by Bicol Express News
The next set of provincial leaders in Sorsogon should master the art of progress if the province will continue to track its development. The key element is the general welfare of the people in holistic development. Cooperation, oneness, sound fiscal management, peace and order are to be considered that civil service employees both elected and appointed must exhibit the heart and attitude to render public service as embodied in the conduct of public governance.
With the irregular topography, except for landlocked Irosin, all the towns lie along the coast. They are all connected by concrete roads. Mountains sprawl over the northeast, southeast and west portions. Thus the programs for development should be in sync with the landscape.
The 541 barangays of the province expect better results not by lip service but of concrete programs that the less should have more. This is a primary consideration for legislative actions. Areas left out become empowered communities.
Why “Una an Sorsogon”, what was not acted, left out? Leaders may have the best intentions for the populations but outbound of their ideas and policies may fall short of the key elements to progress if not stagnation.
Sorsogon is gearing for the coming 2022 election, an opportunity for progress. How to tip the scale of the 14 towns and the city with the provincial development plans and narratives that may change the landscape of the 2,119,01 square kilometers of the province. A big task lies ahead to anyone who will take the seat of provincial leadership to roll out strategies and programs to realize the paradigm of Una an Sorsogon.
One person laid out his plans to achieve the paradigm for progress urging that by innovative agriculture programs as a component of the province economic development by introducing again high value crop seeds, high yielding rice variety seeds and fertilizers be available, livestock and poultry production through the dispersal of goats, mallard ducks(wild ducks) and ready to breed gilt(a female pig that has not had a litter of pigs).
Part of the innovation is to distribute farm tools, mechanized plowing of rice fields at government expense that lessens the cost of rice field preparation to rice farmers and other strategies aimed to lessen the participation of middlemen that upend the income of rice tillers. Not left out is the assistance to the fishery sector giving importance to propagate oysters and green mussel farming, communal ponds for fast-growing fingerlings, and material aid to marginal fisherfolks and the assistance and promotion of homemade fishery products to enhance the small scale business. This needs the participation of the local government units that their programs are inconsonant with the provincial development plan.
How to empower the narratives is a daunting task without a quality education that Sorsogon richly deserves but with excellent educational support from pre-grade level up to college curriculum is a challenged to stakeholders. An educated citizenry is a boon to the province’s progress. Nutrition supplement is needed for an empty stomach is wayward to education.
This man paradigm for progress covered the basic educational needs of families for their children’s upliftment. A worn-torn uniform may become a thing of the past for wearing it to school reduces the outlook of the person. Funds for free uniforms and school supplies will answer this inequality coupled with systematic free rides for students.
Making use of the vast agricultural land at Sorsogon State University Castilla Campus by re-introducing agriculture as an urgent course for agriculturists is dwindling. The scholarship will be offered for selected students province-wide with monthly stipends and accommodation. At the Magallanes campus of the university fish production, culture, preservation will be enhanced offers to qualified students will have the same benefits and criteria.
But progress doesn’t stop there. Health, medical initiatives, nutrition and improved quality to deliver health service be in place. The once formula of Botika sa Barangay should become Botika ng Bayan to access quality medicines. Improving health services should be institutionalized in far-flung areas. This can be done when a doctor is available for the household to render medical assistance and addressed critical health situations.
Security is critical for development. Una an Sorsogon intends to ensure the safety and protection of Sorsoganon. Peace and order is a priority. Criminality causes will be addressed by understanding the issues leading to a crime be it lack of livelihood, the disparity in social issues, abuses, competencies of policing agencies, passiveness at the community level to doable programs are issues to be addressed. The community must have an equal opportunity for a gainful and sustainable livelihood. One must co-exist with the other and all must enjoy the bounty of the earth.
Critical to achieving the paradigm is sanitation and the greening program. Health issues are factors of development to sustain it one must be accorded with a clean environment. Waste of life happened when preventable diseases are ignored. Of which they are inherent for a safe living habitat. The environment is a source of life that provides adequate resources.
As a coastal province a need to maintain with adequate support may save it from pollution and its consequences. Coastal clean-up must not be optional instead be a habit for preservation. It is hard if one town receives a “Kalabasa Award” for neglect of the coastal area on its care while others have the best distinction. One may wonder why at this time the things that are to be done were neglected. It consorts with the program for disaster resiliency, management and prevention to earn appreciative belongingness by the community for environmental programs.
What should be done? Instead of periodic tree planting activity why not make it a monthly program for all hands, same as capability building for rescue and disaster response in an Olympic style competition which can be included as a culminating activity to celebrate the fruit of the province harvest as we enjoy Kasanggayahan, how to preserve our natural resources as God-given gift for the next generation may breathe fresh air and appreciate nature. Prevention and mitigation to conserve the bounty of the earth we as shepherds of God’s gift be high on the list.
But the paradigm does include an aesthetic development program and tourism by upgrading existing facilities and develop potential tourism areas. Along with this line tourism-related activities be made distinct from one town to another to draw the enthusiasm of domestic and local visitors all geared to create a tourism-oriented business-enhancing livelihood and nature’s harmony with development.
The paradigm calls for the keyword “Cooperation” a seamless and natural word that may find easy to do and participate in. It may usher prosperity, tranquillity, cultural awareness as Sorsoganon, peaceful and progressive life for everyone in the province. This vision of Una an Sorsogon is the call to action for everyone, a challenge to be launch under the 7K agenda if ever Mayor Edwin “Boboy” Hamor becomes governor of Sorsogon.
This vision for progress is indeed a paradigm, a word that may mean to start with, to journey the Sorsoganon to achieve a life of prosperity as amply described by Fr. Jose Ofracio’s verse…” when the fields are green and the grains are golden; when the machines work well and all business prospers; when the birds in the sky chirp freely’ and the men on earth are peacefully happy…” in short we achieve what we are as Sorsoganons.
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