State of the Province Addresses (SOPA)

The State of the Province Address (SOPA) is an annual report of the Local Chief Executive that highlights the accomplishments of the provincial government of the previous year as well as the major plans and programs for the ensuing year.

The annual address of the Local Chief Executive is mandated by the Local Government Code and is presented to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, officials, employees, stakeholders and to the general public.

Gov. Imee Marcos prides for transformed Ilocos Norte, successful Ilocanos on SOPA 2015


Governor Imee Marcos proudly announced a newly transformed Ilocos Norte, citing stories of various Ilocanos who have felt remarkable progress in their lives during her fifth State of the Province Address (SOPA) held at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena on August 10, 2015.

According to Gov. Marcos, Ilocos Norte is one of the few provinces to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) set by the United Nations Development Programme this year.

MDG is a worldwide movement adopted by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) which aimed to significantly reduce, if not decisively eradicate, extreme poverty.

“We have done what we set out to do, exceeding poverty, employment, education, maternal health, and reforestation. From the alarming increase in poverty in 2010 (at 28%), poverty has now fallen to a record of 8.4%,” Gov. Marcos said.

According to her, progress in the province began with the transformation of the Capitol itself from a dark, filthy building into a tourist-friendly structure.

Ang pag-asenso ng Ilocos Norte (ay) unang nakita sa Kapitolyo. Dati madungis at madilim, ngayon walang tigil ang mga taong magpa-selfie sa harapan! Inaaway pa ako ‘pag pinapatay ang fountain!” she quipped.

Gov. Marcos added that “(the) provincial income has doubled to P1.42 billion today, from a mere P739 million in 2010. More significantly, our self-generated income is now P319,541,427.”

With its strengthened governance, PGIN has maintained its ISO 9001 Certification, “now including tiny municipalities and remote extension hospitals. ISO ti International Standard para iti naurnos ken nadalus a panangidaulo,” she added.

She then highlighted the improvements of PGIN frontline services especially on health, education, jobs and livelihood as well as the remarkable developments in all sectors—from transportation, peace and order, infrastructure, tourism, agriculture and environment.

“Today, ours is a strong transitional economy, growing rapidly at 16.7%. With better- planned education, improving public health and social services, our human development index remains high… and Ilocanos consistently outlive other Filipinos by 6 years, an average 75 years old,” she stated.

She also cited the upcoming projects and developments of her administration starting from the partnership with Parsons Brinckerhoff, a leading multinational engineering and design firm, “to masterplan an integrated system of traffic management (and) signaling pedestrian facilities.”

The province is also building new tourism infrastructures to cater to the growing industry which has multiplied into 380.64% in the past two years.

A Cultural Policy Ordinance will be enacted to further protect, develop and promote the cultural heritage of Ilocos Norte as a primary driver of growth, opportunity, livelihood and development.

Social services will also be improved through the establishment of a Women’s Charter and organization of Senior Citizens into active Office for Senior Citizens Affairs and Federated Senior Citizens Association Groups.

‘Goodbye kurapay!’ for Ilocanos

Gov. Marcos said the “ordinary and extraordinary people building our province anew” are the Ilocanos whose lives have been meaningfully transformed for the past five years.

“Goodbye kurapay!” (Goodbye poverty!) said Gov. Marcos as she recounted such stories of transformation.

Bonifacio Aga, a beneficiary of PGIN’s Self-Employment Assistance Program, attested the efficiency of the present administration. From being a small time trader of scrap materials, he became a wholesaler to a major business establishment in the province—after borrowing a certain amount from the program.

The SOPA also featured stories of various people who exemplified Ilocano talent, creativity, boldness and solidarity.

Among them are SEA Games Gold Medalist and Chess Champion Mhage Sebastian, National Most Outstanding Police of 2015 SPO1 Joy Manuela, famous web designer Vince Canlapan.

Ngem ti importante ket ti panagsisinnakittayo iti panawen ti rigat. Uray adu a dadakkel a proyektom no saanmo nga ammo ti mangisakit. Uray babassit a proyekto no dumanon a sapasap,” Gov. Marcos emphasized.

(What’s important is our concern for everyone during hard times. Big projects do not make impacts if you do not know how to care. But small projects matter most when it benefits everyone,” Gov. Marcos emphasized.)

Timpuyog ti baro nga Ilocos Norte’

While assuring sustainable progress in Ilocos Norte, Gov. Marcos asked for a continuing cooperation and collaboration in all sectors of the province by launching the newest provincial slogan ‘Timpuyog ti baro nga Ilocos Norte.’

According to Gov. Marcos, ‘timpuyog,’ an Ilocano term for unity, was the foundation of Ilocos Norte which helped rebuild the province anew in the past five years.

She added that ‘timpuyog’ or “the endless network of communities” is the most important key to achieving future goals of the province.

Ti timpuyog maipakitatayo babaen ti pannakibinnulig. Ti ugali nga uray dikay agga-ammo ket no makita a marigatanka ket tulongan a kas pagayam. Amin ket kailian nga Ilocano, pakairamanan dagiti mangidadaulo kadatayo ken opisiales iti barangay,” she asserted.

(“Unity is seen through cooperation and recognizing that everyone who needs help is a friend. Everyone here is an Ilocano, including our leaders and barangay officials,” she asserted.)

In order to achieve the visions for the province, Gov. Marcos highlighted that everyone must have the sincerity to serve, referring to the ‘Marcos Magic’ which is inherent to every Ilocano.

Timpuyog! Let us honor the great Ilocano community, let us celebrate the new Ilocano!” said Gov. Marcos as she concluded her 61-minute speech.—Jennifer T. Pambid, PGIN-CMO

Full SOPA 2015 video can be viewed here:

Photos are in an album at our flickr photostream here:

Timpuyog ti Baro nga Ilocos Norte: Governor Imee highlights ‘unity in diversity as greatest wealth of the province’ in fifth SOPA

Priding on the Ilocano culture of ‘timpuyog’ or unity during her fifth State of the Province Address (SOPA) on August 10, 2015 at Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena, Governor Imee R. Marcos declared that social capital is the most important wealth which has “helped rebuild the province anew in the past five years.”

Governor Marcos, who took office in 2010 amid crisis in outmigration and a province gutted by poverty and unemployment, asserted that “Ilocano communities bounce back quickly because of our social capital – family and friends, ready to help, communities here and overseas contributing, leaders that are vigilant and responsive.”

Recalling the province’s condition five years ago, Ilocos Norte’s transitional economy has grown rapidly at 16.7% under the administration of Governor Marcos.

“We have done what we set out to do,” she pointed out as employment, education, maternal health and reforestation has been exceeded and poverty has now fallen to a record of 8.4% this year compared to the 28% in 2010.

Through this, Ilocos Norte can now proclaim “Goodbye kurapay! (Goodbye poverty!)” as the province is one of the few provinces to achieve the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations Development Programme this year.

