Mayor Lopez reports first 100 days

Lopez cites SEC, gears for more development in Maasim

MAASIM, Sarangani (October 19, 2013) - Mayor Aniceto P. Lopez Jr. is now establishing reforms in local governance as he implements the much-needed environment protection and closer association with huge business entrepreneurs to attain the sustainability of progress and economic development in Maasim.

In his “1st 100 Days Accomplishment Report” presentation before hundreds of residents and guests on October 10, Lopez presented before top provincial and local government officials headed by Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon what he did since he assumed office in July.

The report was coupled with an economic agenda that was designed for Maasim’s persistent growth, sustainability and endurance against different forms of catastrophes that are brought about by man-made and natural calamities.

He said that for the past three years he was out of politics, “indeed I have seen that there are still lots of things that need to be done, projects that must be prioritized and the ‘must’ of encouraging people to work for more.”

Those that need to be widened up is the peoples’ dedication in protecting the environment, strengthening of health care services, and the stabilization of various barangay services programs, “for it showcases my kind of governance,” Lopez said.

First elected in 2001, Lopez remained to be undefeated until his tenure ended in 2010. After resting for three years, he was again elected to resume public office during the May 2013 elections.

He said while at rest, he saw the importance of rehabilitating the marine sanctuaries which are the main source of income by local residents.

He also valued the consistent rise in employment due to the influx of huge business investors. He said this will not only uplift the living condition of poor constituents, but likewise boost the economic stability of Maasim.

“The construction of the multi-billion Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) was able to employ 500 town-based skilled workers and laborers, and resulted to a noted increase of 120 percent in our local revenue collection. This is of great indication that our town will soon be in place as one of the leaders of progress in Sarangani,” said Lopez, who was referring to the ongoing construction of the P13-Billion coal-fired power plant project by the Alcantara Group’s Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc. in barangay Kamanga.

He also announced that recently, another group of entrepreneurs visited Maasim to propose the planned investment of a P30M-worth crushers and aggregates in the locality.

On fishing, in cooperation and support of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Lopez said the LGU has been able to distribute at least six boat engines, fishing gears like hooks and lines, squid jiggers, gillnet, tuna hand lines and life jackets, including 10 units of motorized boats to fishermen of barangays Colon, Malbang, Kanalo, Lumatil, Lumasal and Kamanga.

We also continue to distribute shallow fish shelters or “payaw” and train fishermen to fabricate their own in accordance to the required Fishery Law Enforcement Training (FLET) system, with an ongoing construction of a BFAR-financed P0.5M-worth fish drier in barangay Tinoto, he said.

Lopez said the continuous sightings of sea turtles and other endangered species along the coastlines is of proof that Maasim still has the richness of the sea that are seldom seen in other coastal areas.

This is being supported by the recent release of about 160,000 fingerlings of bangus in barangay Tinoto to restock milkfish in the area.

On its flagship program of restoring marine sanctuaries, the LGU has been able to deploy at least 85 artificial fish domes in its targeted plan of positioning 4,000 domes in Sarangani Bay through the support of Holcim Philippines and the Conrado and Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation.

On its program in Agriculture, the Lopez administration distributed 20 sacks of corn seeds to landslide-affected families in barangays Pananag and Lumasal. It has also distributed mud boats or “bao-bao” in sitio Datal Basak, Kablacan. Lopez said the mud boat distribution was funded through the Local Development Fund of municipal councilors and Vice Mayor Uttoh Salem Cutan.

Lopez said his administration also spearheaded the planting of 5,000 hardwood and fruit tree seedlings at the 7,500 hectares of reserved land. This is in response to the National Greening Program of President Benigno Aquino. Through the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office, various non-government, religious and business groups including students, the police, military and local residents have also taken part in planting about 3,660 seedlings during a series of tree planting activities from August to September this year.

“That is why recently, the LGU purchased another 10,000 pieces of ready-to-plant seedlings that are now presently stored at our municipal nursery section. As we seriously stretch more ways of restoring our natural resources, tantamount to it is our seriousness in implementing our campaign against illegal timber poaching. Lately, we have served the seizure of illegally-cut red Lauan logs of more or less 500 board feet in sitio Tampuan, Kamanga,” Lopez said.

“On our waste disposal, we are now working for the construction of a sanitary landfill at sitio Libas in Kamanga, while on course is the putting up of a recovery confinement area and septic vault not far from the dumpsite area in barangay Bales. This will be temporary, while our proposed 12-hectare sanitary landfill is still being prepared.”

Meanwhile, the local government is now working for the development of a newly-discovered waterfalls at sitio Siniel in Kamanga. This will be matched with another promising tourist spot in the upcoming construction of a boardwalk (footpath) in sitio Linao, Tinoto. Lopez said, this will be provided by DENR-12 with a P1M budget by next year in a bid to protect mangroves in case of unusual high tides.

As of now, one of the craze sports here is the paragliding in sitio Siguel, Tinoto.

“With the effort of our local tourism council, we had just conducted a fun glide with our friends outside the country; in Japan, Korea, and Indonesia. Hopefully by next year, we will be hosting a world-class competition, not just for fun, but to bring forth more income not only for the government, but for local populace as well.“

“Our Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office has also released assistance to 4Ps beneficiaries through its Capital Seed Fund amounting to over P6 million, served supplemental feeding to 1,660 day care children; issued 170 IDs to senior citizens and 75 disabled persons; strengthened our multi-sectoral organizations; and conducted on-site validation for Australian AID in which its funding is now on set for downloading. We have tied up with the Technical Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) for livelihood and skills training program like carpentry, masonry, and just recently, to 15 trainees who graduated massage therapy,” Lopez said.

He said its Municipal Health Office headed by Dr. Michael Dimamay has already conducted medical and dental outreach to more than 300 patients, including the Tutok Buntis, minor cyst operation, and immunization of senior citizens. PhilHealth cards were incessantly distributed, while blood-letting and Dengue prevention was stretched even to remote villages. “We have also conducted a 2-day tubal ligation to 15 women, while 350 toilet bowls are now ready for distribution in our comprising 16 barangays.”

On Infrastructure, the concreting of Ruben Street in Poblacion has already commenced on October 1, while the concreting of San Felipe Blvd. is ongoing. This includes the concreting of Pres. Magsaysay Ave., San Domingo St., and Banwang (Phase II) in Poblacion.

“We have improved our public market, and constructed two more water tanks. We have arranged for the construction of the Lumatil Birthing Home. Its bidding is on process at the DOH Regional Office. Just recently, I had been sourcing fund for the completion of the new Municipal Hall building. Today, I am taking this opportunity of thanking the top officials of our partner in progress, the Sarangani Energy Corporation - for giving me a positive response. The company will provide us the fund that will be chargeable to their upcoming business tax obligation in the local government,” Lopez said.

“I believe that all of these are made into reality through the guidance of our dear God and Allah. And certainly because of harmony, peace and unity that ring between us Christians, Lumads and our Muslim brothers in the locality. Hopefully, with all the support of our local defenders, we would be able to continuously enjoy the fruit of peace and development, until beyond the days of the unborn,” the mayor said. (Darwin B. Tolete/MAASIM INFORMATION OFFICE)