INAUGURAL SPEECH
Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda
July 2, 2013

My fellow workers in government and my PGA family led by VG Harold Ong Imperial and Honorable members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. And to our beloved people of Albay who inspired by God’s will have chosen us to lead with integrity, passion and wisdom, I rededicate myself that I have been elected to serve, not to rule.

 

First, let us thank the Lord for sparing Albay the adverse impacts of climate change brought about by TS Gorio. So let us pray together and allow me to enter into the records of this august chamber, the Oratio Imperata for deliverance against calamities, written by Bishop Lucilo Quiambao of the Diocese of Legazpi.

 

In my first inaugural, our battlecry was LET US WORK TOGETHER FOR GREATER GLORY OF ALBAY. In the second inaugural, LET US SERVE OUR CONSTITUENTS WITH HONOR, HARD WORK, COMPETENCE AND PASSION. In this third inaugural, it is ALL HANDS ON THE DECK AND EYES ON THE BALL… AS WE PADDLE THE BOAT TOWARDS ITS DESTINY OF ECONOMIC PROGRESS AND DESTINATION OF SOCIAL PROSPERITY

Let me reiterate the goals of our province. Our goal is to become the most liveable province of the Philippines known for good education, good healthcare and good environment where people are healthy, happy and employed and live full lives. This meant three things 1. Short term goal is to achieve the MDGs. DONE. 2. Medium-term is to become a bastion of education and a tourism hub. BEING DONE 3. Long-term is to become a California in 30 years. ON OUR WAY.

In order to achieve these goals, we have a 3-point strategy. First, we made sure that the boat is in good shape, that means disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Second, we made sure that everyone is on the boat, this means health and education. Third, now it is time to push the boat towards its destination of shared socioeconomic advancement.

And, together we have achieved so many milestones and so many laurels for our province. 3 Kalasag awards and 1 Hall of Fame. 2 Galing Pook Awards. 1 award from UN ISDR as global champion for DRR/CCA. Model province for DSWD-ADB CDD. Model province for DA-WB PDRP. And, most importantly, Albay has been chosen by the Aquino government as its 1st recipient of the Gawad Pamana Lahi as Best Province in Local Governance and Innovation for its performance over the past three years. Alone, the Provincial Government can not achieve it. These awards belong first to the Province and the People of Albay and second to the hardworking managers, staff, field workers and the entire workforce of the Provincial Government of Albay. And certainly the unanimous legislative support to “the provincial agenda of good governance, good goals and good outcomes”.

Yet, there is more to be done. A few days after the elections, I made a random list of the things I wish to give priority to during my next administration. I call it “fireflies in my mind.” I have listed a number of projects like ideations that keep fluttering and refusing to close their wings until they become realities.

EDUCATION

Education remains the heart and soul of the provincial budget as it is the principal weapon in the fight against poverty, in the fight against climate change and in the fight for equality. In 2007, when we started education accounted for only 2% of the total provincial budget. Now it is the largest chunk as it accounts for 32% followed by health with 24%. While tourism gets a lot of news, we put our money where our mouth is – EDUCATION.

In 2007 when we started this journey, Albay was 177 out of 183 schools divisions in the National Achievement Test beating only the provinces of ARMM. By 2011, we ranked 19th. Our goal is to rank within Top 10 in 2016. So we will work with barangays hosting schools through BAKAS and Kadunong and with our teaching community through TOTAL, TROPICAL, and continue our award and incentive system called “Top sa NAT”. In 2007, our elementary participation rate was only 77%, now PIDS has validated that we have lifted this to 98% with one of the lowest dropout rate of 0.3% or ¼ of national average.

A COLLEGE GRADUATE IN EVERY FAMILY. For the past 3 years, the provincial government has spent P220m annually to support our 14,000 scholars under EQUAL and 17,600 scholars under AHECS. SY2013-2014 is the final year for our 10,000 scholars under AHECS. The SPA may wish to study whether we can sustain another spike in AHECS funding.

