Gov. Nilo Demerey Jr. marked his first 100 days in office to coincide with the commemoration of the 16th Charter Day of the Province of Dinagat Islands on Sunday.
“For almost 100 days upon my assumption to office, we worked hard and have done a lot in addressing various issues and concerns affecting the lives of the people of Dinagat seven months after the devastations of Typhoon Odette in 2021,” Demerey said.
Aside from the continuing rehabilitation of major infrastructures damaged by the typhoon, he said his administration also focused on livelihood to benefit thousands of farmers and fisherfolk in the island province.
Under the Fishery Development Program of the province, a PHP300,000 worth of Marine Fish Sanctuary was established on Gibusong Island in the town of Loreto.
In partnership with various non-government organizations, a total of 41 fiberglass fishing boats with engines were also distributed to the affected fisherfolk on the island.
“For almost 100 days, we implemented a total of PHP2,331,820 programs and projects for the development of our fishery and agriculture sectors in the province,” Demerey said.
Household-based gardening was also strengthened in the province during the period to ensure food security among residents.
A total of 3,992 pouches of assorted vegetable seeds were distributed to 998 household farmers in the different towns.
The household gardening project also received a PHP1,099,470 budget from the provincial government to buy fertilizers and other implements.
Rice production in the province was also supported by the provincial government with the distribution of farm production machinery and equipment.
Meanwhile, nine farmers’ associations in the towns of Cagianao, Dinagat, San Jose, Basilisa, Libjo, and Loreto received 10 knapsack sprayers, 10 wheelbarrows, and two mini cultivators.
Ten rolls of 100-meter pipes were also released to the farmers in Basilisa and Libjo for the installation of an irrigation system for commercial vegetable production worth PHP645,500.
Demerey also said Dinagat received infrastructure support from the national government and from the office of Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.
Among the projects included in the 2023 General Appropriations Act are the PHP50-million road in Basilisa and Libjo; PHP50-million road in Barangay Benglen, Libjo; PHP100-million shoreline protection in San Jose; and PHP20 million farm-to-market roads each in Dinagat, Cagdianao, Libjo, and San Jose.
During the period, residents in San Jose experienced a water crisis, which was also acted upon by the provincial government.
The facilities of the local water district that were severely damaged by Typhoon Odette could no longer pump enough water supply in the capital town.
“The provincial government lent a generator set to the water district that could pump 300 to 600 cubic meters of water per day,” Demerey said.
A negotiation with the National Power Corporation also resulted in the restoration of 24-hour power services on the island.
Demerey recognized the support of Rep. Alan 1 Ecleo of the lone district of Dinagat and Vice Governor Benglen Ecleo for their support that made the first 100 days of governance in Dinagat a success.
Dinagat Islands became a province in 2006 through Republic Act 9355 authored by former Rep. Glenda Ecleo. (PNA)