DOTC, PIA 13 ink MOA on 'Presidential Branding' campaign

The Regional Office of the Department of Transportation and Communication, Caraga Region (DOTC-13) and the Philippine Information Agency, Caraga (PIA-13) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) and launched subsequently the implementation of the "Presidential Branding Campaign," at 3:00 P.M. August 12, Wednesday, at the DOTC Regional Office, Capitol Ave., Butuan City.

The activity was graced by no less than Ms. Cristina Castillo, Staff Director of the Philippine Information Agency, (Manila Main Office) and PIA/PMD Ms. Nelia V. Lina. The two top PIA officials represented Sec. Conrado A. Limcaoco, Jr. the Director General of the PIA, who was supposed to be the guest of honor and speaker of the occasion, but has some urgent matters to attend to in Manila, thus he sent only his representatives.

Also present during the MOA signing and the launching activity were the top regional officials and staff of the DOTC and LTFRB, Caraga Region led by DOTC Regional Director Atty. Alim D. Pangandaman and the PIA top regional officials and staff also led by their OIC Reg. Dir. Abner M. Caga.

The said activity aims to implement the "Presidential Branding Campaign" in support to the anti-poverty program of the Arroyo administration through the sticking of stickers with "Labanan ang Kahirapan" (Fight Against Poverty) emblem to all vehicles public or private which will undergo registration at the Land Transportation Office.

Atty. Pangandaman pointed out during his message for the occasion that the feeling of the country's development and progress (Ramdam Ang Kaunlaran) has found its realities not only in the city, nor in this region alone but even in the whole country as well. He said that these were clearly manifested with the establishment of the so-called "Nautical Highways" from the northernmost part of Luzon to the southernmost tip of the Island of Mindanao. Also in Metro Manila, he said that they have the Metro Railway Transits (MRTs), the Light Railway Transits (LRTs) which had expanded their services, and they also have the "world class" expressways both in the northern and the southern part of Luzon.

Major infrastructure projects have also been visible in most parts of the country which can be aptly called as "Presidential Legacies."

Even in Caraga Region, Pangandaman said that the social, health, education and infrastructure programs of the President were fully implemented. He mentioned about the administrations major road networks, the secondary roads and even those farm-to-market roads. Among the major infrastructure projects he mentioned were the Surigao-Davao Road Project, the Second Diosdado Macapagal Bridge and the future multi-million expansion of the Butuan City Airport.

The signs of progress he said, can be felt even at his own office, where in the past years they will only earn 40 million pesos a year, but now he said it has doubled to 88 million pesos as of last year. Even the LTFRB, he said who use to only earn 2 million pesos, now it has nearly tripled to 5 million. The region then, according to him, registered only more or less 2,000 units of vehicles while now it had gone up to more or less 5,000 registered units. Not just a few, he said who had registered their special utility vehicles (SUVs) which may just show that not a few can afford these luxurious vehicles here in the region.

Nonetheless, he also said that we cannot close also our eyes to the realities of poverty in our midst. These realities, according to him summons our will to fight - the fight against poverty (Labanan ang Kahirapan). He said that Caraga region is rich in resources and present not a few opportunities to work. We only need to open our eyes, to have our sheer determination to move forward, to rely on ourselves and to practice industry. He said that we can not just rely everything to the government, who just exists to provide us the opportunities, to assist and guide us but the initiative to fight poverty must come from us.

He looked back to history and mentioned that our forefathers has been successful in fighting the foreign invaders and came out victoriously. "Theres no reason why we could not also be victorious in this fight against poverty," he said.

For her part, ms. castillo hailed the joint move of the DOTC-Caraga and the PIA as unprecedented and the first of its kind in the whole country. She hoped that the other government agencies could also come up with a similar inter-agency effort to implement the President's anti-poverty campaign. She said that she commended the regional DOTC and the PIA for initiating such kind of a cooperative efforts.

She also mentioned during her message that she had been to the region before as a part of the government's "Clean and Green" monitoring team, and was surprised to find out upon her return that so much manifestations of progress and development were observable in the place. She said that signs of progress and development are manifested everywhere, however, these things should be known not only in the region but in the other places as well. hence, the importance of this information campaign by the DOTC and the PIA.

She also saw the important role which the mass media would play in this undertaking and hoped that the local media here will always support the government in such similar endeavours. (Butuan Star)

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