We will continue our strategic partnership with Bicol University in many fronts. The current imperative is to operationalize the BU Medical School which is being constructed through a P50m grant from PNoy. We are working with BU to BU Med to commence by SY 2014/15. Another P50m has been approved by PNoy and to be release in 2013.

Moreso, upon the advocacy of the Provincial Government and the Regional Development Council, the Department of Education has approved the inclusion of Albay in the 2nd Batch of schoolbuilding PPP with 172 units at roughly P1.7m each. 74 school sites and 115 units for Deped Albay, 9 and 35 units for Deped Legazpi, 6 and 24 units for Deped Ligao, 4 sites and 8 units for Deped Tabaco. With National-Local partnership, the classroom backlog in Albay is eradicated. This follows a similar partnership in 2011 where the Provincial Government built 176 units of classrooms at a 50-50 sharing with Deped.

In 1994, the SPA created the Apsemo and this has become the biggest man-made contribution of Albay to the country and to the rest of the world, 2nd to Mayon. Our administration will similarly be thanked for the institution of the Provincial Education Department, the only one of its kind in the entire Philippine bureaucracy. In fact, this year we are submitting as our entry to Galing Pook our initiatives in education.

HEALTH

Universal Philhealth coverage: This has been the pillar of our provincial health strategy. And despite the massive increases in premium rates, we have created fiscal space to fulfill this annual obligation.

We want to open Cancer Diagnostic / Treatment Center at BRTTH in 2013 via PPP
Upgrading of Polangui RHU/BEMONC to primary: P40m in 2014
Upgrading of Guinobatan RHU/BEMONC to primary: P40m in 2014/15
Upgrading of Bacacay RHU/BEMONC to primary: P40m in 2015/16
Modernization of Pioduran Hospital to full secondary: P75m 2014 so it could service the needs of health markets of Donsol and Claveria and the Albay West Coast and grow through the Philhealth reimbursements.
Completion of Polangui Water System: The PNoy has released another P69m for its Phase II bringing total to P124m.

SOCIAL PROTECTION

Through the consistent advocacy of the Provincial Government and robust partnership with the DSWD, as part of the rehabilitation program of JERRPA, from only 11,000 4P beneficiaries as of end-2011, as of March 2013, 64,000 families now benefit from a P1,400 downside protection every month.

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION / DISASTER RISK REDUCTION

  • CLIMATE CHANGE ACADEMY is now a major national and even global player in CCA/DRR mainstreaming and knowledge management. It has served 8 countries – Nepal, Kenya, Laos, Kampuchea, Timor Leste, Vietnam, Myanmar and Nigeria. Locally, it has served 6 regions- Region 4B, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11. It has provided training to 24 provinces and 27 cities and 189 towns.
  • Chosen as training institute of the OCD for five regions as envisioned by RA 10121 by the Office of Civil Defense
  • Chosen as Philippine partner by a Japanese NGO led by Mrs. Kumiko Kuroda, spouse of Bank of Japan President Haruhiko Kuroda, for the education curriculum development
  • Chosen as partner of Netherlands intl devt office for education and training in cooperation with the Red Cross Climate Center
  • Chosen as partner of Save the Children as Philippine counterpart for a network of CCA/DRR-oriented academic institutions and global network of humanitarian training centers
  • Partnership with Ateneo School of Government
  • Partnership with Manila Observatory
  • Partnership with Climate Change Commission
  • Investment Handbook with Manila Observatory/Kevin Rodolfo on Oas Graben (3D)

UPDATING OF BARANGAY RISK MAPS AND CONTINGENCY PLANS: This would require P90m at P5m per town. We shall devise a strategy in order to raise funds for this critical first step in reducing risks which is to know the risks.

