Perdices begins familiarization tour of provincial projects

June 24, 2010 9:56 pm 

By Judalyn F. Partlow

DUMAGUETE CITY, June 24 –- Vice Governor-elect Agustin Perdices, who is expected to assume as governor of Negros Oriental next week following the death of Governor-elect Emilio Macias II last June 13, has started his road trips to familiarize himself with ongoing projects that he said he would continue during his term of office.

Accompanied by 2nd district Rep. George Arnaiz, Perdices’ first exposure was a long day travel Wednesday on an estimated 85 kilometers of mostly rough road that partially comprises the Highway 2000, a project that Macias had conceived years ago to connect Negros Oriental to Negros Occidental via an alternate highway that traverses through the mountains instead of the lowlands.

A seven-vehicle convoy started the trip with a brief meeting in the morning with officials and barangay captains of Mabinay town, about two hours drive from here.

From Mabinay, the almost eight hours of road travel with a few interval stops began, passing through the villages of Paniabonan and Luyang in Mabinay; Pantiao, Manjuyod; Cabcabon and Nalundan in Bindoy; Candana-ay, Banban and Tambo in Ayungon; Nabilog, Tambulan, Pinalubngan and Guincalaban in Tayasan; Eli, Owacan and Maanlod in Jimalalud, and Pacuan in La Libertad.

These hinterland areas were then hardly accessible with some of them being categorized back in the late 80s as affected by the insurgency.

With the initiative of the late Gov. Macias, the villages of Nabilog in Tayasan and Pacuan in La Libertad now each have a 10-bed Community Primary Hospital, with catchment areas serving not only Negros Oriental residents but also some in the boundary of Negros Occidental.

Perdices and his party stopped at both hospitals to get acquainted with the doctors and the staff as Arnaiz, who also served as governor for nine years, briefed him on the project.

Arnaiz said he accompanied Perdices on the exposure trip as a show of his support to the latter’s commitment to carry on the projects of the late Gov. Macias, who specifically named some of them before he died.

Aside from the road and hospital projects, Perdices was also brought to the Barangay Agriculture Development Center and Government Agriculture Development Center in Pacuan, La Libertad.

Provincial Agriculturist Greg Paltinca and Provincial Engineer Susano Ruperto were present to brief Perdices on the projects.

On its final leg of the road trip, the convoy passed by a beach resort in La Libertad where Perdices and Arnaiz had a brief meeting with Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong of the 1st district.

In an interview, Limkaichong and Arnaiz announced they were throwing their support behind Perdices amidst an ongoing controversy over legal issues as to who was to become the next governor of the province.

Varied legal interpretations have surfaced on whether it was Perdices, as vice governor-elect, or defeated gubernatorial candidate Jose Baldado who should take over the position vacated by Macias when he died.

Baldado, who had already announced he would step down by June 30 after he assumed the governorship, has a pending case filed before the Commission on Elections to disqualify Macias and have him declared the winner instead.

Perdices welcomed Baldado’s announcement as he called for unity amongst politicians in the province as “time is so short and cannot be wasted on bickering” when there is yet so much to do for the province.

Perdices also said he still has to meet with his advisers and other officials on his agenda for his first 100 days in office as governor.

The incoming governor is expected to take his oath twice, first as vice governor and then later as governor, before a mayor and a judge, on June 30.

“It is going to be a simple ceremony with no fanfare,” Perdices said of the oathtaking which shall be held at the old session hall of the Capitol. (PNA)

DCT/JFP

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