the Department of Health. As of last year, the DOH has implemented various projects amounting to P244 million — and last month, it has endorsed to PAGCOR our additional proposed projects amounting to P225 million,” Defensor stressed.
He also thanked the Italian government for donating two sea ambulances which are now being used in Northern Iloilo, and the Irish NGO Concern Worlwide for implementing P260 million worth of livelihood projects for the survivors of supertyphoon Yolanda also in Northern Iloilo.
The governor also revealed his plan to develop the provincial government property from the Capitol to the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) into a government center with mini-parks and multi-level parking to be placed at the lot vacated by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
“We are planning to engage the services of Architect Paulo Alcazaren, the talent behind the Singapore River Quay and the Iloilo Esplanade, for this massive undertaking,” he said.
You may download a copy of the SOPA 2016 here.