Kusog Bicolandia to join party-list polls
By Cet Dematera
The Bicol regional political party, Kusog Bikolandia, has announced it will register with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as a party-list representing the Bicol Region in preparation for joining the 2022 national elections.
Noel De Luna, founding chairman of Kusog Bikolandia, in a press conference on Monday, Mar. 8, said that once their party qualifies as a partylist, its major programs would zero in on agriculture and tourism, particularly in the Bicol region.
De Luna, a former journalist and now a successful businessman, said that Bicol is rich in agricultural products and has several tourist destinations that are merely awaiting to be harnessed and developed.
“There is no doubt that our region is still agriculture-based and we have several potential tourist attractions and destinations here,” De Luna said.
De Luna also clarified that Kusog Bikolandia as a partylist would not compete with the existing Bicol-based party-list groups in implementing priority projects that these groups have been carrying out already.
“Rest assured that Kusog Bikolandia will not compete with other partylists in terms of priority programs. Our party will concentrate on agriculture and tourism. We believe these two sectors once developed will elevate Bicol into a progressive region,” De Luna added.
Bicol presently ranks as third poorest region in the country, next to Bansamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and Negros.
De Luna said that access roads and other important road networks must be built to give local and foreign visitors easy and comfortable travel in going to these tourist destinations.
BOARD MEETING First Kusog Bicolandia (KB) executive board meeting for 2021 held recently show Noel De Luna (SND), founder and chairman of the Board, Atty Felix Brazil, former VP for Camarines Sur now assistant regional director of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development in Region 4-A; Atty Robert Rafael Lucila ( KB president), former DICT Secretary Atty Jorge Sarmiento (KB board member) Febes Rosales, VP for Camarines Norte; Redencion De Leoz, co-founder and KB governance officer. (Photo by Arnel Eclarinal, KB VP for Media Affairs)
To recall, several local candidates backed by Kusog Bicolandia won in the last local elections.
At present, the major tourist attractions in Bicol are the: trekking and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) ride around the foot of cone-shaped Mayon Volcano in Albay; surfing in Catanduanes and Sorsogon; Butanding (Whaleshark) interaction in Donsol, Sorsogon; white beaches in Caramoan, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon and Camarines Norte; manta ray dive in Ticao island and Rodeo Masbateno in Masbate; Penafrancia Festival in Naga City (Camarines Sur); and other festivals across Bicol.
Before the Covid 19 pandemic took place, tourist arrivals in Bicol, both domestic and foreign, reached around six million.
Legazpi City had already officially opened the city to tourists last week.