Wow! Naka 100 days na pala bilang gobernador ng lalawigan ng Batangas si Governor Vi ngayong araw na ito, Oktubre 8, 2007, kaya naman sa pamamagitan nina Jean Dolor at Manny Nava (salamat sa inyong dalawa!) ay ise-share ko ang mga nasaksihan nila kaninang umaga sa Batangas City. Hindi nakadalo ang inyong lingkod, pati na rin si El Presidente Jojo Lim, Bise-Presidente Eric Nadurata o maging sina Secretary Clarisse Pilande at Kristine Lomeda, Treasurer Obet Sapin at Asst. Treasurer Nar Santander at ang iba pang opisyales at miyembro ng VSSI, Inc. dahil sa sobrang kabisihan sa kanilang mga trabaho.
Bago ang State of Provincial Address (SOPA) ni Governor Vi ay nagkaroon muna sila ng flag ceremony. Sa Auditorium ginanap ang SOPA na nagsimula ng alas nueve ng umaga. Mga 3,500 ang mga pumuntang panauhin kabilang na ang 31 mayors, vice mayors at mga konsehales ng mga bayan at lungsod ng lalawigan ng Batangas, mga provincial board members at vice-governor. Andun din si Deborah Sun na may kasamang isang artista. Mayroon ding representative ang dalawang higanteng network, ang ABS-CBN 2 at GMA 7. Nakapormal ang mga nagsidalong mga bisita, naka-gown ang mga babae. Sina Jing Seguismundo at Jun Dijan ang naging emcee ng palatuntunan. Umawit yung nanalo sa Lipa’s Voices, Songs and Rhytms noong nakaraang taon. Suot ng isang barong at pantalong itim si Governor Vi. Eto ang nilalaman ng kanyang 45-minute speech.
Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat! Because public office is a public trust; and because my accountability is to our people; it is only right that I be made to account for how I conducted myself in the first 100 days as the governor of Batangas. Mga kababayan ko, I am here today to make an accounting of my first 100 days in office to report to you what I intend to do and to accomplish beyond this period.
Because what matters most to us lies beyond this period; what we do in the next 905 days to accomplish our goals of reducing poverty so that we can uplift the quality of life of our provincemates; and of improving the investment landscape in the entire province, so that we can bring right in the door step of every family the jobs and income opportunities that it generates.
Our population now stands at 1,905,348 and it grows 3.02%. This means that 57,160 babies will be added to our present population by next year. 25% of our population lives below the poverty line. And the poverty incidence in our province is 3 times higher than in Laguna and Cavite. Our province has been left behind. How will our provincial government respond to his situation? Ano ba ang maaasahan ng ating mga kababayan sa ating pamahalaan?
The challenge now is how do we reduce poverty significantly and in a sustained matter; how do we make our province prosperous. And I believe that I am up to this task. Dahil magkakasama at magtutulungan tayo dito, dahil tayong mga Batangueño ay may malasakit sa kapakanan ng ating lalawigan. Dahil taos puso sa atin and maglingkod sa ating kapwa at sa ating lalawigan.
We will provide our provincemates with a stronge response to be hopeful about their future and their children’s future. And to accomplish this, we will govern with deep compassion, clear direction, workable and doable plan and achievable results.
