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PIA Press Release

Bohol puts up P2M for Hiway greening projects

by Rey Anthony Chiu

Tagbilaran City (28 September) -- EARNING a million pesos in three years, getting better environmental protection and adding to the aesthetic value of one's place as a pay-off? Why not?

Three years from now, a government unit or an organized stakeholder group could be a million pesos richer, a thing crawling revenues or home-industry incomes may not be able to surpass, this as Bohol implements its highway beautification projects.

While underscoring the healthy tandem of economic growth and environment protection consistent with the eco-tourism and the add-on it brings, key leaders with town mayors here put up P2M to fund for beautification through the Green Highway Project and the Municipal Pocket Forests along identified highways.

The twin pro-environment and tourism enhancing projects would be using P1.5M appropriated from the Provincial Government of Bohol funds and another P.5M from Local Government Leadership Award or Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, which was awarded to Bohol Governor Erico Aumentado in 2006, sources said.

The P2M stands as cash bounty for winning stakeholders who commit to develop and beautify segments of the highways identified as integral part of the project, explains the executive order Number 9 signed by Governor Erico Aumentado and concurred by Bohol mayors.

The project open to all local government units and organized stakeholders willing to part in the project, needs to be fully grown for it to be evaluated after three years, Provincial Legal Officer Handel Lagunay said while reading the Implementing rules and regulations sources at the League of Municipalities of the Philippines Bohol Chapter meeting recently.

The governor along with the LMP President Mayors Exuperio Lloren and key league officials formalized the executive order, which institutes the implementing guidelines and action plans of the twin project.

Prioritized highway segments where the project could be implemented are along the Bohol Circumferential Road Improvement Project, Loay Interior Road to Trinidad, Bacani, Clarin-Sagbayan-Carmen-Sierra Bullones-Pilar-Alicia Road, Panglao Circumferential Road, Panglao Center Road, Sierra Bullones-Jagna Highway and Mahor Provincial Roads, Inter Town Highways and in the roads leading to major tourism destinations, section 1 of the EO states.

As this developed, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo called for tandem economic growth and environment protection, as opposed to other development schemes where development sacrifices the environment.

In a message in Tacloban, the president said "We deeply believe that we must both sustain our natural environment and grow our economy at the same time. We are developing and promoting our Green Philippines Agenda which puts an emphasis on a sustainable economic model that brings economic opportunity and a concern for our environment." (PIA) [top]

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