She further highlighted that the Ilocano age-old idea of ‘timpuyog’ or unity could be attributed to the success and development that is now being experienced in the province and considered it as the “true wealth” of Ilocos Norte.

“We may not be the richest or biggest or most highly-developed province, but social capital endows every Ilocano with a devoted family, community networks, a world-wide safety net of relationships,” she added.

Honor the great Ilocano community, celebrate the new Ilocano’

Her 5,843-word speech which lasted for 61 minutes was framed around stories of praising ordinary and extraordinary Ilocanos “everywhere throughout the country and the world, ready to help and build together.”

To prove that poverty and unemployment have significantly decreased in the province, the governor recounted how the lives of Ilocanos were transformed by the several programs of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN).

She mentioned the struggles of Ms. Grace Castillo of Bangui who used to roam around her neighborhood to repair shoes and bags for a living. After borrowing Php 5,000.00 under the PGIN’s Self-Employment Assistance Program, she was able to buy a new set of sewing machine, a motorcycle to deliver to her customers and put up her own shop at Bangui Market.

Meanwhile, the Capitol Express, a roving one-stop shop program initiated by Governor Marcos, received one of the loudest cheers from the more than 8,000 Ilocanos who attended the event.

The said program has been effective in bringing PGIN’s frontline services such as jobs and livelihood, health and agriculture of the Provincial Capitol to more Ilocanos especially in the far-flung areas of the province.

Receiving a total of 35 rounds of applause, this year’s SOPA also celebrated the success stories of old and young Ilocanos such as award-winning farmer Ricarte Corpuz, acclaimed loom weaver Charito Cariaga, decathlete Jesson Cid and chess prodigy Mhage Sebastian for embodying the greatness and innovativeness in the province.

In line with the commitment to sustainable progress, Governor Marcos sought for the unity in every sector and highlighted that the real ‘Marcos Magic’ is inherent in every Ilocano regardless of one’s status in the society.

“Amin nga mangidadaulo, adda talugading na nga kas iti Marcos Magic…ta no adda kenka ti napudno wenno nadarisay a panagserbi ket magun-od dagiti amin nga arapaap tayo,” said Governor Marcos.

(“Marcos Magic exists in all of our leaders in the province…that if you have pure and sincere intentions to serve, we can certainly achieve our vision for our province,” said Governor Marcos.)

Governor Marcos concluded her speech by asking everyone “to honor the great Ilocano community, to celebrate the new Ilocano” as she continuously pushes for the progress of the province.—John Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO


Speech of the Provincial Governor, Hon. Imee R. Marcos during her State of the Province Address at the Plaza del Norte Hotel and Convention Center, August 26, 2014, 3PM.


Apo Bise Gobernador

Kakadwami nga miyembros iti Junta Probinsiyal,

Appo a mamayor ken sanggunian bayan, punong barangay ken kadagiti padak nga agserserbi iti ili

The Honorable Consul of the People’s Republic of China Zhiao Quiaoliang.

Our good investors and businessmen, partners in progress and development.

Patpatgek a kailiak, naimbag a malemyo amin a sangapada.

Bimmangonen ti ilocos Norte, makitan dagiti adu a nagdur-asan ni Ilocano. Ta babaen ti alibtak tayo ket agtultuluyen ti panagbaliw ti aglawlaw. Ti panagdur-as ken pannakabigbig ti Ilocos Norte ket gapu iti gaget tayo amin, saan a gapu iti maymaysa laeng a sector wenno maymaysa nga ili, no dikket ti panagkaykaysa tayo: Ilocos Norte is great again!

Sama-sama tayo noong unang SOPA 2011 at paulit-ulit akong “Awan ti imposible”? Tapos nung 2012 “One Great Ilocos Norte” naman—parang walang naniniwala noon, pati ako hindi sigurado kung saan tayo makakaabot. Kung sabagay fashion show naman ang SOPA, okey lang. Pero tignan niyo, ang dami nating nagawa! Wala man pumansin nung umpisa, ngayon walang kaduda-duda na malayo ang ating narating sa iilang taon, salamat sa inyong paniniwala, pakikilahok at pagkakaisa.

Wen, kabaelan tayo!

Yes, for all the naysayers and cynics, for all those of little faith, we have come a long way in 4 years. In 2011 we encountered a hollowed-out province, gutted by outmigration, poverty, crime and a dormant bureaucracy. Poverty in the coastal and mountain zones had climbed up from 21 % in 2003 to 24% in 2010. We responded aggressively—food packs in the lean months, 16,000 scholarships per year, barangay roads, fishing boats, tools, and new agricultural packages

Napukawen ti kinakurapay. 9.9% laengen ti nabati pay, nasapsapa ngem 2015 nga nagun-od ti MDG, nga mabingay iti marigrigat. Naparmeken ti maternal ken child mortality, ken pannakatay gapu iti dengue, rabies, ken chikungonya. Our efforts to reorganize the Provincial Hospitals, to rationalize and expand the PhilHealth system, and empower the BHWs, have raised the quality of life. Our Human Development Index ranks in the top 10 in the country, everyone who lives in Ilocos Norte is guaranteed the longest lifespan in the Philippines!

Matindi rin ang krimen—may high-profile marder, walang testigo o katibayan. Ngayon sa wakas bumalik na tayo sa katahimikan. Saluduan tay man dagiti pulis, soldado, dagitay taga Coast Guard ken dagitay Barangay Tanods, BPATS ken enforcers. We are the most peaceful province in Northern Luzon again, following anti-drug and illegal firearms campaigns. Crime clearance now stands at 73%, solution is at its highest at 59%, and there are fewer motorcycle in tandem shooting incidents. But we never take peace and order for granted. Anti-criminality, community intelligence, operations, the use of technology and forensic science all have to be prioritized. No mabalin, pasilawan tayo dagiti kalsada tapno agbuteng dagiti kriminal!

Hindi lihim na nakunsume ako sa sistema ng Capitolyo noon, nagngingitngit sa ilang empleyadong laging absent! Ngayon nagkakaunawaan na kami, at nakatutok ang digital Ilocano citizens, nagsusumbong sa text at tweet! I am very proud of our LGus who have earned the Local Government Seal of Good Housekeeping, and following the ISO of Laoag, the Province and our hospitals, 9 municipalities are now ready for their own international ISO: Bacarra, Sarrat, Carasi, Curimao, Dingras, Marcos, Paoay, Pasuquin at San Nicolas. Congratulations sa aking mga kasangga!

Nakita tayon ket nangrugin ti panagbalbaliw ken mabigbig dagiti saririt ken laing tayo babaen iti narambak nga umuna a tawen ti Tan-ok Festival. Nagbukas ang Tabacalera at Wilcon, at blockbuster yung teleseryeng “Walang Hanggan” ni Coco Martin, starring Bangui Windmills at Burgos Lighthouse. 2012 agad pinasa ng Provincial Board ang EDC Burgos windmills. Inilunsad din sa Manila ang Paoay Kumakaway at ang Badoc Gateway naging unang tourist center. Abril ng 2012 dinagsa tayo ng daan-daang libong turista, na nagkaubusan ng pagkain at hotel! Pumasok noon ang Pagudpud windmill group.

