MAMBAJAO, Camiguin, January 18 (PIA) — Decades after it was formally recognized as independent province, this island paradise, although the second smallest in the country has so much to boast.
Being an island “Born of Fire” made it a stand out, becoming one of country’s top 25 tourist destination and number 7 best diving spot in the world.
Camiguin’s uniqueness, as the Department of Tourism (DOT) puts it, lies in its varied terrain, pristine natural environment and rustic setting.
Along with its impressive recognitions, the province also prides of various successes in governance. The booming tourism market has always been backed with good infrastructure projects, environmental programs, and economic support, among others.
The annual celebration of Camiguin’s founding anniversary is but a fitting occasion to report to the constituents the successes reaped last year.
Last 2015, the province bagged the spot as among the Top 10 Most Competitive Province in the country, with the local government unit of Mambajao as the forefront national winner.
The province likewise reported an annual average growth rate of 12.69 percent for local revenues generated for the general fund which escalated from P13 million in 2007 to P33 million in 2015.
To commend the province journey towards good local governance, upholding the standards of transparency, integrity and service delivery, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) awarded Camiguin the seven million Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLC), last year.
The cash award will be used to fund welfare homes for children in conflict with the law/neglected/abandoned or abused.
The province likewise garnered notable awards in the area of social services, just recently, it was named outstanding province in nutrition, receiving the regional green banner award from the National Nutrition Council 10 (NNC 10) for its exemplary implementation of the 2014 Provincial Nutrition Action Plan. It noted a drop on its malnutrition rate from 7.15 percent in 2012 to only 4.7 percent at present.
Camiguin likewise succeeded in sustaining the Rabies Free Status for eight years with strong collaboration between the Provincial Health Office (PHO) and Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO).
To aid this, the Camiguin General Hospital is now an accredited animal bite treatment center by PhilHealth.
It also sustained for more than 25 years a Malaria Free, Filariasis-Free, and Schistosomiasis Free status.
Schoolchildren here likewise continue to receive hygiene kits through the Essential Health Care Package (EHCP), a project introduce by Fit for School Foundation and sustained by the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) in bid to familiarize the children with health-promoting values and habits, thereby increasing their academic performance.
Camiguin is the only province at present that has sustained and expanded its implementation from schoolchildren down to daycare centers.
In terms of disaster prevention efforts, the Camiguin General Hospital (CGH) was also declared by the National/Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) as the best local government hospital for three consecutive years, putting them at the Gawad Kalasag Hall of Fame, a search for excellence in DRRM and humanitarian assistance.
To further attest their competency, skillfulness and capability, last July 2015 CGH-Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) won the 2015 Benchmarking on Basic Life support and Standard First Aid- Hospital Category.
Meanwhile, as every triumph calls for celebration, the PLGU propped up 4-day festivity to commemorate the 48th foundation day anniversary highlighted by the State of the Province Address (SOPA).
Traditionally, the festivity opens with a parade that leads the people directly to the steaming display of lechon (roasted pig) which aptly provides the “pista sa nayon” feel for all guests, backed as well by various activities like sports tournament, ground demonstrations, palarong pinoy (traditional Filipino games), rave parties, and the search of Mr. & Ms. Teen Camiguin 2016.
To date, the province priorities are set towards the expansion of the airport runway, investment promotion, improvement of telecommunications, additional transport routes, education support facilities and sustained peace and order and disaster risk reduction management. (JCV/PIA)