Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for the MIMAROPA Region, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi (File photo)

MANILA – Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for the MIMAROPA Region, assured the swift and accurate cascading of the Duterte administration’s accomplishments, as well as plans and programs, in the region.

Cusi made this assurance during a dialogue with the local media and regional heads on Tuesday, two days after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivered his sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“Beyond the SONA, this government is committed to bring the services and resources of this administration from us in the Cabinet and every fellow government employee,” he said.

He echoed Duterte’s directive to public servants to provide better services for people.

“Iyan po ang inatas ng Pangulo simula’t mula pa, at ito po ang ating ginagawa hanggang sa huling oras ng administrasyong ito (That is what the President has commanded since the beginning, and this is what we are doing until the last hour of this administration),” Cusi added.

As emphasized by Duterte in his SONA, Cusi said the government was able to achieve peace and order and ensured the security and safety of the people by capacitating and providing the military and uniformed personnel with higher wages and benefits, and more modern equipment and facilities.

He also reiterated the President’s call for the people to support the drive against illegal drugs, citing this and insurgency as the major reasons for the difficulty in bringing progress and social development to the rest of the country.

In Mimaropa, Cusi reported that 419 rebel returnees and their families were given assistance and livelihood totaling about PHP18 million through the NTF-ELCAC or the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

Mimaropa also relayed that under the administration’s Build, Build, Build program, 180 farm-to-market road projects of about 18 kilometers were built at the cost of PHP3.37 million.

A vital connector that is the Lisap Bridge in Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro worth PHP269 million was also constructed.

Cusi cited the administration’s Comprehensive Tax Reform as another achievement that made infrastructure projects in Mimaropa and across the country possible.

Likewise, he added that basic services have been leveled up and government services such as applying for loans, passports, licenses, and other permits have greatly improved.

“Wala na pong mga pila at para sa kaginhawahan ng mga mamamayan, nagtalaga na din po ng mga online services ang ating gobyerno at pinalawig na din and pagiging epektibo ng ating mga lisensya at pasaporte (There are no more queues and for the convenience of the people, our government has also set up online services and extended the effectiveness of our licenses and passports),” Cusi said.

In terms of Covid-19 response, Mimaropa cited a satisfactory recovery rate of 85.8 percent, a vaccine allocation of around 336,000 to be administered in 580 vaccination sites.

“I reiterate the call for everyone to please get vaccinated. Now more than ever, we need to ensure the health of our families and our communities as we face another challenge, this time, with the Delta variant of the Covid 19 virus,” Cusi said.

Cusi thanked the front-liners and health workers for their life-saving work and dedication.

He cited that the government has been working to improve the country’s public health system, raising the salaries of nurses, providing additional benefits, promoting better health coverage for all under the Universal Health Care Act, establishing Malasakit Centers, as well as empowering the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to respond quickly and decisively.

Sa kabila ng ating mga nararanasang pagbabago at pagbuti ng ating buhay, nagulat tayo sa pagdating ng Covid-19 at sa pananalasa nito sa ating kabuhayan at sa ating pamumuhay. Hwag po tayong mawalan ng pagasa. (Despite the changes and improvement we are experiencing in our lives, we are shocked by the arrival of Covid-19 and its devastation to our livelihood and our way of life. Let us not lose hope),” Cusi said.

“We have and will always be resilient and will continue to be strong as we battle through typhoons, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and monsoon rains. Ang susi ay ang ating pagtutulong-tulungan at pagbabayanihan. Magtiwala po tayo sa ating sariling kakayahan at sa ating pamahalaan (The key is our cooperation and working together. Let us trust in our own ability and in our government),” he added. (PR)