CCLEX to help boost regional development

Says Bong Go as he highlights Duterte legacy of uplifting lives of Filipinos

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go joined President Rodrigo Duterte in Cordova City, Cebu for the inauguration of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) at the CCLEX Toll Plaza on Wednesday, April 27.

Expected to be one of Cebu’s iconic landmarks, the CCLEX is an 8.9-kilometer road that would link mainland Cebu to Mactan Island through the town of Cordova.

The CCLEX, developed by the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC), is anticipated to serve at least 50,000 vehicles daily given its design speed of 60 to 80 kilometers per hour (kph), significantly helping decongest traffic in the area.

One of the major infrastructure projects under the Duterte Administration, the CCLEX is also expected to create more economic opportunities for the province and the Visayas.

In his speech during the inauguration, President Duterte thanked the late Cordova mayor and Presidential Legislative Liaison Office secretary Adelino “Addy” Sitoy for their huge support for the project, saying, “The third bridge that connects to Cebu was made possible because their vision and aspirations were for the people of Cordova, and maybe for all.”

The President then congratulated CCLEC and the provincial government of Cebu for completing the CCLEX despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

“Your support for this administration’s goal to boost regional development, provide a comfortable life for every Filipino, and realize our vision to be a strongly connected nation is truly commendable. While your hardwork and dedication to ensure the completion of this monumental task are equally note-worthy,” Duterte remarked.

“It is also an opportune and relevant time to inaugurate the CCLEX as it coincides with the celebration of our ancestor’s victory in Mactan of more than 500 years ago… The state-of-art infrastructure will provide a solution to the perennial traffic issues of Metro Cebu,” he continued.

Go likewise congratulated Cebuanos for achieving two milestones as it consequently celebrated the 501st anniversary celebration of the Victory of Mactan in Lapu-Lapu City and the inauguration of CCLEX.

Earlier that day, the senator was also with the President for the commemoration of the historical event that demonstrated the bravery and courage of Lapu-Lapu against the Spaniards. The ceremony was held at the Liberty Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City. The event likewise marks the closing of the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Go reiterated that he will continue to support more infrastructure initiatives that would benefit the nation and would promote more sustainable economic opportunities across the country.

The senator has been supporting various infrastructure initiatives of the government throughout different regions in his capacity as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance to help provide more livelihood prospects for more Filipinos.

“Isa na naman pong proyekto ang nagtapos sa Build, Build, Build program at ito po ay aking ikinatutuwa dahil inaasahan ko na napakaraming Pilipino ang matutulungan nito. Sabi nga, tayo ay nasa Golden Age of Infrastructure ng bansa!,” expressed Go.

“Pero higit pa rito, tugma ito sa layunin natin na maramdaman sa bawat sulok ng bansa ang mga magagandang programa at proyekto ng gobyerno upang maisakatuparan ang pangako ni Pangulong Duterte na mabigyan ng mas komportableng buhay ang bawat Pilipino,” he added.

He then urged the next administration to continue and pursue further the Build, Build, Build program as he reiterated how it has notably given Filipinos the comfortable life they truly deserve.

“Kahit na po patapos na ang termino ni Pangulong Duterte, patuloy ko pa rin po susuportahan ang mga inisyatiba ng gobyerno lalo na kung ito ay magpapabilis sa serbisyo at makakatulong sa ating mga kababayan. Basta para sa kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino, ipaglalaban ko ito,” Go reassured.

“Nakita naman po natin na sa anim na taon na pamumuno ni Pangulong Duterte, pag-aangat ng buhay ng Pilipino ang kaniyang pangunahing agenda. Kaya naman aking ipagpapatuloy ito at sana po ito rin ay ipagpatuloy ng susunod na administrasyon,” he appealed.

Bong Go lauds passage of MDDA law

Says improved gov’t coordination and public service delivery to further boost development in Mindanao

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go commended President Rodrigo Duterte for signing into law Republic Act No. 11708 which creates the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority on Wednesday, April 27.

Go, who authored and co-sponsored the measure, assured his fellow Mindanaoans, especially Davaoeños, that the MDDA will improve the coordination among the local government units of Davao City and of nearby areas, resulting in better delivery of public services and integrated development planning, among others. This, he said, will benefit Mindanao as a whole.