Mayo dos ang unang Milagrosa at Himala sa Buhangin, kasabay ang pagbukas ng Savemore, shooting ng Enteng Kabisote at Agimat, at paglunsad ng Task Force Trabaho, tour guides at ILEA retail. Pinunla nung Hunyo yung premyo natin bilang top rice producer at Hulyo nag-province-wide rehab ng puno ang mango growers natin. Ilang buwan lamang andyan na rin ang Hypermart, Puregold at Johnny Moon digital media.

Kabaelan tay gayam! Babaen iti tulong yo amin! Tunggal adda SOPA nga ipagtangsit dagiti nasayaat nga naaramidan iti napalabas nga tawen. Ngem ti kinapudnu na, ditoy Ilocos Norte, dakayo iti makaigapo ken nangaramid ti panagbalbaliw- saan nga ti gobierno, saan a dagiti opisyales wenno babaknang, aglalo a saan a ti gobernadora, no di ket iti maysa ken maysa kadakayo a nangiduron tapno agbalbaliw iti napnuan saguday ti probinsiyatayo. Ilocos Norte is great again, and Ilocanos are greater still!

We have proven, to ourselves and to the world, that we have the will and the energy, the talent and commitment to transform our province. That sad, hollowed-out shell of migrating workers, decrepit infrastructure and desperate rural families is gone, and a vibrant new Ilocos Norte has taken its place. With hope and ambition let us now create a future for our families at home. So that IN2020 Ilocos Norte will truly be a home we can be proud of, the best little province in the country.

IN2020, what is that vision? After listening and planning with Ilocanos everywhere, let us more precisely name our targets.

We want to lengthen our lead in the areas in which we already lead the rest of the country—inclusivity, education and culture, and job creation. As we grow, we must maintain the social networks and compassion that are traditionally Ilocano. And while we embrace technology and all its devices, we will honor our culture, heritage and the values that define us as a people.

We want more and better jobs to provide adequately for our families, both in our cities and farflung rural areas. Every Ilocano must have the choice of working overseas or working here at home. But as our economy grows rapidly and diversifies, we will also safeguard the environment’s rare and fragile treasures.

We want finally to become a modern province, the best province in the country. With the momentum gained from recent development, we will use our natural resources and talents for the benefit of all Ilocanos. Still, as we modernize, we will manage urbanization, taking on the challenges of housing, transport and water management today while we still have the chance to map a sustainable Metro Ilocos.

IN2020, we want a province that we can say, of all the big cities and provinces in the country, Ilocos Norte is the best to live in. But to achieve this, we must plan—and yes, let us dream a little.

Ang pangunahing leksyon ng mga nakalipas na taon ay alam na ng bawat Ilocano: Umuna Edukasyon! Ngayon nasa 96.5% ang enrolment, halos wala ng OSY, at ang mga NAT score o National Achievement Test ay tumataas din: congratulations sa mga guro, estudyante at magulang ng Solsona National High School, Dumalneg at Bangui National High School at sa Badoc Pasuc-Parang Elementary, at Nagpatpatan Elem! Kayo ang katibayan na may K ako magyabang—ang tunay na produkto ng Ilocandia ay hindi bigas o tabako kundi mga Presidente, dahil sa kahabaan ng panahon, ang Presidente ng Pilipinnas ay dugong Ilocano— matalino, masipag at tapat!

Now let us take education beyond the classroom, beyond age and place. Let us convert Ilocos Norte into a learning province, so that every field and beach is a science lab, a Heroes Walk is a library in the park, and Sirib buses become mobile movie houses.

Let us harness traditional customs as learning opportunities; Biagen tayo iti saranay, nga isut mangipalagip ti pinagtitinnulong, Dap-ayan nga usaren nga lugar a pagsursurwan dagiti ub-ubing, ken timpuyog- para iti panagkaykaysa nga manggun-od ti ballaigi tayo, ken ‘Apong’ para iti panangited panursuro iti sumaruno a kapututan. Ket babaen kadagitoy a nagkakauna nga kababalin ket ad-ada ken al-alisto nga masursuro.

Let us engage the elderly: my baby boomer generation, now 49 to 58 years old, will be senior citizens IN2020. Biglang dadami ang seniors sa loob ng ilang taon lang! Only lifelong learning will keep us young and vigorous. Lolas and lolos have much to teach the young, just as the young have a great deal to show us: history and computer skills, experience in exchange for Facebook and Twitter.

Ang mga iskolar ng probinsya ay nagbuo ng Sirib upang marinig ang kabataan. Nag-Sirib Express sa kolehiyo at high school, at ngayon mayroon leadership scholars at dalawang libo’t limang daang volunteers na binubunyag ang mga programa natin hanggang sa kasulok-sulukan ng probinsya. Agbiag dagiti agtutubo nga Ilocano! Ang 2020 ay para sa kanila, sila ang tutupad sa ating mga pangarap.

Bagets ken bakets, pati nga Capitolyo naging eskwelahan na, nagte-training at nageempleyo ng sangkatutak na kabataan. Dalawampu’t lima lang ang nadatnan kung SPES o summer job noong 2009, naging 2,798 na bibong-bibong tourguides, clerks, IT, engineering trainees at kung anu-ano pa!

Palagay ko panahon nang pag-usapan din ang MMSU. Our premier educational institution has begun to rethink its role in a quickly-diversifying economy. Originally focused on agriculture and forestry, bigger enrollments are now found in business, engineering, tourism and computer sciences. Our farmers also await from MMSU research and innovation that will impact their lives— when can indigenous Ilocano white garlic be developed into weightier, sturdier, new and more productive varieties?

Libreng managinip. IN2020 sana may handheld tablets na kaya ang mga klase at todo i-Hub na ang mga bayan. Sana maganda na ang Centennial at Stadium, at pati munisipyo, may sports hub—nasken malagipyo, kabaelan tayo!

Karamihan ng mga turista, pumupunta sa Ilocos Norte para makita ang Paoay Church, mapuntahan lahat ng Marcos Trail, matikman ang genuine bagnet ken empanada. Kaya’t dito sa atin, hindi luho o hilig lang ng mayayaman ang kultura, kundi hanapbuhay at industriya ng buong probinsya. Pasingkedan ti kinatan-ok ni ilocano, kayamanan natin ito. Napakalakas bumenta ng kulturang Ilocano!

Because every Ilocano was born with this immense heritage, all too often we take it for granted. We must urgently put in place a cultural strategy not merely to protect heritage sites and museums, but to promote art galleries and spaces, endow schools of architecture, design, literature, gastronomy, and renew vanishing indigenous cultures. In Ilocos Norte, culture sells, and for many among us today, heritage is our living.

