Gov. Padaca delivers Isabela's state-of-the-province address
Ilagan, Isabela (23 February) -- Isabela Gov. Ma. Gracia Cielo M. Padaca presented her significant accomplishments and struggles in her 5th year of governorship during her State of the Province Address (SOPA) held at Ilagan, Isabela recently.
Padaca has prioritized paying the debt of the province amounting to 676.2 million pesos incurred during the past administration. Only 30% was left as unpaid debt account. Under her administration, the province has not incurred any debt from any lending institutions.
On revenue generation, Padaca lauded the municipalities that religiously remitted their share to the province from the Real Property Tax (RPT) collections. She likewise challenged other municipalities, who have not remitted any from the start of her administration as governor, to solve their unpaid obligations. She also presented to the public the savings and additional funds accumulated from the different income generating programs of the province.
On infrastructure, 10 roads were concreted, 6 bridges erected and 38 classrooms were built in different municipalities plus additional 10 classroom building to be accomplished this year.
On education, Padaca prioritized scholarship programs, enrolling 698 students as regular scholars while helping other students by providing them emergency employment during Saturdays, Sundays and holidays for them to be able to continue their studies.
On health, the provincial government bought ambulances for the different district hospitals with complete facilities. She also reserved some funds for PhilHealth beneficiaries. The administration also actively supported the campaign against rabies.
On agriculture, they initiated the formation of the rice self-sufficiency program, completed the construction of irrigation projects and Small Water Impounding Project (SWIPS) and allotted more funds for seeds to subsidize the large number of farmers.
On environmental protection, her campaign against illegal logging put her into the limelight that triggered other local chief executives to take political will to fight against illegal logging in order to save the environment and the farmers' livelihood.
"Obsession with re-election is more paralyzing then polio. Marami ang hindi makakakilos dahil sa takot nila na matalo sa susunod na eleksiyon… sila ang totoong pilay," Padaca said.
Padaca also presented the awards she received in recognition of her exemplary performance on revenue generation, resource mobilization, leadership and political will such as the Most Outstanding Local Government Unit and the Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition to the empowering Isabelino voters in reclaiming their democratic rights and electing leaders of their own choosing.
Padaca vocally challenged barangay officials to spend their financial aids and funds wisely and accurately for the benefit of the people. Otherwise she will tap other organizations in the barangay to be the recipient of any projects to be funded by the provincial government without passing through the barangay officials.
"Our province now has a direction. Sooner or later you will be again electing other officials, but it is up to you to choose officials with political will and direction. As I keep on saying, I'm still single and there is no possibility for me to have may own dynasty, the future of this province lies on your hands…forward Isabela, Bravo Isabelino," Padaca ended. (PIA Cagayan) [top]