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CVS Calls for Catanduanes Development Blueprint

Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento has proposed the creation of a blueprint for the development of Catanduanes that should be followed regardless of whoever is elected into office.

In his remarks during the 2nd quarter meeting of the Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Council at the RHAJ Inn last Friday, the congressman said such a blueprint is needed if only to ensure that our development efforts continue without interruption. He also called for all government agencies to ensure that there are no overlaps in their individual programs and projects.

Sarmiento likewise disclosed that he has told the DPWH Catanduanes officials and personnel to expect a different congressman in the implementation of infrastructure projects.

"I will personally ask the blacklisting of a contractor if his road concreting projects becomes "ampaw" in six months or one year," the solon said, vowing to take efforts to create a different kind of infrastructure. The changes, he added, is aimed at raising the bar of performance as far as membership in the House of Representatives is concerned. "There will be no dredging projects on my watch," he emphasized, noting that it will be back to basics as far as the selection of proposed projects is concerned.

Lamenting the fact that only 45 percent of the provincial road network is paved despite all of the funds poured into the province in the past decades, Sarmiento said the concreting of new roads has to be done properly as the rehabilitation of existing ones have proven too costly. "We have to start now," he stressed as he encouraged the people to speak out to him regarding anomalies in the infrastructure sector.

One of the priority projects he would like to see completed, he said, is a P20-million street lighting project in the capital town’s main thoroughfare from the CSC to San Vicente that would encourage visitors and enhance the business climate. Part of the P300,000 monthly power consumption for the project could be shouldered by Ficelco or even Sunwest Water & Electricity Co. as a Corporate Social Responsibility project while the rest could be paid for by the local governments and the business sector, the solon suggested.

Sarmiento also said that he will be sitting down with airline officials in the coming days for the possibility of bringing back daily flights that would benefit ordinary commuters as well as businessmen and public officials. PSMEDC chair Councilor Rene Abella and DTI provincial director Ireneo Panti Jr., however, said that of their earlier request for such flights, only Zest Airlines responded. Zest Virac general sales agent Capt. Ivanhoe Arcilla said that the airline is changing its turboprops with jets in January 2011 but doubted if the Virac airport runway would be able to handle the increased weight of the landing aircraft.

Source: Catanduanes Tribune - 01 July 2010

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