Better to be called stingy than corrupt – North Cotabato gov

“Bahala’g tawgon kuripot, huwag lang kurakot,” Sacdalan said in his inaugural address Saturday.

The new governor used the acronym SHEEP in summarizing his executive agenda. It stands for S- Social services and Infrastructure, H- Health, E- Education and Environment, E- Economic Empowerment and Livelihood, P- Peace and Security.

Coming from a poor family of 10, the would-be governor migrated in 1962 with his brother Frank to Cotabato. He later served for six years in the hinterland barangay of Rangayen, Alamada town.

In 1986, after the People Power Revolution, he served as OIC Mayor of Alamada. He later became a Board Member representing District I of the province. In 1998, at the end of the term of the late Governor Rosario “Char” P. Diaz, he and Pinol ran and won as vice-governor and governor, respectively.

In the May 14 elections, Sacdalan and Pinol switched positions.

Pinol said that like in the movies he is no longer in the lead role.

The vice governor recalled that as a young boy from a poor family of 11 in Nueva Vida, M’lang town, his dream was to better their station in life. He said their community had neither water system nor electricity and that it took three hours for a jeep to negotiate a distance of 12 kilometers.

Pinol looked back to his achievements as governor like the number of barangays provided with electricity, distributing Books for Peace to the barangays, connecting some high schools to the Internet and barangay roads leading to the remotest areas.

He said he slid into the position of vice governor in order to legislate further and strengthen the successes the province has gained.

From being one of the poorest in the country, North Cotabato is now ranked no. 29 among the most progressive provinces.

“We mean business, and we will see our provincial officials and employees are better equipped in performing their assigned tasks”, Sacdalan said.

One notable program in the province is CHIP: the Cotabato Health Insurance Program in conjunction with PhilHealth, where each Cotabato citizen can avail of a health insurance card that enables one to free hospitalization.

The mass oath-taking of the newly elected officials of the province took place at the Notre Dame of Midsayap Gymnasium in Midsayap town. RTC Judge Lily Lydia A. Laguindanum administered the oaths of the governor and vice governor.

A ceremonial distribution of health insurance cards, scholarship certificates, livestock (cattle, goat) and seedlings (oil palm, rubber and mango) capped the ceremony.