The Provincial Capitol of Davao Oriental. (Photo courtesy of Davao Oriental PIO)

DAVAO CITY – Capping the year 2019, the province of Davao Oriental underscored the success of its various initiatives amidst challenges.

Governor Nelson Dayanghirang vowed for more developments in 2020, saying his administration is bent on implementing various big-ticket projects.

“If we secure funding from various sources in the national agencies, I am optimistic that the province will be able to push through with these projects next year," Dayanghirang said.

Dayanghirang said the upcoming projects would include roads in hinterland communities, construction of an inland resort to be equipped with villas and a convention center, among other facilities, at the Provincial Tourism Complex in Mati City. It will also include a 12-hectare state-of-the-art sports complex.

Under his leadership, Dayanghirang highlighted various accomplishments for 2019.

On Peace and Order

Dayanghirang said the province has successfully sustained the implementation of its flagship program dubbed as ‘Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan ng Davao Oriental Barangay Outreach Caravan’ which puts premium on giving social services in conflict-affected and hinterland communities.

The caravan has already visited 130 out of the 183 villages of the province, reaching out close to 500,000 beneficiaries while strengthening its convergence with 75 peace and development partner-agencies both from the national and local governments.

The concept of convergence was inspired by President Duterte’s Executive Order 70 instituting a "whole-of-nation approach" to attain sustainable peace and end local communist armed conflict (ELCAC).

In April, Davao Oriental became the first province in the country to pilot the said program.  Since then, scores of funding and support from the national government have started pouring in for projects such as road construction and livelihood projects, among many others.

Dayanghirang, who now leads the Peace and Development Council in the Davao Region, also cited Davao Oriental’s reputation as the most benchmarked province in terms of the implementation of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) for former rebels.

The province launched the ‘Bal’lay Duwaan’ for the children of the former rebels housed at the provincial government-run halfway house called Happy Home.

On Anti-Drugs

The province was once again recognized as one of the country’s top performers in the intensified anti-drugs campaign.

Dayanghirang personally received the award in December from Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año and the Chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board Secretary Catalino Cuy.

The award was attributed to the province's campaign against illegal drugs, particularly the establishment of the Balay Silangan: Bagong Bahay Para sa Bagong Buhay (B4) for drug reformists, which is considered to be the Davao Region’s first province-run drug rehabilitation facility.

On Infrastructure

For this year, various construction of roads, barangay halls cum evacuation centers, gymnasiums, potable water systems, among other facilities, were built.

In December, the province also acquired a new fleet of heavy equipment set to fast-track the construction of roads and other high-impact infrastructure in the communities.

On Environment

Five years after the successful inscription of the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary to the UNESCO World Heritage list, Davao Oriental successfully put Pujada Bay to the world map.

The Pujada Bay located in Mati City has recently made it to the list of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World (MBBW) during the 15th World Bays Congress in Toyama Prefecture, Japan, held in October.

Meanwhile, the provincial government vowed to protect the province’s rich natural resources amid proposal to have its wide swathe of minerals-rich lands be declared a mineral reservation area.

On Revenue Generation

Davao Oriental became the first province to implement and adopt the innovative Electronic Payment and Collection System, touted to boost convenience for Davao Oriental taxpayers as well as increase accessibility of government services, among others.

On Livelihood

Davao Oriental is the lone province in the country to bag the 2019 Kabuhayan Awards from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for successfully implementing the department’s Integrated Livelihood Project (DILP).

Under the DILP, the province was given a funding worth PHP5.7 million which was utilized for the peace and development programs of the provincial government.

Amidst all these feats, Dayanghirang vowed to double their efforts to ensure a better future for his constituents.

“Exciting times ahead as there are a lot of development that awaits us in the coming year. All the provincial government is asking is the people’s trust and support for these projects to materialize,” Dayanghirang said. "Nothing is impossible if we just keep on pushing forward and stay united. Together we can achieve progress and sustainable development for all.” (PNA)