OPAB chief hails launch of A-PAD Bicol
By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay NAGA CITY --- “As your Presidential Adviser for Bicol Affairs, we really appreciate the entry and launching of A-PAD Philippines Bicol Regional Platform. We need you very much here to assist us, if and when another natural calamity or calamities will beset the Bicol Region.” Presidential Adviser for Bicol Affairs Judge Marvel C. Clavecilla opened his speech with these lines, affirming the government’s recognition and appreciation for partners and stakeholders who will be willing to help the region, particularly during the most vulnerable times. Clavecilla was among the regional stakeholders who were invited to grace the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management (A-PAD) Bicol Regional Platform launch, held Friday (July 13) at the Avenue Plaza Hotel here. Clavecilla also informed the stakeholders that through the endorsement of Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) headed by its President, Ferdinand Sia and the Board of Directors, the Philippine National Construction Company has already approved the proposal of Ramon Ang and his company, the San Miguel Corporation, for the construction of Quezon-Bicol Expressway. “That is part of the Build, Build, Build program of our President Rodrigo Duterte. The project will start from Lucena City to Matnog, Sorsogon. It will be a 6-lane expressway, which will be about 417 kilometers, and that’s for P719B. So, thank you Mr. President for your support and the support of the other members of your group,” Clavecilla explained. Sia assumed post as MNCCI president in December 2017. During the launching of A-PAD Metro Naga, he was among the most active members of the board during the incumbency of then President Gilbert Albero. MNCCI is A-PAD Bicol Lead Convener. In his speech, Sia also expressed appreciation for the active support of the business sector in this endeavor. “Our group anchored our promise to serve on a framework of collaboration and cooperation, pooling of efforts and sharing of resources between the government, private sectors, and civil society organizations. Accordingly, we discussed and resolved our platform of cooperation and partnership, identify the roles of each stakeholder and planned ahead our future activities,” Sia said. The Office of the Presidential Adviser for Bicol (OPAB) chief also thanked the Japanese government for showing its concern to the government. Midori Yajima, program coordinator at A-PAD Management Office, who is also present during the launching, expressed that they are here to facilitate the grant assistance project supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan. “The emerging national and regional network of disaster risk management in the Philippines is indeed an important step, and this will facilitate the mutual support across multi-sectoral partners to collaborate in times of emergency, to save lives of people affected by disasters,” Yajima further stated. Prior to his assignment as the Presidential adviser in Bicol, Clavecilla was a previous member of the Board of Directors of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) after serving as RTC Judge in Naga. He was also the former Vice-Chairman of the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Regional Peace and Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC).