DAVAO CITY-- Infrastructure and peace and security bannered Governor Emmylou "Lala" Talino-Mendoza's last State of the Province Address (SOPA) 2019 yesterday (March 26) at the Provincial Capitol of North Cotabato in Amas, Kidapawan City.
Being among the top competitive province's in Mindanao the infrastructure program is progressive and through Mendoza's Serbisyong Totoo program projects are everywhere in the province.
For the last eight years the province have concreted 197 kilometers of road amounting to P2. 316B. The project has also asphalted 3 kilometers of road in the amount of P42. 3 million while P191. 8 million was used for rehabilitation and opening of 100 kilometers of road.
Through the KALSADA road projects, it has concreted 41 kilometers amounting to P618. 7 million while under the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) road concreting projects, the Provincial Government has concreted 11 kilometer of road in the amount of P135. 8 million and for the construction of five units of Rubber Sheet Processing Plant totalling to P6. 2 million.
Mendoza reported that through SOCSKSARGEN Funds amounting to P221. 4 million for 24.7 kilometers of road were concreted and five kilometers rehabilitated and 10 units solar dryers amounting to P4. 5 million were constructed.
"For school buildings we have constructed 53 units amounting to P49. 9 million and with an amount of P94 million we helped in the improvement of 10 gymnasiums," she said.
For the province's water system, 154 units amounting to P95. 5 million were constructed while 33 electrification projects amounted to P50 million were installed.
" All these efforts have translated to a very good outlook of our roads which we reported in our Provincial Governance Reform Road Map. Of our Provincial roads spanning 478.6 kilometers, 90 kilometers are concrete, 365 kilometers gravel and 23 kilometers asphalt and 97% of our Provincial roads are in good condition," Mendoza said.
The province's Infrastructure Development Program is supported by a budget appropriation purposely for infrastructure projects for the 17 municipalities and one city under the three congressional districts of the Province from 2011 to 2019.
For the peace and order, for 2018 the Cotabato Police Provincial Command recorded a 27% decrease in crime volume and 16.81% increase in crime solution efficiency for 2018.
According to Mendoza the Cotabato Police Provincial Command intensified anti-criminality campaign for 2018 included checkpoint operations with apprehensions; Oplan "Bakal Sita", mobile patrol, and foot/beat patrol that resulted to the arrest of regular and top 10 most wanted persons, the serving of search warrants and the confiscation of loose Firearms.
"Peace and order, security, and safety are the foundations for development and inclusive growth in any locality.
They are the essential elements of progress and improvement of the lives of the people and their well-being. I am happy to have the support of the Philippine National Police, army, Bureau of Fire, civil security office, and the bureau of jail management and penology," Mendoza said.
She said thay anti-illegal drug operations were also notably high in 2018 with 401 operations conducted, 390 arrests and confiscation of shabu and Marijuana.
In support of President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-illegal drugs campaign and in compliance to the Department of Interior and Local Government's (DILG's) joint Memorandum circular No. 2018-01 the province has organized an anti drugs council from the city, Municipal and barangay levels to coordinate and properly monitor programs aimed at solving the problem on drug abuse.
"It is with pride that I report to you that our province has been adjudged as ideal in the functionality of our Provincial anti drug abuse council during the conduct of the 2017 anti drug abuse council performance audit," she said.
She said through the efforts of the Philippine army a total of nine enemy initiated violent activities such as ambush, harassment, improvise explosive device (IED) attack against government troops/arson, liquidation of civilians and 412 non-violent activities in 2018 were acted on.
She added that seven brigade initiated operations, 36 batallion initiated operations; 3, 567 small unit preparations which resulted to the recovery of four high powered Firearms, seven low powered Firearms, eight hand grenades, and eight IEDs and the capture of 12 enemy hideouts were accomplished.