“Considering the rapid urbanization of Davao City and increasing population of the cities of Panabo, Tagum, and the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte, napaka-traffic na po sa ngayon; the City of Digos in Davao del Sur, papunta po kanila (Senator) Bato; and the City of Mati in Davao Oriental, papunta rin po sa amin; and the municipalities of Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur, Carmen in Davao del Norte, Maco in Davao de Oro, and Malita in Davao Occidental, it is imperative that we create an agency which can centralize and oversee the development efforts and initiatives that deal with the challenges faced by Davao,” Go explained.

He said that the MDDA will help address the growing needs of Davao City and nearby areas through the services it will provide. These include development planning, transport management, solid waste disposal and management, urban zoning, land use planning, shelter services, health and sanitation, as well as public safety.

The MDDA shall have jurisdiction over Davao City and the nearby cities of Panabo, Tagum and the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte; the City of Digos in Davao del Sur; the City of Mati in Davao Oriental; and the municipalities of Sta. Cruz, Hagonoy, Padada, Malalag and Sulop in Davao del Sur; Carmen in Davao del Norte; Maco in Davao de Oro; and Malita in Davao Occidental.

The governing board and policy-making body of the proposed authority shall be the Metropolitan Davao Development Council (MDDC), which shall be composed of the Chairperson of the Regional Development Council-Region XI, the governors of the five provinces, six city mayors, and nine municipal mayors.

The MDDA is tasked to consult, coordinate, and work closely with the local government units, the Regional Development Council of Region XI, national government agencies, people’s organizations, non-government organizations, and the private sector operating in Metropolitan Davao.

In coordination with the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Finance, the MDDA can also interface with foreign assistance agencies to obtain financing support, grants and donations in support of its programs and projects.

“Bukod pa sa aking mga binanggit, magiging tulay din po ang MDDA para mapagbuklod ang publiko at pribadong sektor dahil isa sa mga mandato nito ay ang pakikipagtulungan sa mga pribadong organisasyon, at sa mga businesses na nag-ooperate sa Metropolitan Davao,” said Go.

Since Davao region is one of the leading centers of development in the country, Go said that the MDDA is envisioned to serve as a gateway to extend the development to other regions in Mindanao.

“Dahil sa mabilis na paglago ng ekonomiya ng Davao City at karatig-LGUs nito, panahon na po upang magkaroon doon ng isang sentralisadong ahensya na siyang magbibigay ng iisang direksyon at magsisilbing gabay sa urban planning ng mga lugar na ito,” Go said in a previous interview.

“Kaya naman, muli akong nagpapasalamat sa aking kapwa mambabatas sa pagsuporta sa panukalang ito,” he added.

Meanwhile, Go also lauded Duterte for issuing a proclamation reserving certain parcels of land of the government in Barangay Bago Oshiro, Davao City for the establishment of the Davao Regional Government Center.

The establishment of an RGC in Davao City aims to foster administrative efficiency and improve the delivery of public service through the adoption of a one-stop government center to serve the Davao Region.

A total of 59 government agencies with assigned lots in the proposed RGC confirmed their involvement in the project, as well as their commitment to develop their respective lots.

Pilipinas Shell breaks ground its 3rd largest Import Facility

Pilipinas Shell breaks ground its 3rd largest Import Facility

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC) broke ground its 3rd largest import facility in Darong, Southern Mindanao on April 22, which aims to provide a more stable, undisrupted supply of energy in the region.

The Darong Import Facility has a rated capacity of 67 million liters of petroleum products. This will be the third-largest import facility in the PSPC network of terminals which includes the Shell Import Facility Tabangao (SHIFT) in Batangas with a 263-million-liter capacity; the North Mindanao Import Facility (NMIF) in Cagayan de Oro City with a 90-million-liter capacity; and the Subic Import Terminal, northwest of the National Capital Region, with a 54-million-liter capacity.

With the Darong Import Terminal achieving full operational status by the third quarter of 2024, PSPC has plans to establish more than 80 new Shell Mobility sites in Southern Mindanao by 2025. The Shell sites are designed to enhance customer experience, offer both fuel and non-fuel products, enable more forms of transportation, and lower carbon footprint through innovation.
The Darong Import Facility will also help and promote business continuity and stability in the area, providing resources for mobility during incidents of storms, floods, and other natural calamities.

