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JADE-Point Agenda: Dinagat gov's development roadmap

Dinagat Islands Provincial Governor Jade B. Ecleo, is determined to propel the province of Dinagat Islands as progressive island-province geared towards the spirit of bayanihan (communal unity), agri-fishery, responsible mining and tourism, sustaining a balanced human ecology.

Governor Jade, in her recent State of the Province Address (SOPA) bared her vision for the province via a development roadmap dubbed as "JADE" which stands for Job Generation, Agriculture, Fisheries & Agrarian Reform, Development & Delivery of Basic Services, Education, Environmental Protection and Economic Upliftment.

JADE as an administration blueprint of infrastructure development, Gov. Jade was able to secure an amount of Ten Million Pesos from the Department of Agriculture for farm-to-market roads. "Another Ten Million Pesos was solicited from the President's Social Fund for the initial construction of our Capitol building. The National Irrigation Administration through our efforts, has also committed 1.63 Million for the construction of a communal irrigation system in the province."

Gov. Ecleo also said that during the recent visit of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Dinagat Islands, she was able to convince the President to prioritize the concreting of San Jose-Basilisa Road this year amounting to 200 Million pesos as part of her SONA commitment of 2.4 Billion Pesos for the concreting of Dinagat-Loreto Road.

On economic development, Gov. Jade said that the economic progress of the province today relies mainly on the development of agriculture and fishery industries. "This is the very reason why I have focused my attention on the life of our marginal people which are the farmers and fisherfolks."

On agriculture, the province according to Gov. Jade intensified the rice production in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture by providing certified palay seeds with fertilizer inputs to 140 rice farmers covering 180 hectares under the 50-50 scheme. While in the livestock sector, her administration is currently concerned with the increasing of population of carabaos through the use of artificial insemination.

Seeing the seaweed industry as the lucrative industry in the world market, Gov. Jade is also pushing for the development of seaweed industry in the province and become known as the seaweed capital in the region, "we have distributed 4,000 kilos of seaweed propagules to our seaweed farmers. Two units of solar dryer for seaweeds were fabricated and distributed to the municipalities of San Jose and Libjo… Ang atong tinguha mao nga mahimong 'Seaweed Capital' ang atong probinsya dinhi sa Caraga."

In the cooperative sector, the provincial government according to Gov. Jade has released a total of Php300, 000 to six cooperatives to finance their livelihood projects.

In her effort to promote tourism in the province, Gov. Jade showcased some of the tourist attractions in the province that include: Hinabyan Beach Resort, Cagdianao; Bitaug Beach, Basilisa; Tagbirayan Beach, Cagdianao; Puerto Prinsesa, White Beach, Basilisa; Cabilan White Beach, Dinagat; Lake Babau, Basilisa. Other identified points of interests include: La Isla Aga, Basilisa' Magazine Waterfalls, Basilisa' Legaspi Waterfalls, Cagdianao; Bangkaw Spring Resort, Tubajon; Basilisa Rock formations, Basilisa; Basilisa islets, Basilisa; Bonsai Forest, Loreto; Punta Villa Cave, Libjo; the famous PBMA Founder's Shrine, San Jose and Bat Sanctuary, Tubajon.

Gov. Jade on the other hand acknowledged the mining industry as a major contributor to the local and national economy. "Right now, we have fourteen mining companies operating in the province. While mining industry is generally a nature-destructive business if not done right, we will see to it that mining operations in the province will not destroy our other equally important resources, such as coastal, marine and potential tourist destinations." (PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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