Month: October 2013

Tourism: The Hope for a better life

Tourism: The Hope for a better life

(Speech delivered by Gov. Junie E. Cua during the Regional Tourism Assembly hosted by the province of Quirino)

Let me begin by expressing our heartfelt appreciation for the presence of Sec. Mon Jimenez. This is a rare moment in the history of the Regional Tourism Council and the province of Quirino. I recall that the last time we hosted the general assembly of the council and also attended by the Secretary of the Department of Tourism was way back thirteen years ago when we had Sec. Gemma Cruz Araneta as our guest.

As a tradition, one way of honoring our guests is by gifting them the Bugkalot costume and requesting them to join the fun by wearing them. I remember Sec. Gemma wearing the Bugkalot red and blue dress and doing the unique and peculiarly Bugkalot dance steps accompanied by the Bugkalot bamboo instruments. Today, I am not sure if I should gift you with a Bugkalot G-string because you may not want to come back to Quirino anymore.

So, instead today, upon the advice of our elders, I will be honored to don on you a symbol of respect and veneration accorded only to the most exalted leader of the tribe. May I therefore ask everyone to stand up and join me in this privilege and share the joy of this conferment.

Finding time to spend with us today, I am sure, is not easy for a busy department secretary, therefore, your coming today can only mean we are important to you. Having said that, I can say with confidence that your presence here has definitely heightened our spirit, our enthusiasm and our passion in making tourism a driver of growth in the Cagayan Valley region.

Our region, by the grace of God, is blessed for being endowed with fertile land, crisscrossed by mighty river systems, the Magat, the Cagayan River and the many tributaries. It is bounded and in a way protected on three sides by great mountain ranges, to the south by the Mamparang, to the west by the Cordilleras and to the east by the reknown Sierra mountain ranges. It is inhabited by the hard working Indigenous People like the Ibanag, the Yogad, the Bugkalot, the Dumagat, the migrant Ilocano and the Cordilleran, who live mainly by farming.

As such, the Cagayan Valley has evolved to become the food basket of the country. It is second in rice production and first in corn in the whole country. Despite being the gateway to the many typhoons, the people have endured, year in and year out, they continue to plant for a living.

By the end of this year, I would have spent more than half of my productive life in the service of our nation. I had and continue to have the privilege of witnessing the development of the region and sheperding the growth of Quirino province. In six years and two decades, the Philippine congress passed landmark legislations, the Agrarian Reform Act and the Agriculture Modernization Law as well as appropriated billions of funds hoping to enhance agricultural productivity and emancipate farmers from poverty.

However, this has not happened yet despite the hardwork of the farmers in response to the investment of the government. While people have survived and avoided starvation, one cannot truly claim that they have been liberated from poverty as sending their children to college or having a decent health care when someone in the family gets sick continue to be a struggle. Even as the farmers have contributed greatly to our all-important food security concern, they have not been appropriately rewarded by society. While agro-processing has contributed more value to our products, and created pockets of employment, it has not really led to inclusive growth.

There is a need to augment the family income of farming households to have a decent life. We need a strategy that will result in higher disposable income of more families rather than a few. Growth to be appreciated and felt has to be widely or broadly spread. I believe that tourism, specially eco-tourism, can be a driver of more inclusive growth. Not only does eco-tourism provide source of livelihood, it also forces the community to protect and preserve the forest and keep the rivers clean inorder to make eco-tourism sustainable.

We are very happy to note that the national government also includes tourism as a priority program by investing heavily in tourism related infrastructure. Your convergence program with the Department of Public Works and Highways speaks unmistakably of the government’s commitment to tourism promotion. We feel very fortunate to be in sync with your thrust.

In closing, let me thank the members of the Regional Tourism Council for your attendance and giving honor to the province of Quirino in hosting this event. Finally, I take this opportunity to thank Sec. Mon for his unending support to our sports and eco-tourism programs.

From now on, I am all the more confident that achieving the Quirino dream is not farfetch, that if you work hard enough and play the rule, you ought to have a decent life and a chance for your children to have a better one.

God bless the Philippines! Mabuhay!

Quirino Police says barangay polls in Quirino peaceful and orderly

Quirino Police says barangay polls in Quirino peaceful and orderly

By: Thelma C. Bicarme

The Quirino Police Provincial Office has reported that the conduct of barangay elections in the six municipalities in the province was peaceful and
orderly.

Police Senior Inspector Maritess Monteclaro, QPPO information officer said there were no untoward incidents or election related violence reported before,
during and even up to the transport of election returns to the Comelec municipal offices.

“Our province is known for its peaceful conduct of elections and we are glad we were able to sustain it,” Monteclaro said.

Although there were reports that the municipality of Diffun was placed under ‘area of concern,’ Monteclaro said that based on their monitoring, the whole
municipality remained peaceful during the election period.

Monteclaro likewise said that the 150 police personnel who were dispatched by the Police Regional Office to the province as augmentation force are set to
go back to the regional office today.

