Bukidnon centennial VIP guests: Binay, Roxas

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews /31 August) — Vice President Jejomar Binay will be the guest of honor on September , the day Bukidnon will celebrate the centenary of its foundation as a province.

Binay has confirmed his attendance, provincial administrator lawyer Nestor Cajes told MindaNews. He said the office of President Benigno Aquino III, who was the first choice, had sent word he will not be able to attend due to prior scheduled trips abroad.

Bukidnon Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. had earlier said he wanted Aquino to be the guest of honor but is willing to invite the vice president if the former declines.

On August 31 (Sunday), the eve of the celebration, the provincial government will
host Local Governments Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas III.

Roxas and Binay ran for vice president in the 2010 elections. Roxas, Aquino’s running mate, lost to Binay.

Both are expected to run for President in 2016.

This is Binay’s second time to be the guest of honor in Bukidnon’s foundation day. The first was in 2012.

Cajes said former Bukidnon representative and now Senator Teofisto Guingona III was also expected to visit on Sunday, the final stretch of the two-day street dancing competition.

Hansel Echavez, head of the Capitol’s public affairs and information office, said Gov. Zubiri invited Roxas and Guingona after they greeted him on his birthday earlier this month.

In a press release Friday, the office of Secretary Roxas said his visit is “for the Kaamulan Festival and Bukidnon Centenary as Guest of Honor.”

Roxas is also scheduled to attend the launching of the “Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP)” at the 403rd infantry brigade after the second batch of presentations of Kaamulan 2014 street dancing competition.

Roxas’ staff said via SMS to MindaNews that CLIP is part of the Payapa at Masaganang Pamamayan (PAMANA) capacity-building project of the DILG, which was originally under the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

The project was transferred to the DILG as the implementer of the government’s community level integration program through the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2014-01.

Roxas, the press release said, will “facilitate” the turnover of P65,000 livelihood assistance to each of 66 rebel returnees and their families or a total of P4.29 million.

Bukidnon is celebrating the centennial of its founding as a province on September .

The whole month of August, including the two-day street dancing presentations is the run up to the celebration.

In previous years, the street dancing competition pits only seven to eight contingents from the province’s towns and cities. For the centennial, all 20 towns and two cities compete in the two days with 11 performers each day. The street dancing performances showcase folktales and myths of Bukidnon’s seven tribes. The floats and costumes also feature the rich tradition and bounty of the province. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)