The first conservation school in the country has been launched in Paoay CIT, to revive the classic trades of carpentry, wood-carving, handloom weaving, bricks and stone. The NCCA, Spain’s Escuela Talleres, and the Betis, Pampanga workshops are partnering with us. We watched with horror when the Bohol churches fell during the earthquake.

Let us be mindful that after Bohol, our province has the most number of colonial churches. Only with long-term planning and fervent prayer can we safeguard them.

Bago tayo sumikat sa Instagram, ang probinsya, sumikat muna sa sine. Hanggang Thailand, at international Suddenly It’s Magic! Pati reality show sa Amsterdam shinooting dito. Nakakuha pa ng raket ang halos dalawang libong Ilocanong ekstra at support staff. Starring na naman ang Ilocos Norte dahil sa rebulto ni Nora Aunor, ang Himala sa Buhangin humatak ng libu-libong Noranian at turista. Superstar talaga!

This October, Ilocos Norte’s creative and design industries will be the featured in FAME, the Department of Trade and Industry’s tradeshow in SMX Mall of Asia. It is a huge challenge, following Cebu and Pampanga, the powerhouses of export manufacture, and we are counting on your inabel, damili, baskets and furniture to do us proud! Kabaelan tay daytoy!

Tatlong Tan-ok na ang ating itinanghal, napatunayan na hindi lagi ang bayan na may pinakamalaking budget ang nananalo. Maski maliliit na minisipyo, mga tribu nagwawagi, pagkat malikhain, kaka-iba at kaakit-akit ang palabas. Ako ang unang humihiyaw sa gastos nitong events, Ilocana yata ang Gobernor niyo! Hindi bonggang costume o set ang humahatak ng tao at turista kundi kultura at katutubong talino!

Mapunta tayo sa aking paboritong paksa: trabaho! Kung dati mabagal ang pagdami ng trabaho, nakadagdag tayo ng labing siyam na porsyentong trabaho itong taon. Abot 44,609 jobs na ang dinulot ng Task Force Trabaho, higit doble sa ipinangakong 20,000! We have the highest employment rate in Region I, at 95.26%, higher also than the national average.

Ngem kurang pay! Trabaho pa rin ang utos ng pangangailangan, upang tayo’y maging pinaka-best, pinak-best na probinsya. Nagbabago ngayon ang mga sector na maraming trabaho. Paunti ng paunti ang magsasaka at namimingwit, dumarami ang nagtratrabaho sa industriya, construction, transportasyon. Lalo’t higit na lumolobo ang service and retail workers, lampas triple ang dami ng namamasukan sa turismo, hotel, restawran atbp. Maraming oportunidad, ngunit kailangang paghandaan ang mga bagong job openings kundi mahuhuli at maiiwanan!

Sabi kasi ang Ilocano ay hindi papayag kapag walang diploma—

pero aanhin naman ang diploma kung walang trabaho? Napakarami ng skills program, may K to 12 pa, ayaw kagatin dahil awan diploma. Magpakatotoo tayo, karamihan ng trabaho ay para sa skilled worker, hindi sa nars o titser! Madali nang pumasok, matataas pa ang sweldo! Aluminum fitter, master carpenter, hotel and restaurant work, lalo na bartender, telecoms, IT at healthcare, heavy equipment operator at iba pa. May Provincial Skills Masterplan na, kasama ng pribadong sector, na tutugon sa mga in-demand na empleyo. Mag-training na tayo—paspas dur-as!

While we have created new jobs, they are not always the sustainable quality jobs our families can depend on. An upsurge in retail employment accompanied the opening of the national chains in Metro Ilocos, but are they reliable? Tourism jobs remain seasonal and volatile, if indeed high-paying. At last, after a long wait international call centers are taking notice of our graduates and will be setting up shop. We will continue to partner with BPO’s to build on government property, and hopefully our local businessmen will join us too.

Ti pagserkan ti trabaho ket masarakan laeng iti ciudad. Arigna awan ti pagserkan kadagiti adayo a barangay. Addan programa BRO wenno Barangay Ranger Officers nga mangsalluad iti kabakiran. Siyak pay ket din ti madanagan, nu kasta nga marana da dagiti illegal loggers ken agtatakaw iti bonsai ta baka madisgrasya da.

Babaen kadagiti nasurok a sangagasut a grupo ken federasyon dagiti naduma-duma a sector kas iti federasyon iti agmulmula iti bawang ken mangga- Babaen iti panagkaykaysa da, dimawat da iti tulong tayo tapnon matulungan da nga maipangato iti presyo da, nangted tayon ti kantedad tapno mapapintas pay ken umado ti apit da. Ti kayat ko nga idanun kadakayo nga no adda grupo yo al-alisto ti Suporta ti gobyerno.

Marami na ring Manang at misis na nangutang sa Lacasa, Sea-K, OF-Red—dagdagan pa natin ang kanilang puhunan, dahil napakagaling ng Ilocanang magbayad: mabilis, buong-buo nakangiti pa.

Timmulong tayon ken adun iti trabaho nga naited kadagiti cailian tayo ngem ngimato iti lima nga porsiento dagiti magatgatang sapay lang ngimmato ti mabayadan ti BIR! Iti

sumaruno a bulan ket rugyan ti probinsia ti Kadiwa Rolling Stores, kasla idi panawen daydi tatang ko. Agilako dagitoy a Kadiwa iti nalaka a presyo. Agbalin dagitoy a tulong kadagiti nakurapay!

Development in the mountainous east of Ilocos Norte lags behind, our rural folk are moving to the Metro Ilocos in record numbers: just a few decades ago, a mere 15% lived in the centros. IN2020 fully one-third of the province will live in Metro Ilocos. Urbanization is the phenomenon of our century. This year 2014 most people throughout the world are living in cities. Metro Ilocos will begin in the highway barangays of Batac- from Magnuang, Pimentel, Baay, Tabug -through Batac Centro, the Batac-Paoay Road and the crowded Paoay streets, most of San Nicolas’ barangays, to include all of Laoag City through Pasiocan in Bacarra. How do we avoid the pitfalls of urban sprawl, loggerjam traffic, water and other shortages that plague Metro-Manila, Cebu and other cities? Inggana nga adda pay panawen, masapol nga adda intay pagsasaritaan—Agtignay tayon!

Affordable city housing must be the first urban INitiative. The exorbitant cost of land, together with the opportunities offered by Metro-Ilocos to students, employees and aspiring workers are the deadly combination for illegal settlers and slums. We must provide housing finance, construct with private developers, and formulate a progressive legal framework. The province is building Adigi Housing in Batac, and is ready to start the Ayuyang Homes behind the Laoag stadium. This learning curve has shown us that we must diversify our housing efforts to address, above all, the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.

Unang-una, ang isyu ng lupa, na laging isyu sa atin. Ang gobyerno ang may- ari ng 75.51% ng lupa ng Iocos Norte. Malaki ang landbank na ito. Kung sana ipagamit ng DENR, DAR atbp. national government offices ang nakatiwangwang na lupa sa pabahay ng mga Ilocano!

