‘SERBISYONG TOTOO’. North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza delivers her first State of the Province Address at the Provincial Capitol in Kidapawan City on Tuesday (March 14, 2023). In her address, she underscored the gains of her administration under the 'Serbisyong totoo' banner. (PNA photo by Robinson Niñal Jr.)

KIDAPAWAN, North Cotabato – Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza highlighted the gains of her "Serbisyong totoo" brand of governance during her first State of the Province Address here Tuesday.

Mendoza described her governance as inclusive, under which "no Cotabateño is left behind."

"With the grace of God and support from my family and Cotabateños, we remain victorious under the banner of Serbisyong totoo," she said in her address.

Mendoza said when she first assumed office as governor in 2010, she found out that the provincial government had millions of unpaid obligations.

This led her to prioritize sound fiscal management in her nine years of administration, she said, resulting in a sizable amount of return earnings surplus in 2019.

"For the fiscal year 2022, we recorded a surplus of PHP1.1 billion from the general fund and special education fund. I believe that through good governance, we cultivate empowerment of government service providers," Mendoza said.

According to her, the total funding resources of the province in the 2022 annual performance budget and three supplemental budgets was PHP4.8 billion.

"In 2022, appropriation for debt servicing of PHP404 million was fully paid. We will be debt-free by the end of October 2023," she assured.

Mendoza said a surplus of PHP1.1 billion is available for 2023 and the provincial government has remitted PHP139.9 million to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for withholding taxes and compensation income of officers and employees, including payments made on goods and services to various suppliers.

"We promoted competency in our human resources, provided ample support to enhance performance, which enable us to pursue accountability and transparency in our administration," she added.

For 2022, she said, remittances to the Government Service Insurance System and Pag-IBIG fund amounted to PHP172 million, and PhilHealth contributions totaled PHP20.7 million.

Meanwhile, the governor also touted the Central Mindanao Airport (CMA) development project wherein the provincial government managed to notarize 41 Deeds of Absolute Sale to facilitate the transfer of ownership to the provincial government and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

About 23 land titles were transferred and registered to the provincial government and the DOTr, she said. 

Mendoza also reported the 85 percent completion of the ongoing construction of the CMA’s perimeter fence worth PHP32 million. (PNA)