LEGAZPI URBAN FLOOD CONTROL AND MITIGATION: It is the Provincial Government that secured the funding and the approval of this project using the feasibility study then in the shelves of Legapi City. It was first approved by Sec. Babes Singson during a visit and by the President himself in Jan. 15 of 2011. We are working on Phase III – P600m after the implementation of Phase 1- P500m and Phase 2- P300m.

BICOL RIVER BASIN FLOOD CONTROL. The provincial government of Albay was the principal proponent of this project and we secured presidential approval in 2008. The project has been funded at about P500m per year since 2010. And this has provided protection to our farms and to our homes with well-built riverbank stabilization structures.

TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

We are now on our second overall goal which is to become a bastion of education and a tourism hub of Luzon. This is in line with our third level in strategy which is to paddle the canoe towards its destination.
We have chosen tourism, agriculture and SMEs as our principal industries to grow and create jobs, increase incomes and build competitive enterprises. In tourism, our target is to achieve 1m foreign tourists by 2017 and we will do this with help of our partners – Masbate and Sorsogon – under the ALMASOR Tourism Alliance / Tourism Development Cluster.

CULTURE-BASED TOURISM EVENTS MANAGEMENT AND PROMOTION

  • Albay bid for Apec 2015 where we expect to host 10 ministerial meetings mostly from Feb. to Oct. 2015
  • Albay to host 48 countries Green Climate Fund
  • Albay to get Ironman 2015
  • Albay to pursue its bid to host Palarong Pambansa by 2016 and we shall prepare to mobilize the P280m needed to modernize our sports capacities

Daragang Magayon Festival is now according to Cebu Pacific survey the 3rd most important secular festival with a top of mind market share of 14.7%. Aside from being a comeon to tourists timed for the peak season of butanding, the festival has also been a rich breeding ground for cultural output and Albayano artistic talents.

Planet Festival Albay has been conceptualized essentially to give a more unified branding to Albay’s local festivals and project to visitors that the cultural dynamism of the province throughout the year. PGA provides financial, technical and marketing support to the 21 festivals, of which three are province-driven, Daragang Magayon, Karangahan Green Christmas and Cagsawa in jv with Daraga.
Culinaria Albay was launched in 2011 in order to consciously promote and enhance the rich culinary traditions of Albay including pili delicacies, pinangat, sili ice cream, DJC halo-halo.

Albay Pageant Academy groups all winners of the town and city festival pageants in order to assist them materially and moralely when they compete nationally and internationally. Albay is now considered the Venezuela of the Philippines having produced 62 titlists since 1974. Albay Pageant Academy has had 3 international engagements – Ms. Intl in China for Melody Gersbach, Ms. Intl in China for Dianne Necio and Miss World Tourism for Angeline King. Albay Pageant Academy provides technical assistance and regular public exposures in order to build up the skills and confidence of its members.

Albay Poet Laureate was created by this council in order to afford the provincial government with continuous cultural inputs in the pursuit of development of arts, cultural and literature and in the pursuit of culture-based tourism.