Sa probinsya, tuloy-tuloy tayong namimigay ng Natalged nga titulo, 12,351 titulo na, ngunit daang libo pa rin ang inaantay. Datayo ngamin, satay lang agpatitulo nu masapol tay nga umutang, Dakayo no di kay agpatitulo baka tay daga yo mapukaw ngamin uray rabii umakar ta muhon yo!

Madalas, hindi kayang bumili ng mahihirap ng bahay kahit na ipinapatayo ng gobyerno. Kailangan may housing na paupahan o rental malapit sa eskwelahan, mga opisina at sentrong pinagtratrabauhan. Dahil ang pabahay ay bahagi lamang ng malawakang kampanya kontra sa kahirapan. Sa ilang may-ari o nangungupahan ng bahay, basic utilities ang dapat itulong ng gobyerno—tubig, linya ng kuryente, kalsadang ‘di nababaha. Yung iba may sariling lupa’t bahay, ngunit ang bahay naman ay marupok at peligroso. Sana’y mabigyan sila ng murang semento, hollow blocks, tubo, yero at sila na ang mag-ayos ng kanilang tirahan.

We seek to offer a whole gamut of housing options, and in partnership with the private sector, develop a modern Metro Ilocos IN2020. There is much to build and government is prepared to provide incentives and support for businessmen who will join us. If only Pag-ibig and the national authorities would accept that socialized housing only succeeds when locally implemented, if they could devolve at least the collections from the province, IN2020 we would surely have a housing program to be proud of!

Ti panagbalay ket saan nga ordinaryo wenno kwentaem no manut magastos mo. Nu diketdi ti panagbalay ket maysa nga parte iti biag ni Ilocano nga uray adayo ka iti lugar tayo ket sika ti agtagikwa. Ta ngamin, uray innot ayan mo, agsubli ka latta!

INisyatibong bago rin ang transportasyon. Lahat ng bumibisita dito ay nabibighani: ang gaganda ng mga daan, wala namang masakyan! Sa plete nagagastos ang baon ng mag-aaral, nauubos ang oras ng empleyado at turista at pati si Mamang Tricycle dumadaing na mahina ang kita! Panahon nang ayusin ang transportasyon. ‘Wag tayong maghintay maging Metro Manilang sakal ng trapik. ‘Di maayos ng mga nagtuturuang ahensya at mayor!

With urbanization, transportation has become our economic destiny: jobs in the city are only available to those with transport access. Yet LTFRB still confines franchises to the 1970’s south-north Manila North highway. Despite immense road building efforts into the Cordillera, many eastern towns and our northern coast remain underserved.

Rugyan tayon ti ruta a Laoag-Sarrat agingganat Dingras, Piddig, Kasano ngarud met iti Marcos ken Solsona? Uray sabado ken domingo wenno aldaw tienda laeng. Awan serbi ti nagbannugan tayo nu idiay Batac-Banna Road ket awan agpasada, pati Banna-Nueva Era ket dandani kumpleton! Awan byahe nga Laoag-Pagudpud iti rabii nu kasta a dumateng dagiti turista manipud airport. Adu nga agpayso iti lugan ngem maawan da met nu kasta nga agsipnget. Addan nightlife idiay Laoag, San Nicolas ken Batac, hantay nga Promdin, ket sapay kuma ta makidanggay met dagiti jeep ken tricycle nga agpasada agingganat rabii!

Panawenen tapno intay mangbuangay iti Ilocos Norte Transport Authority tapno isu ti mangdengeg iti amin a sektor ken agplano para iti naannayas nga trapiko ken serbisyo. Tapno iti kasta ket maurnosen ti susik gapu ti out of line, boundary dagiti tricykelan, jeep ken bus.

Ang totoo kaming opisyal takot makialam sa transpo, basag-ulo lagi! Ngunit tingin ko sa umpisa lang madugo, bandang huli, lahat naman makikinabang sa maayos na daloy ng trapiko. Lalo kung mapa-baba pa natin ang plete at madagdagan ang bumabiyahe, jackpot! Handa ang probinsya mag-alkila o bumili ng mga sasakyan para sa tinatawag na “missionary route,” mga bagong ruta papuntang daya na baka hindi agad kumita. Malamang kailangan din natin magpatayo ng “terminal,” maayos na daungan at lipatan ng pasahero sa Dingras at Pasuquin, ayusin pa ang Batac terminal at magdagdag ng ikalawang terminal sa Laoag sa bandang airport. Iba’t-iba rin kasi ang sasakyan na ating kailangan- Elf o cargo panghakot ng palay o gulay, minibus sa turista patungong Pagudpud, 4 by 4 pang- Surong Valley? Sosyal! Kabaelan tayo !

There is no land in our crowded town centers to build more and more roads. Hence, we shall soon have to limit road use in the sentros at least during rush hours. Eventually, we also must manage the flow of private cars into Metro Ilocos but first let us provide diverse public transport options, build more pedestrian walkways to increase walking time, and IN2020 learn to use public bicycles on designated cycling paths.

Magbisikleta sa Laoag? Masaya rin ata tahakin ang Rizal Street, nakasakay sa trambiya na walang trapik, trambiya tapos lumakad at sumakay din ng tricycle? Enjoy din siguro ang water taxi mula Badoc at Currimao, Laoag, Pasuquin, Burgos, hanggang Bangui at Pagudpud? Anat panagkunam, kabaelan tayo?

Dalawa ang pakay ng mga turista dito sa Ilocos Norte: makita ang makasaysayang simbahan at museo, at mapuntahan ang kakaibang kalikasan ng sand dunes, Kapurpurawan at Pagudpud. Tunay na mayaman sa kalikasan ang ating probinsya!

Going green is part of our provincial DNA. Last week, we constituted a multipartite monitoring team for renewable energy projects. Ironically, despite their mission to provide clean energy, wind construction sites have not always observed local ordinances on quarrying, coral preservation, and the protection of endangered plant and marine life. In Ilocos Norte, let it be known that even the country’s biggest companies have to comply with law, the laws of man and of nature.

Thus a third provincial initiative seeks to address the extreme changes we have experienced in rain and water supply. Pagkat bawat taon umuunti ang ulan at patubig—yung dating 556mm na ulan tuwing Agosto, ngayon ay 270mm nalang.

Ti panawen ket saan nga maawatan. Ngamin, ti igaaw ket walo agingana iti sangapulo nga bulan, dua a bulan ket bagyo wenno layos. Ti amianan nga daya ti probinsya tayo, malmes ti tudo- ngem iti abagatan tayo, ket agrengreng-ngat ti daga. Ay, apo, anat aramiden tayo?

Tuloy-tuloy kasi tayong nag-aaksaya ng tubig: ang ilocano raw ay matipid sa lahat ng bagay pwera sa tubig! Wag linulunod ang bukid, tipid ang bigas sa AWD, o Alternate Wet and Dry Method. Wag basta tinatapon ang tubig na pinaghugasan, tubig sa labada, dahil mahal ang tubig at pwede pang gamiting pandilig o panghugas.

