DUTERTE DELIVERS! Piñol Naghatid Ng Tulong Sa Bayan Ng Malimono Na Pinutakte Ng NPA At Corrupt Officials!
Malimono is reported to be the poorest town in the country and is plagued by the New People's Army (NPA) and some greedy and corrupt government officials.
Malimono, Surigao del Norte received help from the Duterte Government through Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.
Read the full post of Sec. Manny Pinol in his official Facebook page below:
Solving the puzzle
MALIMONO A 'RICH' TOWNCAUGHT IN POVERTY TRAP
By Manny Piñol
I was in Malimono, Surigao del Norte yesterday, reportedly the poorest town in the country with a poverty incidence of over 80%, and I found out that it really is a place of utter hopelessness.
Poverty is evident even along the road with vast unproductive land and huts in different states of disrepair.
There is a creeping fear among the people 👫because of the presence the Communist New People's Army in the area.
With a voting population of a little over 10,000, Malimono is not really in the radar of vote-searching national politicians.
In fact, the town's Vice Mayor Teodorico Sinaca Jr., said I was the first Cabinet Secretary to visit the town.
But Malimono should not really be poor because of its great potentials for agriculture, fisheries and tourism.
While the plains are not really vast because of the tall mountain range which virtually isolates the town from Surigao del Norte proper, Malimono has so many rivers flowing from the mountains which could be a source of irrigation for rice, vegetables and other crops.
The mountain range also hosts upland barangays with cool climate. In fact, one of the mountain barangays is called Little Baguio.
The fishing grounds of Malimono facing Butuan Bay are so rich that during the peak fishing season "Tamban" (sardines fish) and "Tambakol"or "Mangko" (smaller specie of Tuna) sell for as low as P10 to P20 per kilo.
With a population of only about 18,000, the Malimono municipal government's annual budget of only about P65-M simply could not provide for what the people need to be able to wiggle out of poverty.
Add to that the rotten politics in the province where in the last elections, each vote was "bought" for as high as P8,000.
In a province where most politicians win by buying votes, the net effect would be the non-delivery of public services since the strategy by political leaders is just to save up for the next elections' vote-buying operations.
No wonder then that along the patched road to Malimono yesterday, I saw a large tarpaulin announcing that a provincial political leader was behind the minor repair in the approach of a bridge leading to the town.
Add to that the presence of the New People's Army where one Communist Guerrilla Front controls almost all of the coastal towns facing Butuan Bay.
"The NPAs are extorting money even from small sari-sari store owners," said a Malimono resident I talked with last night.
The presence of NPAs was what prompted local police and army contingents to provide me and my small group with sufficient security when I entered Malimono at about 3 p.m. until I left at about 5:30 p.m. yesterday.
It actually did not take long for me to figure out what could and should be done in Malimono to lift its people out of poverty.
These were the interventions committed yesterday:
- - A P15-M credit facility from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council to be transferred to a local credit cooperative which serves as the only financial institution in the town. Farmers could borrow from the seed fund with a maximum interest of only 6%, instead of the current 18% charged by the cooperative, without any collateral;
- - Fifty (50) units of motorised fiberglass boats for 100 families of poor fisher folks and 20 units of fiberglass paddle boats for hook and line fishermen;
- - A P3-M fishlanding complete with ice-making facility to support the fishing activities of Malimono fishermen;
- - A techno-demo farm for both rice and vegetable farming and additional farm implements for rice farmers with an area of about 100 hectares;
- - A P30-M farm-to-market road to be implemented under the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) connecting a mountain barangay which produces coconut and vegetables to the town proper. The LGU will provide a counterpart of P3-M;
- - A loan assistance to a group of women producing dried cuttlefish (nokos) which is one of the most saleable product of the town.
At the end of the short forum yesterday, the leaders of the town led by its young mayor Wallace Sinaca and leaders of the farming, fishing and women sectors were near tears and profuse with words of appreciation that their dreams of so many years were suddenly unfolding and being realised before their very eyes in just less than three hours.
Before I left, however, I relayed to the leaders and the people of the town the message of President Rody Duterte against corruption in public service.
"Please let me make this clear message to you the local officials and the people of Malimono: The moment you squander and misspend the money and resources that President Duterte has granted this town today, we will immediately stop the delivery of the services and you will remain poor forever," I told the people present who responded with a very loud applause.
The long, lonely and rigorous road to Malimono ended yesterday with a new hope for a long neglected and forsaken people.
#Changeishere! #PresRodyCares! #DuterteDelivers!