DESTINATION DEVELOPMENT

  • AGROETHNO VILLAGE: Through the help of Exec Sec. Ochoa, P25m has been MOA’ed with PGA. We will soon implement the P30m Phase 1 of P60m Agroethno Vilage in Cabangan Camalig. Another P30m for Phase 2.
  • CABICERRA DE CAMALIG: Paulo Alcazaren was amazed at the 11 old colonial houses. We are budgeting P5m for its cultural development.
  • BUDIAO RUINS (Daraga): We are also budgeting P5m for its restoration.
  • SINIMBAHAN RUINS (Tiwi): Another precious heritage of Albay, and we are budgeting P5m for the restoration so it could serve as another destination in Tiwi .
  • Restoration of Colegio de San Buenaventura (Guinobatan)
  • Recognition of Cagsawa Ruins Park as world heritage site by UNESCO
  • Dive site development and promotion under CRABS++ community-based tourism program using the Anilao model which we have studied
  • 9. What to do with Skyline rehab after phreatic explosion
  • Iconic monument for Albay … at Kapuntukan (perfect visible from sea but not owned by govt) or at the top of Lignon Hill (will obscure Mayon but owned by the province)
  • Actively seeking investors for 3 resort hotel-spas
  • Next level for tourguiding and the publication of Guide to Albay Tourists
  • World tour and restaging of The Epic of Albay: the Legend of Daragang Magayon sa Sayaw kan Tulong Bulod
  • Develop San Pedro Bautista storyline for Albay
  • Statue somewhere in Cagsawa Ruins Park
  • Branding Thematics:
  • Sili Kingdom
  • Pili Republic
  • Pinangat Empire
  • Planet Festival Albay
  • Pursue the implementation of TIEZA-approved town plaza redevelopment in Polangui, Tiwi, Bacacay, Malilipot, Libon at P5m each
  • Pursuit the implementation of TIEZA-approved P50m Cagsawa Ruins Park development
  • Pioduran as Capital of Almasor: Landbank branch

INFRASTRUCTURE

  • DARAGA INTL AIRPORT remains the centerpiece ongoing development of the Aquino administration for the Bicol region. The P900m bidded out last October will now be awarded to the lowest bidder. We are more confident of earlier completion than its new target date of Aug. 2016, still it would be the first major airport project that would completed by this administration.
  • GUICADALE ECONOMIC TOWNSHIP. We are happy to note that the National Government has started to invest in our P4.2bn project which is central to DRR/CCA strategy as a geostrategic intervention designed to expand our developeable land for human settlement and business formation towards a safer area. We have commissioned well-respected architect Paulo Alcazaren to do masterplan for Guicadale Economic Township while retired DPWH ARD Engr. Ed Talastas to study, prepare a status report and recommend course corrections to accelerate Guicadale Roads Development.
  • OAS-CAGMANABA ROAD. Implementation of P100m for Oas-Cagmanaba Upland Road under PRDP (DA). On top of this, our President has approved P50m for Oas – Cagmanaba Road.
  • ALBAY WEST COAST ROAD. Implementation of P800m Albay West Coast Road modernization is moving but delayed due to slowness of foreign funding. Last Tues, Italked with NEDA Sec. Balisacan to shift the budget strategy from FAPS to LFP (locally funded project) of the General Appropriations Act.
  • DARAGA-OAS-SAN FERNANDO ROAD (Bicol Bypass Highway, formerly PGMA Highway). I started this project way back 2001 and funded its preparatory activities. Now, it is the biggest long term project of DPWH in mainland Bicol has invested almost P2bn in the alternative road that would serve as a redundancy measure that offers incremental mobility of passengers and cargo would continue if the national road becomes flooded, or affected by heavy traffic. Moreso, this expands our developeable land to safe areas and links the Daraga Intl Airport to north Bicol while bypassing the heavy Daraga traffic. Moreso, it makes Daraga and Oas as major nodal destinations which bring commercial possibilities.
  • IRIGA-BUHI-MALINAO ROAD. This P480m new road linkage with Camarines opens up trade and tourism possibilities of the 1st District of Albay and the 5th District of Camsur. This has been approved by the RDC under Almasor TDC DOT-DPWH priority infrastructure.
  • ALBAY-DONSOL ROADS. On the Pioduran-Donsol road section, we have already signed the documents needed to proceed with the implementation of the critical Buenavista-Sta. Cruz bridge. On the Daraga-Jovellar-Donsol section, P100m has been bidded out. On the Camalig – Airport – Donsol Road, the President approved last week P50m for its initial implementation. On the P870m Guinobatan-Jovellar-Donsol main linkage, this has been approved under the tourism priority road by the DOT and DPWH for the ALMASOR TDC (tourism development cluster).
  • BACON-MANITO ROAD LINKAGE: P100m for Phase 1 is being implemented this year also under the ALMASOR TDC linkage of the DOT-DPWH road program.
  • LONG TERM INFRASTRUCTURE AMBITIONS: In the long term, our infrastructure ambitions are five and we have secured RDC approval for FS preparation so the process of fundsourcing could be facilitated:
  • NAGA-GUINOBATAN FREEWAY: This infrastructure is most necessary for the spatial integration of the tourism corridor of Camsur-Albay, thereby linking Almasor and CCTL. I have initially indicated this with DOF Sec. Purisima and NEDA Sec. Balisacan and told them that this P10.4bn project can lift the entire Bicol basin into a major economic player.
  • COURSE CORRECTION FOR LIBON-PANTAO ROAD THAT WOULD AVOID THE DUMALAGAN SECTION. This is most necessary to actualize the trade potential from Pantao Port as a regional port.
  • ELEVATED ROAD FROM ARIMBAY TO LIDONG: This is to guarantee continuity of mobility of traffic even during laharflows and pyroclastic flows. It is initially estimated at P5.4bn
  • CAGRARAY-BATAN BRIDGE: After the Sula-Cagraray Bridge which we started in July 2005 with an initial P280m, we wish to pursue the spatial integration of Albay and its islands. It is initially estimated at P17bn.
  • SOUTHERN LUZON STRATEGIC RAIL NETWORK: We are sponsoring a Railway Summit sometime in July in order to heighten the national visibility of the Bicol railway situation. While the RDC has ensured that the P47bn Southrail development is listed in the P4.4trn MTPIP, there is very little movement in the project within the implementing agency.