But water conservation province-wide is not enough, new and bigger sources of water should also be developed. With over one-third of the population living in Metro Ilocos IN2020, an unparalleled demand for water will dry up ground and surface sources, putting pressure on meager catchment areas such as INWD’s Sitio Dilomot in Pasuquin. To provide potable water, we require an extensive new system of “3 provincial faucets”: watersheds first in upland Pasuquin and second in Vintar to supply Laoag, third heavy forestration around Paoay Lake to provide water for Batac and the south.

Already the mountains of Solsona and Dingras are perilously prone to landslides and flooding. Our dams in Cura, Papas, Labugaon, Madongan, Solsona and Nueva Era are damaged and inadequate. Together with 3 provincial faucets, we must begin to plant the “Green Wall of Ilocos Norte” a massive watershed of forest along the eastern mountains, which like the Great Wall of China, will protect our dams and fertile plains. By planting sturdy endemic species, we can prevent continued erosion, flooding and drought first in the highly vulnerable barangays Puttao, Sta. Ana, Nagpatpatan in Solsona, in Dingras Francisco, San Marcelino, Barong, then through Banna and Nueva Era, northwards to Piddig, Carasi and Adams.

Perhaps IN2020 the ancient dakkel a dannum, epic rivers in Laoag, Sarrat, Vintar, Dingras, Bolo, Quiaoit and Nueva Era will then revive and flow once again. Even as new SWIP and Small Multi-purpose Storage Projects are planned Quiom–Maipalig in Batac and Tibangran in Badoc, and other potential catchments are built. If we can manage our water resources, we will surely be the best little province in the country!

How indeed do we disaster-proof Ilocos Norte? We have set up the Provincial Resiliency Council, broadening and deepening the involvement of all sectors, including grocery and water suppliers, off-roaders and tree nurseries. We have prepositioned food, heavy equipment and medicines in newly-refurbished evacuation centers. Last week for the first time in the province, we conducted disaster exercises involving thousands of policemen, soldiers, officials and residents of high-risk barangays. We can never be too prepared! Nalabesen iti panagbaliw ti panawen isu a kasapulan ti intayo panagsagana tapnu magawidan ti pannakairisang ti biag. Nu pay kasta awan pay pimmusay.

Dapat buong taon na kasi tayong naghahanda sa tag-ulan at kalamidad. Imbestigahan ang mga lumang kalye, gusali, dam, dike at canal upang ipagtibay ang mga bahaging kailangan ayusin. Yung kalye, tulay, school building at irigasyon sa Ilocos Norte na pinagawa pa ng tatang ko- halos singkwenta anyos ang idad sa 2020. At hindi naman natin kayang palitan ng bago ang bawat isa sa mga ito?

Lagi nang nanganganib ang ani ng Setyembre at Oktubre; ‘di na dapat magtanim ng bigas sa mga bukid na laging binabaha o inaanod. Masapul nga planwen iti imula kadagita a bulan ngamin, masapol nga adayo kadagiti lalayusen nga lugar ken pagnaan iti danum tapnum saan nga maperdi kas kuma iti balangeg, kamotig, utong, tarong, ken okra. Ken agpanunot tay pay ti sabali nga pamastrekan kas koma iti panagtaraken iti dingwen 45 day chick ken agdait iti bado, ken dadduma pay.

Ngunit may mga dating ugali tayong dapat buhayin muli—ang paglilinis ng canal, pagsasaayos ng mga bahay at bubong. Ti Palomar o Bakris- malagip yo kadi nga daytoy ket us-usaren dagiti Appo tayo, nga no kasta nga agtudo, wenno agdakkel iti danum, ket isu ti mausar nga panaglapped. Ngem no met tiempo iti igaaw, daytoy ket mausar nga mangiturong iti danum nga mapan kadagiti kataltalunan. Iti panagsagana ket saan laeng nga iti gobyerno no di ketdi adda kadatayo!

In the end, infrastrucuture is just hardware, while genuine resilience ultimately depends on people. We must foster the networks of friendship and family that hold our community together, develop the social capital that will leverage early recovery, and find our leaders capable of overcoming these crises. Kabaelan tayo!

In truth, 6 years is a short time to achieve all that we must IN2020. Government cannot go it alone, we need you to volunteer and assure continued change and transformation. If we can set in motion a virtuous cycle of generosity and volunteerism, awareness and participation will ensue, your volunteer work will generate government savings, which will in turn fund more student jobs, more loans for women, work for tribesmen, fisherfolk and the handicapped. A virtuous circle indeed!

Sa ngayon, iilan ang nagvo-volunteer, mga suki kong barangay, Red Cross at Chinese Chamber. Lahat tayo ay abala sa trabaho at pamilya. Ngunit hindi ako naniniwala na ang Ilocano ay hindi matulungin: nakikita ko ang hirap ninyo sa barangay gawin ang ating kalye, ang sipag ng mga magulang tuwing Brigada Eskwela, malasakit ng mga doctor tuwing kami’y mag-Capitol Epress. Damang-dama rin ang mga donation ng mga balikbayan sa bawat bayan, at maraming Ilocanong nakasama nating tumulong sa Tacloban.

Itan! tapno awan ti maibati, awan ti maisiasi ken awan ti haan a maikkan iti tulong.

Kung abogado o notaryo, sumapi sa mga nagbubuo ng titulo at dokumento. Mahal na mga padi, kayo ang nakakaalam kung panung payuhan ang mga OFW families na namomroblema, mga propesor at mahusay sa numero, please help us with surveys and evaluation reports. Sa mga mag-caregiver at nars, marami tayong matatanda at may kapansanan na dapat alagaan. Natatabunan kami ng papeles sa Capitolyo—sana’y tumulong i-scan ang sangkatutak na papel sa Assessor, ng Accounts at pati mag-imbentaryo sa Engineering at GSO. Lalung makakatulong ang may skills sa pagpintura, pagluto, o mekaniko kung matuturuan niyo rin ang mga gustong mag-training at magtrabaho. Naglukaten ti Volunteer Desk ti Capitolyo, padasen yo!

Idi datayo iti KB, Kabataang Barangay, awan met pundo nga ited ti gobyerno, ngem adda met proyekto nga maipakita. Uray narigat idi panawen mi, ngem nararagsak kami latta, nga ti dakes isu met ti inda panagi-innarem ket nagi-innas-sawa dan! Those were the days ngarud!

