BULUAN, Maguindanao (MindaNews/10 October) — Maguindanao Governor Datu Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu led other provincial officials at the inauguration Sunday morning of the province’s mobile hospital, which he considers a major achievement of his administration’s first 100 days in office.
Aside from the hospital, Mangudadatu announced he set up basic governance structures that were absent when his predecessor, Datu Andal Ampatuan, Sr., was the governor. He said he issued executive orders convening boards and councils such as the Provincial Peace and Order Council, Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, Local School Board and Local Health Board, to help his administration as well as ensure participation of civil society organizations.
Unlike his 29-minute inaugural speech on June 30 which was delivered in English, Mangudadatu’s 35-minute “State of the Province Address” (SOPA) at the Buluan Municipal Grounds was delivered in Pilipino.
Apparently to make the SOPA more significant on October 10, 2010, the program formally started at 10 a.m.
In his inaugural address, Mangudadatu promised “Totoong pagbabago para sa Maguindanao” (Genuine Change for Maguindanao.” In his SOPA, he stressed and literally capitalized on the first two syllables (which is also his nickname), by vowing 995 days more of “TOTOong pagpaplano para sa ikabubuti ng ating lalawigan” (genuine planning for the good of our province).
The three-year term of the Governor consists of 1,095 days. He also vowed 995 days more of “TOTOong pagseserbisyo sa mga mamamayan nating nangangailangan” (genuine service to our needy constituents) and 995 days more of “TOTOong pagreresolba nga mga suliraning naiwan ng nagdaang administrasyon” (genuine resolution of the problems left behind by the previous administration).
He vowed during his inauguration that they would “implement on the ground during the first hundred days of office the following development thrusts, such as Reconciliation among the local leaders; Provision of Mobile Hospital, Massive construction/rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads and educational development.”
The mobile hospital, patterned after the mobile hospital of neighboring Sultan Kudarat province (whose governor, Suharto Mangudadatu, is a cousin), and which he repeatedly promised during the campaign, “to provide easy access to health services” to residents in remote areas.
Mangudadatu said at the start of his administration, they learned about the dismal state of health services in Maguindanao: one midwife for every 7,000 constituents; one nurse for every 36,000; one doctor for every 60,000; one rural sanitary inspector for every 67,000; one dentist for every 120,000; and one medical technologist for every 154,000.
Maguindanao, the country’s third poorest province, has a population of 1.27 million as of 2007 census, according to the National Statistics and Coordination Board website.
He said he convened the Local Health Board through Executive Order 007, to serve as advisory committee to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and to allow for participation from civil society organizations in health service delivery.
Mangudadatu said they have completed 76.16 kilometers of all-weather roads in the towns of Ampatuan, Buluan, Datu Paglas, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Unsay, Mangudadatu, Parang and Taitay.
He said the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, chaired by Vice Governor Datu Ismael “Dustin” Mastura, allocated P15 million for the mobile hospital and P10 million for the livelihood program.
The P10 million was spent on the purchase of 40,000 oil palm seedlings and 120,000 rubber tree seedlings. Nine garbage dump trucks containing oil palm seedlings for distribution were lined up near where the mobile hospital was parked.
Support for education, another major campaign promise, in the first 100 days, came in the form of scholarship grants to poor but deserving residents. He said the provincial government has 250 scholars at the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, North Cotabato, 320 in USM Buluan, and 146 at the REMACADEMY also in Buluan, the governor’s hometown.
He promised to provide five provincial-paid teachers per town. Maguindanao has 36 towns.
Mangudadatu said he also issued EO 006 convening the Local School Board.
He also issued EO 008 creating the Provincial Tax Code Committee to review and update Tax and Revenue Code to formulate a revenue generation plan.
The province, he said, will also craft a Local Investment and Incentive Code to encourage investors especially in the Halal industry, such as livestock and poultry production.
Mangudadatu said he also issued EO 003 creating the Maguindanao Task Force Reconciliation and Unification (MTFRU), to deal with rido (family or clan feuds).
He renewed his administration’s”all-out support” to the peace talks between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)