|17 Mar 2016|
|President Aquino spells out ‘Daang Matuwid’ benefits to Batanguenos|
|(BATANGAS CITY) Batangas province was given a fair share of the government development initiatives that propelled the province as one of the country’s most developed provinces, President Aquino said on Wednesday.
A big chunk of the province’s development initiatives was allotted to improving its infrastructure, he said.
In his speech during a meeting with local Batangas leaders, the President said the previous administration allotted just P4.54 billion from 2005 to 2010. But under the Aquino government, the administration allocated P16.6 billion from 2011 to 2016.
“Gamit po ito, ipinagawa natin ang mga kalsada, tulay, daungan, flood control projects, at iba pang istruktura,” he said.
The people of Batangas can now travel with ease after the government completed the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road or the STAR Project-Stage 2, Phase 2 that connected Sto. Tomas, Tanauan, Malvar, Lipa, and Ibaan.
The government also completed the Lipa-Alaminos Road, Bauan-Mabini Circumferential Road, as well as the Lake Taal Circumferential Road, he said.
Better roads resulted to increased tourist arrivals in Batangas, he said. In 2012, the province’s tourist arrivals were just at 402,815, but in 2014, it reached 616,305, the President reported.
The government also declared Batangas port as an extension of the port of Manila, as a result of congestion in the city.
Incentives were given to shippers to encourage them to use the Batangas port such discounted rates. This is a positive development for Batangas, because from 757,766 metric tons of cargo entering Batangas port in 2013, it increase to 1.17 million metric tons in 2014.
“Para naman mapaunlad ang kapasidad ng Batangas port sa pagtanggap ng ating mga pasahero, naglaan tayo ng 343.4 million pesos mula 2011 hanggang 2016 para sa repair and maintenance ng mga pasilidad nito,” he told Batanguenos.
“Mula nga po sa 5.2 million na pasahero noong 2013, napataas ito sa halos 5.6 milyong pasahero ng sumunod na taon.”
Batangas is also home to Atlantic Gulf & Pacific o AG & P’s production facility. AG&P produces products for steel fabrication, engineering firms, oil, mining, power and civil infrastructure markets in Asia. The company’s investment in the Philippines provides jobs for many Batanguenos, he said.
Another project in the pipeline is the construction of 121-kilometer transmission pipeline that will transport natural gas from Batangas, Laguna, Cavite and Metro Manila.
The P10.53 billion project, called the Batangas-Manila natural gas pipeline project or BatMan1, is in the last stages of studies, the President said.
“Napakalaki po ng potensyal nitong magdulot ng benepisyo sa ating mga kababayan oras na ito po ay maisakatuparan pati na po ang global climate change, maiibsan kapag naparami ang gumagamit nitong natural gas,” he noted.
For the agriculture sector, he said the government allocated P1.6 billion to construct farm-to-market roads and irrigation systems.
With that fund, the government built 250 farm-to-market roads, 71 irrigation projects that now benefit thousands of Batagueno farmers, he said.
Aside from building infrastructure for the agriculture sector, the administration allotted P75.88 million for production and postharvest machineries and equipment from 2011 to 2015.
For the Batangas coconut sector, the government laid out four intercropping sites in Balete, Lobo, San Juan and Lipa City under KAANIB Enterprise Development Project.
“Dito po, hinihikayat natin ang ating mga magsasaka na magpunla ng iba’t ibang binhi at mag-alaga ng hayop sa gitna ng niyugan,” he said.
“Sa tulong nito, mapapalaki ang kanilang kita. Halimbawa po, ang mga magsasaka na dating kumikita lang ng 20,000 piso kada taon, kada ektarya, dahil umaasa sa kopra, dahil po sa intercropping, tumaas na ang kanilang kita sa 52,855 piso kada taon.”
There are also Shared Service Facilities or SSF in Batangas, which is an initiative of DTI.
Batangas has 25 SSFs that support initiatives such as meat processing, sugarcane presser, fish processing, and other trainings.
One of the beneficiaries of SSF is the Kamahari Agri-based Multipurpose Cooperative in Batangas that packages muscovado sugar.
With SSF’s help in 2013, the cooperatives monthly income doubled from P18,000 to P36,000, according to the President.
Batangas is also a major beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of 4Ps. The province had no 4Ps beneficiaries during the previous administration. But under the present government, 86,952 households are covered under the program.
The 4Ps cut the poverty rate in the country, the President said, with recent studies showing 7.7 million individuals being lifted out of poverty as a result of the program.
The administration also made major strides in providing healthcare… from 2010 to 2014, the Aquino government provided P309.89 million for the construction of different health facilities.
“Sa kasalukuyan din, nasa 2.6 milyon nating kababayan ang saklaw na ng PhilHealth sa inyong probinsya, kabilang po sila sa kabuuang 93 milyong benepisyaryo sa bansa ayon sa PhilHealth,” he said. PND (as)
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