Bicol solons hail ‘inclusive’ growth achieved in PBBM’s first yr in office
By Connie Calipay
LEGAZPI CITY --- Lawmakers from Bicol on Monday said the region was not left behind in the different programs and projects implemented and accomplished by the administration after they witnessed President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. deliver his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on Monday.
In an interview conducted after the SONA, Ako Bicol Partly-list Rep. Elizaldy Co pointed out that in terms of the legacy projects of the Marcos administration, there are now two in Bicol -- a hospital and housing projects.
“We are part of the six regions that will have a legacy hospital, ‘yung iba hindi pa nakakapag-bid, tayo nakapag-start na (others have not yet started the bidding process unlike us). Another one is on housing, it already started in Naga City. Last week, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DSHUD) Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar visited us in Legazpi City. Hopefully we will also have the Pambansang Pabahay Program,” Co said.
He reported that Congress has allocated a P9-B subsidy for the Pambansang Pabahay Para sa Pilipino Housing (4PH) Program for this year at zero interest.
“Parang ang tinatarget (It is being targeted) is P3,500 lang per month which is pang-probinsiya talaga (it is really a provincial rate),” he said, referring to the monthly amortization of 4PH units.
Co, who is also chair of the Committee on Appropriations, said Bicolanos must not worry as President Marcos will not let them down.
“We are ahead, we are thankful to the President since we have lots of blessings,” he said.
Co also gave a perfect score for Marcos’ first year of service.
For his part, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said Marcos is the only president in recent history to place centrality on nation-building.
“President Marcos’s historic mandate is a license for more ambitious national goals. He can pursue difficult objectives with massive support from our people and the legislative,” he told the Philippine News Agency.
Salceda said nine out of the 17 priority legislative measures presented to the SONA by President Marcos are with the Committee on Ways and Means, which he chairs.
Albay 3rd District Rep. Fernando Cabredo said despite Marcos not getting majority of votes in Bicol, the region is not being left behind in terms of infrastructure and other development projects.
He said other presidents in the past had a “honeymoon period” of one year after the election but with Marcos, it would be at least two years.
“It must be two years since we are in the recovery stage of the pandemic. If you listen to the SONA, he emphasized that gross domestic product grew 7.6 percent in 2022, and we are the fastest in Asia,” Cabredo said.
He said the farm-to-market roads are a vital factor in the development of any area and significantly resolved tremendous progress in certain areas.
On the other hand, Ang Probinsiyano Party-list (APPL) Rep. Alfred Delos Santos welcomed the legislative agenda of the President.
He assured APPL’s continuing support and that it will continue working tirelessly alongside the administration.
“Naniniwala po tayong (we believe) we see eye to eye with President in working towards a better future for the Filipino people, especially those in the provinces. Makakaasa po ang ating Pangulo na tuloy-tuloy lang ang suporta ng Ang Probinsiyano Party-list sa mga plataporma nito sa mga susunod na taon (Our President can count on the continued support of Ang Probinsiyano Party-list for its platforms in the years to come),”he said.
He said APPL will work on improving the sectors of education, health, agriculture, tourism and livelihood, and peace and order.
“I think our President did more than a job well done. It is very encouraging to see and hear mula sa bibig mismo ng President that the state of the nation is sound, and is improving (from the President himself that the state of the nation is sound, and is improving. It’s only the President’s first year but we have done a lot for the people. But we know it won’t end here. We still have a lot to do),” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Raul Angelo Bongalon said he is giving the President an 8.5 score for his first-year performance.
“The 1,200-kilometer Luzon Spine Expressway Network Program train mentioned by the President will give confidence to the Bicolanos and the people of the Southern Region. It will also boost our economic condition especially if it will hasten the transport of goods and services from and to southern part,” he said. (PNA)