Malagipko la unay daydi tatangko nga no adda didigra ket ugali ti pamilyami ti tumulong. Saan a maupay iti atiddog nga pila, ta uray adu ti intugot mi nga agas ken taripnum. Iti kauddian a pila ket inyawat ti amak iti nabati nga agas iti maysa a lakay. “Agan-anus kayo bassit Apo, daytoy laeng iti nabatin. Ti insungbat met ti lakay, “awan anniaman na Apo Presidente, ti laeng kasapulak ket bin-I. Nangitugot kayo koma iti bin-I tapno makamula kami metten”. Nairut a pinetpetan ti amak ti ima ti lakay sana kinallabay ket kinunana, “Mabainak ken maupayak pay ketdin, Tata”

Bin-I para ti namnama ken masakbayan dagiti ubbing man wenno nataengan. Rugian tayon nga inikkan biag ti probinsia, napaneknekan tayon a kabaelan tayo a pabaruen ti ilocos Norte. Itultuloy tayo ti intay narugian. Bayat ti panagserbi ti amak, adda met dagiti tiempo a maupay kami. Ngem nairugi min dagitoy babaen ti natibker a pammati.

A vibrant and caring environment is an extraordinary legacy one generation can leave the next. In Ilocos Norte we are better educated, earn a higher income per capita, enjoy a zero carbon footprint, social equity and access to nature and live longer than other Filipinos.

There have been many provinces, usually large and close to MetroManila, that have laid claim to the title of “best province” in the past.

For us the objective is simple: as a place for us to live, bring up our children, work and do business, and renew the soul, IN2020, as it is now, Ilocos Norte is the best little province in the country.

Kabaelan tayo. Aramiden tayo itan! Agmaymaysa tayo ngarud, a mangsango dagita a karit para iti naprogreso na probinsya tayo.

Agbiag ti Ilocos Norte, Bayabayen na tayo koma ti Apo!


Pdf File: SOPA 2014

Speech of the Provincial Governor, Hon. Imee R. Marcos during her State of the Province Address at the Plaza del Norte Hotel and Convention Center, August 6, 2013, 3PM.

Vice Consul of the Peoples Republic of China, the Hon. Duan Zhaodan, Apo Bise Gobernador, dagiti maingel nga miyembros ti Hunta Probinsiyal: Appo a mamayor, kakapitan, sasangaili, the honorable members of both the Philippine and the Chinese Chambers, Monsignor Ian, Father Dan, our investors from EDC, UPC, Mirae, Northwind and all the rest of the business communities and the NGOs, so amply represented this afternoon, atpatgek a kailian, padak nga Ilokano. Naimbag a malemyo a sangapada.

Sakbay ti amin alaek man daytoy a gundaway nga agyaman iti impaayyo manen kaniak a talek, kasta met kadagiti kaduak a kandidato nga itan ket agdama nga opisiales iti probinsia, kadagiti dua a siudad, ken dagiti duapulo ket maysa a munisipio ditoy probinsia. One Ilocos Norte a talaga, ikarimi ti agserbi kadagiti umili babaen ti napudno a panagkaykaysa.


Today our provincial economy is in transition, shifting mightily from the agricultural and rural landscape of decades past, to a service-directed, diversifying, and urbanizing economy. In 2010, I promised a minimum of 6% nominal growth in Ilocos Norte, and through aggressive government spending, public-private investments in retail, construction and tourism, and rising overseas remittances, we have surpassed that and today, an average of 12% growthis noted across key sectorsof the Provincial economy.

Paspas dur-as ang sabi natin nung 2010, dahil ako’y nagitla sa lumolobong bilang ng mahihirap sa atin. Nung 2003, 21% ang Ilocano na maituturing nagugutom, naghihirap. Nung 2009 ito’y lumaki pasa 24%- dumadami imbes na lumiliit, paurong sa mithiin na mapawi ang kahirapan ng MDG o Millennium Development Goals. Ngayon, kumonti na ang hanay ng mahihirap dito sa probinsya 15.6%, at may nagsasabi pa 9% na lamang ang mahirap sa Ilocos Norte.

Indeed, today Ilocos Norte is one of the few provinces in the countrynoted to achieve the MDG goal of halving poverty by the year 2015, making us now a middle-income economy, one of the “least poor” provinces in the country, ranking in the top 10 percentile of the human development ratings in the whole archipelago. We have come a long way indeed in 3 years!

At ibang-iba na rin ang kinaroroonan ng mahihirap sa Probinsia. Kung nung 2010 ang Nueva Era at Marcos ang pinakamahirap na mga bayan, ngayon ang Dingras naman, sa kabila ng malalawak na mga palayan at mahuhusay na magsasaka, angDingras ang pinakamahirap na bayan sa ating probinsya. Abot 26.9% ang kapos-palad sa Dingras, napakarami talaga! Tulad ng maunlad na bayan ng Bacarra, kataka-taka ang dami rin19.6%. Tiyak na ang walang-humpay na pagbabaha at kalamidad ang siyang nagpaparusa sa dalawang mayayamanna bayan ng Dingras at Bacarra na laging nalulubog na lamang sa tubig. Ang Burgos naman at Pagudpud, kahit nakakaahon ng bahagya dahil sa turismo, sadyang mahirap pa rin dahil sa mabagsik na dagat. Tuloy-tuloy nating pagtuonan ng pansin angbulubunduking Nueva Era, Dumalneg, pati ang Marcos, kung saan maraming tribu at katutubo ay nasasadlak sa kahirapan.Agtultuloy ti asikaso!

Poverty has indeed fallen, but as the Gospel of St. Matthew direly prophesies, “the poor shall still be with us.” The last 3 years have taught us many lessons- first and most importantly, that even stunning 12% growth does not axiomatically end poverty. In order to optimize the 4Ps cash transfers from the national government, the provincial MDG distributions in educational, in health, housing and calamity, the myriad contributions from our municipalities, cities,the NGO’s, the overseas Ilocanos, we need a provincial “Poverty Eradication Agenda” at the top of our legislative priorities. Education, health, housing and social protection for victims of calamities must be promoted to end poverty and inequality in Ilocos Norte.

Sa edukasyon, ituloy natin ang pagbayad ng kuryente ng pinakamahihirap na eskwelahan at barangay, “INEC mo, sagot ko.” Magbabahagi pa rin tayo ng Sirib bus sa lahat ng bayan, pagkat kitang-kita na ang tulong sa pamasahe ay agad-agad nakapagbawas ng OSY at drop-out. Magagamit pa ng ating lola’t lolopara mamasyalkapag walang pasok! Batiin natin ang mag-amang mayor Abadilla ng Banna pagka’t sila’y nangunguna sa buong bansa sa multi-grade classes at masigasig na alternative learning- makakapagtapos ng taga Banna ng high school sa loob ng iilang buwan na lamang! 4th class municipality yan, sa bundok pa, natalo pa tayo yung buong probinsia! Agbiag ti Banna. Congratulations sa mga mag-aaral, magulang at guro ng East Bagbag Elementary, ng Solsona naman, sa Sagpatan sa Sarrat, Carasi Elementary School na pinakamataas ang NAT score hindi lamang sa Ilocos, hindi lamanga sa rehiyon kundi sa buong bansa, top 1% ng iskwelahan ng Pilipinas! Pasingkedan ti kinatan-ok ni Ilocano!


