By Mike Crismundo
PILAR, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte – Officials of the province of Surigao del Norte are now exerting all their efforts to protect and develop the already acknowledged “Paradise Island” of Pacific Ocean facing island of Siargao.
Along with the island’s nine mayors and its members of their respective legislative bodies down to barangay officials, the non-government organization in the private sector are also extending their effort by helping “hand-in-hand” protecting the beauty of the island.
“I urge all Siargaonons to continue in helping us protect and preserve our beloved Siargao Island,” appealed Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol F. Matugas, during the grand opening of the 11th Siargao International Game Fishing Tournament on Friday.
“Let me invite everyone to help me keep Siargao Island, a real paradise, a clean and vibrant island and treasure this God-given gift of nature,” she said.
The provincial chief executive said that everybody has a vital role to play, while the official of the provincial government are continuously addressing the concerns of the island and the whole province of Surigao del Norte.
“This is a loud cry to all our visitors to be part of our efforts to make my island, your home… Home is where the heart is. If love is the binding force, we stand together as a family, keeping our commitment to protect and preserve the island beauty and potentials,” the governor said, who also expressed her gratitude to the Duterte Administration through House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for his effort to provide P10 million budget for this event (game fishing), in the General Appropriation Act.
She also expressed thanks to former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (as guest of honor) during the grand opening of the game fishing tourney), House Committee on Tourism chair and Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, along with her husband City Mayor Richard Gomez, and Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo, for their continuing support of all the international sporting events here.
Gov. Matugas announced that the development of Siargao is already in high gear to address concerns on medical facilities and public safety in Siargao.
Meanwhile, at the sideline of the big event, Surigao del Norte 1st Rep. Francisco Jose F. Matugas ll disclosed to The Manila Bulletin that close to P300 budget for the construction of waste facilities is set before the end of this year in the town of Del Carmen, also in this island, in relation to the Integrated Solid Waste Management Program (ISWMP).
“We are also set to distribute one dump trucks per municipalities in the island very soon for their garbage and waste disposal,” he said.
A P300 million repair and conversion of the Siargao Disrict Hospital to a Level 3 National Hospital with 100 bed capacity while a P15 million for the provision of new medical equipments in that same hospital is also taking place including a P10 million budget for medical assistance program has been allocated for all Siarganons, he said.
A Philippine Coast Guard base worth P300 million will be also constructed in General Luna town, the home of the country’s surfing capital, equipped with training facilities and patrol fast crafts to effect quick rescue and protect tourists, both foreign and domestic and even local residents from any untoward incidents, Rep. Matugas said.
“We are moving all our efforts to protect and develop Siargao, and we don’t want that we will be like Boracay,” stressed the Surigao del Norte solon.