Totoong napakabilis ng paglipas ng panahon. Di ko namamalayan, ako pala ay tatlong buwan at sampung araw ng nakaupo bilang gobernador ng ating lalawigan. At sa loob ng napakaikling panahong ito, sa aking palagay, naging makabuluhan at mabunga ang mga ginawa nating pagsusumikap, pagtutulungan at pagkakaisa. When we first arrived here on July 2, 2007, we were facing a blank wall. Why? Because, there was no transition team; there was no smooth turnover of power. We had to put a lot of thing in order. We really had to do a lot of housekeeping to get a better view of the internal condition of our provincial government; the finances, human resource, operation and structure. And we have to take a look also at the external situation; what’s the state of health of our provincemates, the quality of facilities services that our hospitals offer…..the state of public education and infrastructure services? During the first 100 days, we looked into these things. And because of the cooperation that our department heads fully extended to us, our job became easier. We were able to get a working knowledge of the functions, operations and priority programs of the 18 major offices including our 12 district hospitals. Kaya gusto ko muling pasalamatan ang ating mga department heads. Narito sila ngayon. Palakpakan po natin sila. Habang pinag-aaralan namin ang katayuan ng ating pamahalaan, I had to turn down a lot of speaking engagements, invitations and photo sessions. Sa mga hindi ko napagbigyan- –marahil ang iba sa inyo ay naririto ngayon—ako’ y humihingi sa inyo ng paumanhin. Pwede na po tayong mag-picturan.
To continue, we were able to get a clear and accurate picture of the financial condition of the provincial government. And I would like to thank our budget officer, provincial accountant, provincial assessor, provincial treasurer, and pro bono senior adviser Senator Recto, who guided them patiently and expertly to obtain this picture. Matapos naming mapag-aralan ang katatayuan ng ating pamahalaan, nakita namin na mayroon pa tayong sapat na pondo para mabigyan ng kaukulang pansin ang mga bagay na napakahalaga sa akin. Una, ang mapagbuti ang kalagayan ng ating mga empleyado. Binisita ko ang bawa’t opisina nila. Nakita ko mismo ang kanilang kalagayan. Pinakinggan ko rin ang kanilang mga hinaing at kahilingan. Hindi ko sila pwedeng pabayaan sa kalagayang nadatnan ko dito. Kailangang maging maayos ang kanilang kalagayan sapagka’t sila ang makakasama at makakatulong ko sa pagpapatupad ng mga pangunahing programa ng ating pamahalaan. Kaya ako’y nagpapasalamat ng malaki sa ating Sangguniang Panglalawigan sa pamumuno ni Vice-Governor Mark Leviste, Board Members sa pamamagitan ng inyong suporta.
• Nataas nating ng 10% ang sweldo ng lahat ng kawani ng ating pamahalaan na may kabuuang Php16M.
• Nakapaglaan din tayo ng pondo para sa mga casuals na nagiging katulong nila sa pagsisilbi sa ating kababayan
• Mabibigyan natin ng office equipment, furniture and fixtures ang ating mga tanggapan
On the issue of governance, we made it our policy to involve our department heads in local government management. We welcome their recommendation in the formulation, adoption and implementation of our government programs. Mahalaga din sa amin ang kalusugan ng ating mga empleyado kaya nagbigay ang ating pamahalaan ng libreng check up sa humigit kumulang na 2,000 empleyado natin. Pinag-ukulan din natin ng pansin ng mga inmates sa provincial jail. Pinagbuti natin ang pagpapakain sa kanila para maging maayos din naman ang kanilang kalusugan. After transforming our provincial government into a cohesive, unified and responsive unit, we started looking at the external situation. External condition – And the poverty diagnosis based on 13 core indicators conducted by PSWDO in partnership with the mayors in 14 municipalities became very useful. And let me share with you some of the unflattering findings of this diagnosis. Batay sa isang health indicator, 244 ang bilang ng mga bata na 0-5 years old ang namatay ng hindi nabibigyan ng sapat na attention. We can’t allow this. Batay rin sa isa pang health indicator, 27 women died due to pregnancy-related causes. We even cross-checked their data with the National Statistical and Coordination Board, specifically its poverty statistics and Human Development Index (HDI) because we are serious about our work. And we need to get an accurate and ample picture of the situation in Batangas Province. And what is clear is that big portion of our population has no access to basic health services. It appears that our province has lagged behind in terms of proportion of households with no access to health services. This could mean that they didn’t trust our public health care system. And when I saw our hospitals, I was not surprised by these findings. Kaya naisip ko, our provincial government should intervene heavily to make health services accessible to our impoverished sector. At mayroon na kaming kasalukuyang ginagawang action dito.