Acknowledging that “Southern Mindanao is a strategic growth location for Shell” during the ground-breaking ceremony, Serge Bernal, Pilipinas Shell Vice President for Corporate Relations, said, “The Darong Import Facility will allow us to fulfill our commitment to support economic activities as the Philippines continues to recover from COVID-19. It strengthens our capacity to continue to deliver quality fuels to our customers, consistent with our organization growth plans.”

The Darong Import Facility is a 50-50 Joint Venture owned by energy company Northern Star Energy Corporation and the DMCI Construction and Equipment Resources Inc. (DMC-CERI), the leading engineering-based integrated construction company which will be building the facility. Meanwhile, the Sta. Cruz Storage Corporation (SCSC) will design, construct, and operate the facility for Shell with an exclusive-use arrangement for a term contract with an option to extend.

Also present in the groundbreaking ceremony were the Municipal Mayor of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur Engr. Jaime G. Lao; DMCI Holdings Inc. President Sid Consunji; Santa Cruz Storage Corporation President Das Consunji Reyes; Juan Miguel Delgado, COO of Northern Star Energy Corporation and SCSC and Romy Delgado CFO of Northern Star Energy Corporation and SCSC.

Santa Cruz Mayor Engineer Jaime G. Lao, Jr., welcomed the establishment of the Darong Import Facility in his community, saying, Santa Cruz is a first-class municipality that is investor-friendly. He likewise cited the good reputation of Pilipinas Shell, DMCI, Northern Star Energy Corporation and the parties associated with the Darong Import Terminal “and they did everything right from the start. We look forward to a brighter future for the municipality and our people.”

DMC CERI Chairman Isidro “Sid” Consunji said that the global pandemic has shown us the vulnerability of our supply chains and the need for more resilient infrastructure.

He added that with or without a pandemic, the Philippines needs adequate, continuous and affordable fuel supply to sustain the economy, address poverty and improve the quality of life of its citizenry.

“This fuel depot project (Darong Import Terminal) can bring our country closer to achieving all that,” Consunji said.

DMC CERI President Tulsidas “Das” C. Reyes echoed this optimism and said that once the Darong Import Facility is completed, the fuel storage facility will be one of the biggest and most modern of its kind in Mindanao.

“It will also generate and promote economic activities in the area which is aligned with the belief of DMC CERI in investing in the countryside where it can create the most social impact,” Reyes said.

On the part of Northern Star Energy Corporation, EVP and COO Juan Miguel Delgado said that the Darong Import Terminal is an affirmation of their business approach to move-store-trade.

“For Sta. Cruz Storage Corporation, it marks the start of its engagement in its core business that is both national and international in scope. Our presence here in the municipality of Santa Cruz will help provide Southern Mindanao with access to the highest quality fuel products to support economic activities as the region strives to recover from the pandemic,” Delgado said.

Pilipinas Shell Vice President for Supply and Distribution Kit Bermudez said that Shell believes in the prospects of Mindanao.

“Mindanao is one of the key priority growth areas of Pilipinas Shell. We are witness to how Mindanao is growing, and it is just apt that we provide them with the fuel storage for their growth,” Bermudez said.

Bermudez said that with this project, they also hope to energize the community and create opportunities for growth.

First Congressional District Office distributes starter toolkitsto graduates of the TESDA scholarship program

DAVAO CITY – The Office of First Congressional District Representative Paolo Duterte, in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), distributed 29 starter toolkits to their scholars on February 4, Friday afternoon.

The scholars received P10,000 worth of starter toolkits containing a VOM multi-tester analog, a soldering iron set, one long nose pliers, one diagonal cutting pliers, a screwdriver set, and one desoldering pump (solder sucker).

The distribution, held at Barangay Hall Magtuod, Maa was facilitated also by Tambi Sarenas, a candidate for City Councilor for First District of Davao City.

“Mapasalamaton ko sa akong nadawat na toolkit kay dako kining tabang para makahinay-hinay ko sugod sa akong trabaho (I am grateful for the office’s toolkit, which will help me start a job),” Kristel Ubante said.

The 26-year-old Ubante, from Purok 2A in Magtuod Maa, is among the First Congressional District Office’s scholars who recently completed electronics at TESDA. Ubante said that she went through a training from February to March.

