The municipality of Pandan last week began its month-long celebration of the Feast of St. Ignatius de Loyola that will culminate on July 31, 2020.
Mayor Honesto Tabligan II told the Tribune that the fiesta activities began with a Holy Mass at the parish church last July 1, followed by the enrolment of Catanduanes State University (CatSU) students at the Senator Jose O. Vera Plaza until July 3.
On July 4, the chief executive lead the opening of the PaOLOGragan, from the Indi/Dual Sports at NFA Pandan and virtual declamation, oration, essay writing, and slogan poster making stretched over nine (9) days until July 12.
Last Saturday was also the day the Catholic faithful and barangay officials participated in the “Oras para ki San Ignacio” parish cleanup in the poblacion.
A two-day recruitment and orientation on July 6-7 was conducted for volunteers for the Mobile Blood Donation (MBD) of the Rural Health Unit, with the blood collection to be done today, July 8.
The other scheduled activities are; July 10-13, DTI Information Fair; July 11, Oras para ki San Ignacio Parish Clean-Up for all government agencies; July 11-13, Food Fair sponsored by PTCAO and DTI; July 12-13, Skills Training for San Andres Compressor Victims with DTI; July 13-16, Mobile Legend Tournament sponsored by the SK Municipal Federation; July 17, River Clean Up sponsored by PCG, PNP, PA and BFP; July 18-21, Barangay Beautification by poblacion barangay officials; July 22-31, Novena Masses at the Parish of St. Ignatius de Loyola; July 25, Blessing and Ribbon Cutting of the Road to Langob; July 26, Blessing and Inauguration of Solar Street Lights at Hiyop; July 29, Motorcade Kontra COVID19, with all agencies in participation; July 30, Diana around the poblacion (procession) in honor of San Ignacio de Loyola.
In an earlier interview with the Catanduanes Island Media Club (CIMC), Mayor Tabligan cited the road from Porot to San Isidro (Langob) as one of the highlights of his accomplishments this early in his administration.
It may be recalled that the road, if one could call the muddy, potholed route a road, took three hours for residents of the isolated barangay to negotiate.
A partnership between the provincial government and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) under the government’s anti-insurgency program resulted in a much better roadway but the project still had a kilometer left to complete.
When Mayor Tabligan took over his post, the LGU only had P2.9 million allocated for the completion of the road opening, good for only 244 meters or barely a fourth of the distance.
Without a second thought, the chief executive used his own personal funds to pay for the completion of the project last June 15, a gift for Langob’s 144 households who can now travel to the poblacion much easier than before. The area is home to farmers who oversee hectares of abaca and copra plantations.
In another personal effort, Tabligan is also implementing his own Pabahay program, with two families in barangay Lourdes as recipients. The barangay donated the land while the mayor provided funds for construction materials and labor.
The LGU has already set aside a one hectare lot in barangay Oga for the establishment of a socialized housing project for the homeless and those residing in danger areas. Of the area, 7,000 square meters will be for the housing while the balance will be for used for gardening by the estimated 130 family beneficiaries. The project, which is part of the municipality’s dumpsite closure plan, will be assisted by the National Housing Authority (NHA) which will provide P120 million for the housing units in a tie-up with a developer.
To make sure that Pandananons would be able to rise up and adapt to the new normal, the LGU under Tabligan’s leadership is focusing on programs such as backyard farming, distributing seedlings through the Sangguniang Kabataan in each barangay.
The mayor said that this is also in consonance with the new drive of the Kalahi-CIDSS program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on sustainable farming as a disaster management strategy during the pandemic.
“The market spillover will benefit the farmers as well as barangay residents who will be assured of adequate food supply,” Mayor Tabligan emphasized.
Under the Fish Pandan program, eight fishponds are being developed for the production of tilapia, bangus, mud crabs, sea shells, tahong and sea weeds. Ten more idle fishponds are being rehabilitated, with all the fishponds to be managed by individuals.
To bolster its duck raising program, the LGU has already distributed ducklings to 16 batches of recipients, who are targeting the production of raw eggs, salted eggs and balut.
The chief executive envisions the eventual setting up of factories for the production of cassava flour, with raw materials from cassava farms, and coconut oil.
In infrastructure development, barangay halls have been built in areas like Tariwara while road construction have been done in hard-to-reach barangays like San Isidro and San Rafael.
The LGU plans to seek funds through Congressman Hector Sanchez for the construction of a two-storey evacuation center, which can be used as a convention center. The ground floor will be used for conventions and trainings for technology courses while the second floor will have rooms, with the roof deck having a heliport.
On education, the Tabligan administration had prepared a plan to address the needs of students studying outside the town, based on its monitoring of the affected students. In coordination with the Catanduanes State University, it will provide a facility where adequate internet will be available for online education.
With concrete roads now being constructed towards natural attractions in the town, Pandan is moving towards claiming the title of top tourist destination on the island. To be inaugurated this year is the LGU-funded view deck at Hiyop, which will provide a panoramic view of sky and sea to visitors.
During the pandemic quarantine, the LGU provided eight waves of food assistance to barangay residents on a staggered basis, with the relief goods consisting of rice and products like fish and vegetables bought from local farmers and fishermen. The assistance included those from the provincial government, Okada Manila, the Pandan LGU and the mayor’s personal donations.