First, our provincial government is now improving the delivery health service in 5 district hospitals – Lipa, Tanauan, Rosario, San Juan and San Jose. The rest of the hospitals will follow. We will upgrade the laboratory, medical and room facilities here. We will make them at par with private hospitals, compete with them and thereby bring down the cost of health care.
Second, on the prevention side, we will intervene by subjecting our infants to NBS test so they would not suffer from any harmful or potentially fatal disorder which it could easily detect. We have placed this concern on top of our health’s expenditure program next year.
Third, we will provide health insurance to more than 40,000 indigents or the poorest of the poor so that they will have access to quality health care.
Fourth, we will focus our health care program on the top ten most illnesses in our province.
Fifth, we will transform one district hospital into a center of excellence. Excellence in service, facility and accomodation. And if our revenue will permit us more, we will replicate in other districts and thereby ensure that our constituents will have access to high quality hospital service.
With all these initiatives and innovations, I am hoping our province will be among the top ten leading health service providers nationwide. Three days ago, nasa television news ang Batangas dahil sa dami ng morality dahil sa Dengue. Iisa lamang ang matibay na solusyon sa problemang ito: panatilihin nating malinis ang ating kapaligiran sa bawa’t tahanan sa bawa’t barangay. Kaya sa ating mga mayor, hinihiling ko na magsagawa tayo ng isang massive household-based clean-up campaign. This is our best response to dengue. Sa larangan naman ng edukasyon, batay sa poverty diagnosis, 18,750 bata na nagkakaedad na 6-12 ang hindi napasok sa elementary school; at 24,821 namang bata na nagkakaedad na 13-16 and hindi napasok sa high school. Batay sa NSCB, 76% lang ng ating mga mag-aaral sa mababang paaralan ang nakakatapos ng elementarya. Samantalang 65% lang ng ating mga mag-aaral sa high school ang nakakatapos sa ganitong antas. Anong naghihintay na kinabukasan sa mga ito? Tiyak na mapapabilang ito sa mga taong daranas ng paghihirap pagdating ng araw kung wala tayong gagawing lunas dito. We don’t want any child to be left behid just because he failed to get elementary and secondary education. If our children are deprived of the opportunity to study, it will be our family’s and our community’s loss as well. Isang solusyon sa problemang ito ay ang pagdadagdag ng bilang ng mobile teachers para mapuntahan ang mga batang ito at matulungan silang maipagpatuloy ang kanilang pag-aaral. We will hire more mobile teachers to give these out-of-school children an opportunity to study and thereby save them from a life of misery. We will implement, too, a feeding program to meet the nutritional requirement of our school children so that we can improve their health and, in the process, help them raise their academic accomplishment. We want best public shools to be known for their excellent facilities so that they can produce the best and the brightest students who can compete not only regionally but nationally as well. We will transform initially one school for every district as center of excellence. And if our revenue will allow it in the next three years, we will set up one center of excellence for every municipality. We will employ the benefits and advantages that information and communication technology brings in improving the quality of teaching and learning environment in public schools. Study shows that 98% of our young students who attend pre-schools finish college. We will therefore raise the standards of teaching in our day care center. To do this, we will adopt the program that we implemented successfully in the city of Lipa. We will train our day care teachers to handle their classes the Montessori way. We already know the pervasive effects of poverty. And we have the tools on how to identify and measure them, and locate who suffer from this social disease.