Rep. Duterte’s office has been working with TESDA for their scholars. The program aims to provide accessible education and constant learning to anyone who aspires to acquire new skills or enhance their existing talents and knowledge amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

PRRD signs national budget for 2022

Bong Go emphasizes proper and timely use of funds critical in pandemic efforts and economic recovery

President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law on Thursday, December 30, the last national budget under his administration, a measure that is critical in implementing the government’s pandemic response and in ensuring the country’s economic recovery.

In his speech, Duterte expressed his gratitude to Congress for expediting the ratification of the national budget. He went on to note that the passage of the 2022 budget demonstrates the ‘healthy collaboration’ among all branches of the government, which is crucial in achieving national development goals, especially in these hard times.

“As we mark the signing of the 2022 budget and other laws, let us all emulate Rizal’s heroism and courage by serving the country with dedication and accountability by doing what is right and just for our people,” Duterte added.

The President also stated that the 2022 budget is critical in maintaining the recovery momentum and sustaining the legacy of infrastructure development.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go commended the President for the timely signing of the budget, saying, “The signing is timely as we continue to deal with the pandemic and the recent onslaught of Typhoon Odette on our people and economy.”

“Nagpapasalamat naman ako sa mga kasamahan ko sa Lehislatibo at kay Pangulong Duterte sa agarang pagsasabatas ng 2022 General Appropriations Act. Sobrang napakahalaga ng budget na ito lalo na at patuloy nating nilalabanan ang pandemya at inaalalayan ang ating mga kababayang lubhang naapektuhan ng bagyong Odette,” he added.

The senator also urged government agencies to ensure the proper use of the funds, saying, “Kaya hinihimok ko ang mga kasamahan ko sa gobyerno na gamitin nang tama ang pondong inilaan upang agarang maihatid ang mga serbisyo at tulong na nararapat sa ating mga mamamayan.”

“Dapat walang masayang ni piso sa kaban ng bayan. Tiyakin nating magiging kasangkapan ang pondo ng gobyerno upang mapadali ang pagbangon ng ating bansa sa pagpasok ng Bagong Taon,” he added.

The senator then expressed his confidence that the budget was carefully considered in order to meet the demands of the Filipino people, particularly in these difficult times, and to enable the government to provide a comfortable life for all.

“Tiwala ako na ang budget na ito ay napapanahon at angkop upang tuluyan nating malampasan ang kasalukuyang pandemya at iba pang krisis sa bansa. Maipagpapatuloy din natin ang iba’t ibang programa at proyekto ng kasalukuyang administrasyon,” he stressed.

According to Go, the government continues to implement all necessary measures to save and protect lives. Also already included in the 2022 budget is an increased funding for COVID-19 response.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go successfully advocated budgetary support for the continuous implementation of the Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment, and Reintegration strategy, the emergency hiring of COVID-19 Human Resources for Health, and hiring and training of contact tracers.

“We also ensured there would be sufficient funding for the following activities and programs: COVID-19 benefits and compensation for our healthcare workers who are at the forefront of our battle against COVID-19; COVID-19 Laboratory Network Commodities to further enhance our testing capacity; and Epidemiology and Surveillance program to strengthen our disease surveillance,” Go explained.

“We also increased the budget of our National Reference Laboratories, such as RITM, to capacitate them to do genome sequencing in light of the new emerging variants, and support for the operations of DOH hospitals across the country,” he added.

To further beef up protection against the virus, the government also ensured funding for COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots. He however emphasized the need for continued cooperation from the public in order to fully recover from the pandemic.

“Subalit, hindi naman kaya ng gobyernong sugpuin ang pandemya na mag-isa. Kaya dapat patuloy ang pakikiisa at kooperasyon ng lahat. Tandaan natin na hindi porke’t pwede nang lumabas at gumala ay hindi na tayo mag-iingat,” he said.

“Ang ating pagmamalasakit sa kapwa at pagiging disiplinado ay makakapagligtas ng buhay ng mga kapwa natin Pilipino. Kaya sama-sama po tayong maging instrumento ng pag-asa at mas ligtas na komunidad sa pagsalubong ng Bagong Taon!,” Go ended.