Meanwhile, officials of the Comelec provincial office said they are expecting to receive all the election results tomorrow as the municipal offices are
still waiting for the results from some of the far flung barangays.

The newly elected barangay officials are scheduled to have their mass oath taking on November 4, 2013 at the provincial gymnasium. (TCB)

Quirino all set for barangay elections

Quirino all set for barangay elections

By: Thelma C. Bicarme

The Quirino Police Provincial Office (QPPO) and the Commission on Elections here had assured a peaceful and orderly barangay elections on October 28 with
help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of Education (DepEd) and through the cooperation of the public.

In an interview with Police Senior Inspector Maritess Monteclaro, QPPO public information officer, she said they are confident that it is going to be a
peaceful and orderly election as the PNP has not recorded any single election related violence since the start of election period.

She likewise said that the final coordinating conference was conducted at the PNP recently where security preparations and other issues and concerns had
been finalized by the concerned agencies.

“Based on the report of the Comelec, the election paraphernalias were already received by the municipal treasurers and are ready for distribution to the
board of election tellers,” Monteclaro said.

The QPPO information officer also said that the teachers who will serve board of election inspectors in the 107 precincts are now ready.

She further said that some 150 police officers from the PNP regional office will be coming to the province as augmentation force to the 274 personnel of
the QPPO and the AFP.

Monteclaro clarified that although there were reports that the municipality of Diffun has been placed under ‘area of immediate concern,’ the police
authorities are still validating said reports.

She also assured the strict implementation of the COMELEC gun ban through their checkpoints. To date, two persons were already apprehended by the Maddela
and Saguday Police stations respectively. (TCB)

Quirino province all set for Regional Tourism Assembly hosting

Quirino province all set for Regional Tourism Assembly hosting

By: Thelma C. Bicarme

The provincial officials and the Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) here have assured that the province is now 100 per cent ready to host the 2013 Regional
Tourism Assembly on October 20-21 at the New DepEd Conference Hall located at Gundaway here.

PTC chairperson Mary Ann E. Cua, who also heads the Regional Tourism Council (RTC) said the assembly will be graced by Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. of
the Department of Tourism.

Cua stressed that hosting a big event like the assembly is a great opportunity for the Quirinians to showcase their tourism potentials to the whole Cagayan
Valley region.

“Provincial and municipal tourism council officers from the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino as well as the cities of Tuguegarao,
Cauayan and Santiago are expected to attend the said assembly,” Cua said.

On the first day of the assembly, the delegates will take a guided tour to Oceana Gold Phils, Didipio Mining project, Tucod Waterfalls, Aglipay Caves and
Campsite, Maddela Waterfalls, provincial capitol and other tourist destinations in the province.

The assembly proper will start at 8:30 in the morning of October 21 with the presentation of tourism best practices from the public sector by Cagayan board
member and RTC press relation officer Maria Olivia B. Pascual.

Director Melvin B. Navarro of the Department of Public Works and Highways will also present the convergence projects of the DOT and DPWH.

After the presentations, the RTC will be electing its new set of officers for calendar year 2013-2015.

Other activities include the presentation of accomplishments by outgoing RTC chairperson Cua , regional tourism situationer by Dir. Blessida Diwa and the
reports of the five provinces and three cities.

A press conference and cultural show will also be held after the program. (TCB)

DSWD to implement CSAP second tranche in Quirino

DSWD to implement CSAP second tranche in Quirino

By: Thelma C. Bicarme

The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office here has reported that the second tranche of the Core Shelter Assistance Project (CSAP) is ready for
implementation as the fund of P28 million is now on the account of the provincial government.

Agaton Pagbilao, assistant provincial social welfare and development officer, said the amount is now ready for transfer to the different Neighborhood for
Shelter Assistance (NASA) upon completion of the needed documents.

Under the second tranche, a total of 400 families in the six towns of the province whose houses were totally blown down by typhoons Pedring and Quiel last
September 27 and October 1, 2011 will be given houses.

The province was given 1,830 total allocations, 1,430 for the first tranche and 400 for the second tranche.

Pagbilao has reported that of the 1,430 core shelters for the first tranche, 392 were already completed and are now occupied by the beneficiaries.

“The construction of some 709 core shelters are still on going and the remaining 329 were not yet started,” he added.

Pagbilao disclosed that there were delays in the construction due to some problems like slow delivery of gravel and sand, source and price of wooden
materials.

“A supplier of lumber materials that was contacted by the beneficiaries in Cabarroguis and Diffun did not deliver needed lumber in spite of the fact that
these were already paid by the NASA,” Pagbilao said.

Pagbilao further disclosed that there are some lumber suppliers who are using the CSAP so they can bring out large volume of lumber products to be sold to
their customers.

Pagbilao has asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Philippine National Police to inform the PSWDO if there are wood suppliers
who are using the CSAP so that they can verify if they are legitimate suppliers and the woods they are delivering are really intended for the CSAP. (TCB)