Kaya kami ay bumuo ng isang task force na itutuon and pondo at panahon sa pagtugon sa mga bagay na nagpapahirap sa ating mga kababayan. And this is the Inter-agency Poverty Reduction Team. We will equip this action team with resources to enable our provincial government to augment the efforts and resources our municipal mayors need in reducing poverty in their locality. But first things first, I want an updated data on poverty situation in 31 municipalities based on the 14 indicators of health, nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation, basic education, income employment, peace and order. Every program of action that our government implements must be based on updated, verifiable and accurate data so that we will know what appropriate, effective and responsive program of action we will formulate and carry out to address the poverty situation. I will therefore require our PSWDO to conduct a poverty diagnosis in partnership with our municipal mayors based on these indicators. We can train and tap the services of our students on this undertaking. Sa ating mga mahal na mayor na narito ngayon, kung may malalim na problemang lumabas dito sa poverty diagnosis na gagawin natin, magtulungan tayong sugpuin ito. Do your share and I will do my share, too, to alleviate poverty. Let this be a shared responsibility. Through these, we will be doing our part in uplifting well-being of our nation. And at the same time, we will be honoring our international commitment to meet Millenium Development Goals. If we can accomplish these earlier, we could become a model among our Local Government Units. I would like to appeal to our mayors to attend regularly the Provincial Development Council meeting. Ito’y magandang pagkakataon para magkaroon tayo ng direktang ugnayan o koordinasyon sa pagpapatupad ng mga pangunahing programs ng ating pamahalaan.
My job is not just a service provider. It’s also my job to be economic manager. We have to create an environment that is conducive to economic growth and development so that business and industry in our province can flourish. In this way, we can help create jobs and income opportunities for our constituents, and generate revenue for our municipalities. Malalaki man o malilit na mamumuhunan ay kailangan nating tanggapin ng pantay. Likas na magaling sa negosyo ang mga Batangueño at ipakita natin na maayos ang pagnenegosyo sa Batangas. Our provincial government will take this job seriously. Sisimulan namin ito sa pamamagitan ng pagpapabuti ng katatayuan ng ating mga kalsada. We will build, improve and maintain our provincial roads in support of the invetment potentials of the Province, in support of our enterpreneurs who need to market their products and services and to help lower the cost of doing business. But we will prioritize those roads which could make our agricultural, tourism and other sector more productive, increase the area’s investment potential, help facilitate business and trading activities. Our resources are limited, they must therefore be put to productive use. We will ask the support of our congressmen in the four congressional districts of Batangas in improving the condition of our national roads. Our province is blessed with natural beauty which make it one of the best tourist destinations in our country today. And this explains why tourism industry thrives and continues to thrive here. Our provincial government will provide infrastructure support to this industry so that it can continue to generate jobs and income opportunities to our localities. Ito ang isa sa mga pamamaraang gagawin ng ating pamahalaan upang malunasan ang pangunahing dahilan kung bakit dumadanas ng kahirapan ang ating mga kababayan: ang kawalan ng trabaho. And we will augment these efforts by allocating substantial fund for livelihood activities from our budget next year. Pangangalagaan din natin ang ating likas na yaman katulad ng ating mga karagatan para mapanatili ang kagandahan, kalinisan at kaligtasan nito at ng sa ganoon maipagpatuloy ang paghahanap buhay ng mga taong umaasa dito. We will support investment activities here but we will make sure that the sanctity of our seawater, safety and source of income of our people will not be compromised. I have created a task force and provided it with logistical and legal support so that it can accomplish this job.
