President Aquino cites Gov. Malanyaon, Davao Oriental’s Pablo rehab


File Photo Courtesy of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO)

File Photo Courtesy of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO)

PROVINCE OF DAVAO ORIENTAL – President Benigno S. Aquino III cited Davao Oriental’s typhoon Pablo rehabilitation stirred by Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon during the Open Forum at the Annual Bulong Pulongan held at Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City, yesterday, December 11, 2015.

During the forum, journalist Chai Santiago asked the President about his thoughts on three things—the people power, the media and who is Benigno Aquino III now.

Responding to the third question about who he is now, President Aquino said he has grown as a person because of some unimaginable challenges he had to face.  “I tend to be a person who prepares for the worse but hopes for the best,” he said. Among these challenges, he said, was the Super typhoon Pablo that hit Davao Oriental on December 4, 2012 — Christmas season.

He recounted: “We go to Davao Oriental and as far as the eye can see there is no single coconut left standing. Everybody depends on coconut for their livelihood and the coconut needs five to seven years to grow. What do we actually do for this people for the next five to seven years?” he said.

“And lo and behold, Cora Malanyaon does not talk about increase poverty in her province, she talks about rising inflation. There is so much cash awash in terms of the rebuilding that has been going on and the livelihood opportunities,” the President said, emphasizing his astonishment of the Provincial Government’s determination to rise from the ruins of ‘Pablo’ through the local government’s initiatives and the downpour of support coming from the national government.

He also cited the province’s booming hot chili industry. “They have a product. Actually it’s pepper. They turn it to powder form. It’s a crop that matures in about four months and they actually call it Hot Pablo – [named] after the typhoon – because it was the impetus to plant it,” he said.

“For the investment of P90,000 per hectare, they gross over to P200,000  per hectare and a net of over a hundred thousand per hectare compared to coconut which is only producing P20,000 hectares per hectare per annum,” he added.

“So that encapsulates that every time we have a problem, then there are also actually opportunities that came about,” the President concluded, noting the dramatic increase in the standard of living in the areas affected by ‘Pablo’.

Super Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) that hit the province three years ago was the strongest typhoon and the first of its kind then that hit the country, as it happened before Super typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda.  It hit Davao Oriental even before its people had fully enjoyed the fruits of several development initiatives.  Super Typhoon Pablo came bringing about an unimaginable devastation in the three municipalities of Baganga, Cateel and Boston. Lives were lost; properties were destroyed; infrastructure were damaged, among others.

Three years after Pablo, Davao Oriental’s massive rehabilitation efforts have gained significant headway through the “Davao Oriental’s Way Forward for 2013-2016” or the Building Back Better Program—a term now adopted by the national government in its rehabilitation efforts.

The Building Back Better Program resulted in some  major accomplishments to include the following:

  • More than 18,000 permanent shelters constructed, administered and managed by the Provincial Government have been   turned over to the typhoon victims with support coming from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD);
  • More than 500 permanent shelters were built by the National Housing Authority (NHA) and turned over to typhoon victims;
  • More than 8,000 workers were employed  in shelter construction
  • New crops  have been identified such as  oil palm, rubber, cacao, coffee, fruit trees, bamboo, and, coconut intercropped with short-term duration crops.

At  the final year of  her term, Governor Malanyaon still navigates her administration in line with Provincial Development Plan, but this time, she puts premium on environment, eco-tourism and rural tourism.

The     provincial government wants to fully maximize its resplendent landscape and seascape, making the province a new beehive of Eco-Tourism activities that boosted tourist arrivals from 17,000 in 2011 to 277,542 in 2014.

Her focus on such particular sectors was highlighted by the inscription of the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, adding international prestige to the province.

The provincial government initiates development of eco-tourism sites and parks, setting the foundation for world-class development standards of tourism-related projects. These are the: Subangan Provincial Museum in Mati City, Pintatagan Welcome Park  and Dalan sa Cruz Shrine  at the provincial entrance in  the municipality of Banay-banay, Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park in Cateel, Cateel Riverview Park and Memorial Shrine, Baganga Sunrise Boulevard, Boston Pacific View Park, Mt. Hamiguitan Eco-Park in San Isidro, Pusan Point in Caraga, and Cape San Agustin Eco Park in Governor Generoso. PIO








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