PGMA visits Olutanga Island in Sibugay, energizes 8 barangays
Olutanga Island, Zamboanga Sibugay (23 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited Olutanga Friday (Feb. 20), the little known island in southwestern Mindanao which was last visited on February 09,1965 by a Philippine president, her father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal.
The President and her party were warmly welcomed by more than five thousand (5,000) Olutanguenos as she arrived 40 minutes ahead of scheduled time. Leading the reception party was Zamboanga Sibugay 2nd District Rep. Belma Cabilao together with Olutanga Mayor Joel Capotulan, Mabuhay Mayor Anam Dammang, NEA Director Jose Siguban, Jr., NEA Engr. Ric Diamante, Zamboanga del Sur Electric Cooperative (ZAMSURECO) II General Manager Jesus Castro and Olutanga Island ZAMSURECO II Director Ricardo Palonge.
At the main entrance of the municipal gymnasium, the President made a brief viewing of photo exhibits of the late President Diosdado Macapagal's visit to the island in 1965.
In the same venue, ZAMSURECO II General Manager Jesus Castro briefed the President on the present energization situation in the entire island. It was learned that there are still 8 remaining barangays un-lighted, two in the municipality of Olutanga (Pulo Laum & Galas), three in Mabuhay (Bangkaw-Bangkaw, Tando Cumot and Taguisian), and another three in Talusan (Bualan, Bulingan and Tuburan).
President Arroyo turned over the P5-million check to GM Castro to immediately start the electrification of the remaining barangays, afterwhich a ceremonial switch-on was held signaling the kick-off of the energization project, whereby a heart shape red-light over the map of Olutanga was lighted.
President Arroyo in a brief statement said, "this is my valentine's gift for you," which elicited loud cheers and applause from the crowd. The President also thanked the people for the support given her in the 2004 Presidential elections.
Punong Barangay Yunos Jailani could hardly contain his happiness that Barangay Pulo Laum and Galas will finally be energized after a long, long wait.
As a surprise gift, the President released another check worth P10-million for the repair and rehabilitation of the Mabuhay-Olutanga road network - (another thunderous applause) as she instructed Mayor Capotulan to apply the "bayanihan" scheme and let the people themselves do the work to augment their income. (PIA9-Pagadian) [top]