Tayong mga Batangueño ay kilalang masisipag at matiyaga sa paghahanapbuhay sapagka’t tayo’y naniniwala na sa ganitong paraan gaganda ang ating buhay at kinabukasan. This explains why I am against all forms of illegal gambling including jueteng. Because they promote wrong values. For as long as I’m the governor of Batangas, I will never sanction jueteng. And I would like to remid our PNP Director and all the police chiefs of my earlier directive… ..Enforce our anti-gambling law; stop the operation of jueteng in the entire province. Uulitin ko po, habang ako ang gobernador ng Batangas, hindi ko papayagan ang jueteng. Pero di ko kayang sugpuing mag-isa ito. Kailangan ko ang tulong ng private sector, non-Government Organizations at ng simbahan sa pangunguna ni Archbishop Arguelles. At ako’y natutuwa naman sa mga kabataan natin sapagka’t naririnig ko sila pag sila’y nag-uusap. Sabi nila “Bakit ako tataya dyan? Magtratrabaho na lang ako.” Ang ibig sabihin, nag-iisip at natututo na ang ating mga kabataan dito sa Batangas. And I predict, jueteng here will die a natural death dahil hindi interesado dyan ang ating mga kabataan. And this augurs well on the future of our youth. And our provincial government will offer an alternative job to hose who have been displaced by the termination of jueteng operation. Since we are talking about law enforcement here, there is one more thing that I would like to address. The crime volume in our province has unfortunately pictured Batangas as a murder capital. I want to erase this image. I will therefore strengthen the law enforcement and crime prevention capability of our PNP by providing them with logistical support, communication and crime fighting equipment. This will allow them to perform effectively their mission of safeguarding the lives of our civilian population. All we are talking about here needs fund. And if we will not be able to improve our revenue collection efficiency and tax administration; and rely only on national subsidy, then we will not be able to finance more our development programs.
Kaya, ako’y nagtayo ng revenue enhancement team. They will study and recommend on how we can raise more revenue for the province so that we can finance more the improvement of the delivery of services to our constituents. And I believe that this team can accomplish this task. The programs, policies and strategies I have discussed here are embodied in our proposed budget for 2008. I will be therefore counting again on the vital support of our Sangguniang Panlalawigan on this expenditure plan. Tayong mga Batangueño ay kilala dahil sa ating talino at tapang, pagmamahal sa ating bayan, pagiging masipag at matibay na pananampalataya sa Panginoon. At ang mga dakilang katangian nating ito ay nakaukit na sa kasaysayan ng ating bansa…..sa pakikipaglaban natin upang magkaroon ng kasarinlan, sa pagkakaroon ng isang bansang mapayapa, maunlad, may kakayahang makapamuno at makatayo sa sariling paa ng may dignidad. Samakatuwid tayong mga Batangueño ay may pagmamalasakit sa ating kapwa. At ito ang dahilan kung bakit tayong lahat ay nagsusumikap na mapagbuti ang katatayuan at kinabukasan ng ating lalawigan. Mga kababayan ko, sa loob ng aking termino, wala akong hinahangad kung hindi maibigay sa inyo ang isang napakahalagang bagay: PAG-ASA…..pag-asang matutupad ang ating mga pangarap na maging marangal, maunlad at matatag ang pamumuhay ng ating mga anak at ng mga susunod pang salinlahi. Sa pamamagitan ng ating pagtutulungan at patnubay ng Panginoong Diyos, ako’y naniniwala na ating mararating ang ating hinahangad at pinapangarap para sa ating mahal na lalawigan. My dream is to see a just, fair, compassionate and prosperous society where each family member can realize his full potential as a human being; and succeed in what he does because he is honest, responsible, hardworking, courageous and God-fearing; and does his share in building a better community for all. Building this kind of society is not the work of tomorrow. We build it today – we build it now. Sama-sama nating inumpisahan ito, sama-sama nating ipagpatuloy ito ngayon! Marami pong salamat, at muli, isang magandang umaga sa inyong lahat! Nagmamahal, Vilma Santos-Recto.
Pagkatapos ng kanyang speech ay nagkaroon ng photo session. Lumabas si Governor Vi ng auditorium at pumunta sa capitol ground kasama ang mga empleyado at umawit ng BUILDING THE FUTURE TOGETHER-ALL FOR ONE. At habang umaawit ay nagpalipad ng 100 white baloons. Matapos ang pag-awit ay pumunta na sila sa Governor’s office para sa isang pananghalian. At dito nagtatapos ang isa na namang kaganapan sa Lungsod ng Batangas sa ika-100 araw na pagiging gobernador ni Governor Vi. Mabuhay ka Governor Vi! – Alfonso Valencia