Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson bared his seven-point development agenda before the Provincial Board led by Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer during the legislative body’s inaugural session on Wednesday afternoon.
Adopting the battle cry “Abanse Negrense”, Lacson said the thrust of his administration is to “make sure that our gains and pursuits will touch the very lives of families and help a father, mother, children, and grandchildren to secure a bright future for the next generation.”
“I ask the Provincial Board to join me in this quest to bring our province to greater heights. Let’s continue the momentum of development with our battle cry Abanse Negrense,” the governor said in his speech.
The slogan stands for Agriculture and Food Security; Building of Infrastructure, Roads and Other Structures; Advancement of Economic, Trade, Investment and Employment Opportunities; Nurturing of Public Health by creating responsive hospital and other social services; Sustainable Environmental Management and Tourism Development; Education, Culture, Sports and ICT; and the Negrense brand of Good Governance and Human Development.
The governor, who is serving his first term, said these development priorities will serve as the point of reference of his administration to make the Negrense reflect on himself and realize that he has to go ahead and move forward.
“We would like this to be the driving force of each individual in responding to the needs of our community. Abanse is the singular goal of our programs in this term,” he added.
For agriculture, Lacson said the provincial government will continue to extend the needed agricultural support to farmers for sustainable transformation and capacitate them to have access to both local and global markets.
“We will also pursue organic agriculture as a matter of policy,” he said.
The governor underscored the need to develop the livestock industry in all aspects of the value chain and to strengthen bio-security to maintain Negros Occidental’s status as a disease-free province.
He added that education and employment are important components of his administration.
“Education as a social institution is the vehicle for employment and a tool for social mobility. Let us extend our hands to the children of marginalized and disadvantaged sectors by strengthening our educational policies. These policies will be used in our approach to fighting poverty in the countryside and other isolated areas,” he added.
Lacson said the provincial government scholarship programs will also continue as well as its linkages and partnerships with academic institutions and global communities.
“In health, we will do our best to upgrade our hospital facilities and equip them with proper manpower for its round-the-clock operations. Most of all, let us nurture public health while at the community level to mitigate health issues and avert added workload to our hospital staff,” he said.
For tourism, Lacson said the province will continue to strengthen its promotional efforts highlighting Negros Occidental as a destination for culinary, cultural, farm, sports, and eco-tourism.
“With the support of the private sector, we will increase tourism-related investments in key tourism development areas,” he added.
To boost the Negros economy, the provincial government will step up efforts to create jobs and provide opportunities for our people, the governor said.
“We shall create an environment that is friendly to big investments. The public-private partnership should be pursued to promote cooperation between the public and private sectors in the furtherance of our development agenda. Surely, the Negros economy will remain vibrant in the coming days,” Lacson added.
He also hoped that the provincial government’s good policies in terms of macro-and micro-economy would trickle down and be felt by the majority of Negrense society.
“My prayer is for our people to be reached by the influence of government in terms of goods and services. In the end, poor families will have food on their table,” the governor said. (PNA)
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