TO IMPROVE ITS SERVICES IN CATANDUANES, officials of Smart Communications recently visited the office of Gov. Joseph Cua (left), with whom they discussed the construction of new cellsites and the repair of damaged or defective cellsites. The telecoms’ firm’s parent company, is now busy reinstalling lines to its internet broadband customers which were downed or damaged by super typhoon Rolly.
Sending out the same message that it’s not the time for politics, Governor Joseph Cua, Congressman Hector Sanchez and Partylist Rep. Jose Teves Jr. last week called on the province’s 315 barangays for cooperation and support.
“Bako ining panahon para sa politica,” Cua stressed, as he called on village leaders from Bato and San Miguel to support the programs of the province and that of the two congressmen.
“Ang kaipuhan sa ngonian na panahon tarabangan kita. Daing politica na muna, saka na pag ma eleksyon na. Kung dai kamo kumbinsido sako, kung dai kamo masuporta, dai man kitang maginibo,” he said.
“Ang pakihuron ko tabi, sa oras nin arog kaining sitwasyon na kaipuhan ta ning tabang, an kada saro satuya sa barangay, bilang lideres asin serbidor, magkasararo kita, magtarabangan kita. Iyana ng pakimahelak ko,” the chief executive appealed.
He pointed out that for the first time in years, Catanduanes now has a governor and a congressman that is supporting each other’s programs, with Cong. Teves also supporting the tandem.
Cua likewise conveyed his hope that the GI sheets being procured by the provincial government out of the P143 million it received as extra calamity funding could be made available before the end of 2020.
Explaining that the assistance would be given to 25% of the totally damaged homes, he asked barangay captains not to include as beneficiaries those that have already received roofing assistance from Ayala Foundation, Caritas and other non-government organizations.
The same call was aired by Cong. Teves, who emphasized that he will be with Gov. Cua and Cong. Sanchez “hanggang gusto nila” as the partnership intends to give Catanduanes what is due its people.
He said that their combined P60 million allocation for Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) next year will benefit at least 60,000 people.
As vice chairman of the Committee on Food Security, he had asked the Department of Agriculture (DA) to send to the province three 10-wheeler trucks of vegetable seeds and fertilizers for distribution to farmers who will engage in backyard gardening while the abaca farms are being rehabilitated.
Teves cited his role in convincing the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to give local government units affected by recent calamities an additional one percent of their IRA as additional calamity fund.
For his part, Cong. Sanchez announced the passage of his bill converting the Cabugao School of Handicraft and Cottage Industries (CSHCI), which is being administered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) into the Catanduanes Polytechnic Skills Development Institute (CPSDI), guaranteeing it more funds and tech-voc ptograms.
He added that each of the 11 LGUs in Catanduanes will soon have its own TESDA training center where even college graduates can learn practical skills that will be of use not only here but also abroad.
Sanchez likewise called for the support of the barangays for the Urban Master Planning for Catanduanes, which now has a P65-million funding for the hiring of a foreign consultant to craft the plans to develop local resources.
He bared that soon after super typhoon Rolly hit the island, he, Gov. Cua and Cong. Teves moved quickly to discuss power restoration with the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (PhilRECA), the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Electrification Administration (NEA), which has brought around P500 million worth of assistance in the form of new wiring materials.
“Our team has the foresight that is greatly needed by the province not only in the next two years but also 10 to 20 years in the future,” Sanchez stressed, recalling that 27 years of service by past congressmen left Catanduanes with the same problems that are now being resolved.
He likewise announced that his promised power submarine cable project that would link the Catanduanes grid to the mainland has been approved, along with that of Marinduque, and will be installed soon by Transco.
The trio, along with their representatives, met with barangay leaders in separate occasions last week in the different towns.