ENERGY:

Partnership with Diocese on Aleco rehab: privatization towards sustainable energy
Implementation of the energization of the seventy four (74) sitios

INVESTMENTS PROMOTION

ALBAY INVESTMENT FORUM: With many of our projects now getting started and some completed, it is now auspicious to hold the Albay Investment Forum in Manila anytime between now and 2014. We are partnering with DTI and PCCI and the National Competitiveness Council in order to optimize the benefits of this investment roadshow.

AGRICULTURE

  • P100m annual irrigation modernization via NIA – Naporog for Rinconada, extension of South Quinale to Buga, and Lourdes CIS in Polangui
  • Implementation of Albay 3 (ARISP) for Libon, Polangui and Oas
  • Quinali A Watershed Development (Camalig, Guinobatan, Ligao, Oas, Libon, Polangui) with World Bank
  • Quinali B Watershed Development (Malinao, Tiwi, Tabaco) for FS preparation with DENR
  • Albay Dos (Daraga, Jovellar, Camalig) Watershed Development – Donsol River system
  • Polangui Upland Resource (PURE) FS updating and fundsourcing

LIVELIHOODs

  • Implementation of P404m Bottoms Up Budgeting (DILG-DBM) with P184m CRABS++ being the largest provincial development project for Cagraray, Rapu2, Batan and San Miguel. This includes training of 1,000 fisherfolks in diving together with the development of a community-based tourism for the 17 divesites of the province in the area. This also includes technology upgrading for the karagumoy products of Cagraray.
  • Common service facility: P45m packaging center in the provincial facility in Cabangan Camalig
  • COMMUNITY DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT:Implementation of P210m for province-wide/PLGU-led CDD (DSWD). We have combined this with our two annual barangay development assistance so that each barangay would have P300,000 each for poverty reduction projects within the next 18 months.

An sabi kan mga gurang: Sa pagkaburunyog kita magiging makusog. Naipahiling ta na po kan nakaaging mga aldaw na igwa kitang progreso. Igwa talagang pag-asenso an satuyang probinsiya. Nagdadakula an mga negosyo, nagdadakol an darakulang establisimiento, nagdadakol an mga bisita asin mga bagong investors.

My dear Albayanos, it is, indeed, an honor to serve you as your Governor. May God bless our unity with greater prosperity. — at Albay Capitol.