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PIA Press Release
2006/10/16

GMA cites political stability as key to Samar’s progress

By Eli C. Dalumpines

Calbayog City (16 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo stressed the importance of political stability and an improved peace and order situation as the key to Samar’s attainment of economic stability and progress.

In her speech during Calbayog City’s 58th Charter Day celebration Monday, President Arroyo noted the Island’s scenic beauty but said that only a few number of tourists visited the place due to its existing peace and order situation.

President Arroyo compared the situation of Samar to that of Bohol before it was cleared of insurgents. She cited that few years ago the number of tourist which came to Bohol was considerably low but with the problem of insurgency in the island addressed, the situation completely changed.

The President said that of the 3 million tourists who visit the country every year about half visited places in Central Philippines like Boracay, Cebu, Bohol and Palawan. Samar, however, is rarely mentioned as a tourist destination, she noted.

It is in this connection that Lt. Gen. Cardoso Luna was fielded to head the Army’s Central Command and the assignment of Maj. Gen. Rodrigo S. Maclang as 8th Infantry Division Commanding General, the President informed.

She expressed confidence that General Luna’s war record as a brigade commander in Mindanao will help a lot in solving the problem of insurgency in Central Philippines, Eastern Visayas in particular.

President Arroyo then urged the people to support the efforts of the military in addressing the insurgency problem of the area so that economic progress can be attained.

The president, likewise, underscored the importance transportation will play in the Island’s economy.

She revealed that plans has already been laid out to make Calbayog City as part of the country’s Eastern Roro Nautical Highway which will connect Samar to Biliran and Masbate. “In this way, Calbayog and Samar will be brought closer to the rest of Central Philippines and the whole of the country,” the President said.

Another way of improving travel in Samar is the Calbiga-Calbayog City stretch of the national road and included in the package is the Calbayog – Allen Road rehabilitation. These portions of the Maharlika Highway are the worst cause of inconvenience and discomfort to travelers and motorists.

In this connection, President Arroyo informed that the notice to proceed for the rehabilitation of the P2.8 billion road is scheduled be signed by the Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) tomorrow. (PIA-Samar) [top]

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