Wala nang solusyon sa matinding kakulangan ng gamot kundi ang universal PhilHealth coverage. Dito nauna sa atin lahat ng munting bayan ng Currimao na siyang unana nakabuo ng PhilHealth cards, 100% sa lahat ng taga Currimao! Agbiag Gladys Go! Malapit ng sumunod ang Siyudad kong Batac, at ang Badoc- sana’y makahabol naman tayo sa buong Probinsia, makapagbigay Ilocos Norte 100% PhilHealth covered. Hindi lingid sa pansin na ang mga mayor ng Currimao, Batac City at Badoc ay halos walang kalaban nung nakaraang eleksyon. Katibayan na ang PhilHealth ay mabisa hindi lamang sa sakit, kundi lalong matindi sa pulitika!

Uunahan ko na kayong magreklamo sa ating mga ospital, pagkat marami tayong tampo’t hinanakit sa ilan doon. Itupad sana ng lahat ng doctor ang pagrereseta ng gamot ayon sa national formulary, ‘wag ng pipilitin ang mahihirap na bumili pa ng mamahaling medisinang may tatak. Huwag namang maningil ng sikreto, na laging dinadaan sa likod ng kahero at walang nakakaalam – nagkakabukuhan na! Sabagay, sa kabilang dako may PhilHealth pharmacy na tayo, nagsimula na magpa-consignment ng mga kulang medisina. At kapag di nating kayang bilhin ang bagong equipment, inuupahan naman upang bigyan ang bawat pasyente ng nararapat na pangangalaga. Nag- -a-outsource na ng labada, security at iba pa upang higit na makatipid- ngunit sana’y laging malinis naman yang ospital, ano ba naman? Marami na ngang pagbabago, pero pagbutihin pa natin ang serbisyo.

Humihingi ako ng tulong ng mga medical association, angating simbahan at ang volunteer NGO’s lalong lalo na ang Red Cross, pati na rin ang suki kong mga BHW, tugunan natin lahat ang kalusugan. Napakarami pang dapat gawin ng maginhawaan ang kawawangmay-sakit dito sa ating probinsya..

Maternal health, o ang kalusugan ng buntis at ina, ay nasusubaybayan na kahit papano. Nakakalugmok na 9 ang ina na namatay sa panganganak bago ako umupo. Siyam bumaba na sa 3 nung nakaraang taon, ngunit kako naman, bakit may namamatay pa sa panganganak sa panahongito? May mga buntis pa rin na hindi nagpapatingin ng madalas, at mga sanggol na kulang sa timbang at lakas. Hanggang ngayon 11 pa lang sa ating RHU ang BEMOC o handa sa emergency na chilbirth.

Samantalang sa infectious disease, kahit napapawi ang dengue, may chikungunya at iba’t iba pang bagong sakit na dapat nating bantayan.

Wala pang housing project nung dumating kami ngunit ngayon ang Adigi sa Batac ay nagbebenta na ng bahay, at ang Ayuyang sa Laoag ay magsisimula na magpamahagi ng kabahayan din sa ating mga PagIbig Members.

For poverty-eradication to succeed, the poor in high-risk communities must be protected from disasters. Disaster management as we know it has been outdated by climate change.Early this year we created a Climate Change Task Force to provide barangay hazard maps and warnings for varied calamities.


Pitumpu’t tatlo ang barangay na madalas tamaan ng kalamidad- baha, landslide, tagtuyot na walang patid, malakas na alon at hangin, earthquake pa. Pagtitibayin ang mga bukid, ilog at bahay bago pa tag-ulan, imbes na naghihintay na kumilos pa may typhoon signal na lang. Kung tutuusin, ilang beses nang bumulusok ang ulan na wala naming kasignal-signal.Nakagasgasattayo! Ta uray adda signal no 1 ken 2 iti entero a probinsia ket nakalawlawag ni apo init! Di ngamin? Idiay Solsona: ti high-risk nga barangays tayo—Sta. Ana, Puttao, Nagpatpatan, kilala ninyo kung sino kayo; Dingras: Barong, Bagut, Francisco, Baresbes, Lanas, Ver, maramig pang iba; sa Pasuquin: Caruan, Davila, at yung enterong baybay natin;sa Pagudpud Pancian ken Pasaleng; at sa Bacarra: Casilian, Natba, at iba pa- saan kuma a datayo ti kanayun nga agkikita iti kakastoy a tiempo. Agsagana tayo a nasapa!

Bibili rin ang probinsya ng pantustos sa Philippine Crop Insurance upang maibsan ang dagok ng kalamidad sa mahihirap. Ng sa ganun, may pambayad ang mga biktima para sa kanilang ani na nasisira, hayop, equipment, pati na rin buhay at pamilya n gating mga biktima. Kung ang DSWD ay namimigay ng pabahay at perang pantawid sa mga napinsala, ang probinsya ay magaalok ng pansamantalang trabaho sa mga pamilyang nawalan ng hanapbuhay asahan ninyo.

But neither cash transfers nor social protection will take the poor out of poverty. It takes more than charity to save the poor from the onerous burden ofpoverty. No matter how great the generosity, the poor must finally find wage-earning work or self-employment. For only jobs guarantee a permanent pathway out of poverty- and our challenge today is to create stable, wage-paying quality jobs that will finally end poverty in the entire province.

Just as our recent growth did not magically eradicate poverty, neither did it axiomatically turn into jobs, much less jobs for marginalized women, or rural labor in remote barangays. For them and for the even greater numbers of the young unemployed and underemployed, rapid growth has failed to deliver the quality jobs they so direly need.

Natutunan natin na kahit mabilis ang pag-unlad, mabagal pa rin ang pag-ahon sa kahirapan. Higit pa, kahit mabilis ang pag-unlad, hindi pantay-pantay ang pakinabang sa lahat ng lugar. Tulad ng makabagong siyudad ng Laoag, namamangha tayo sa nagdaraming shoppng mall, nabibighani sa ilaw at mga fountain pa. Ganun din sa Paoay, na parang nagising bigla sa palibot ng simbahan, sa lawa at dun sa may buhangin. Ngunit sa Laoag man, o sa Paoay, lumayo ka lang ng konti sa sentro, marami nang naghihirap sa mgabara-barangay. Mga magsasakang di nabibigyan ng ginhawa o asenso, lalo yung mga katutubo sa bundok na di na umusad sa kinagisnan. Walang iwanan, ang sigaw natin nung eleksyon; wala rin naman dapat na maiwan sa pag-unlad ng probinsya! Walang iwanan talaga!

Growth enriches cities and town centers long before outlying barangays, just as highly specialized sectors generate growth without necessarily creating very many jobs. Milyon-milyon ang nadagdag ng ating sikat na renewable energy projects ngunit ilang trabaho ba talaga ang naibigay ng mga windmills, solar at iba pa pagkatapos nilang matayo? Hinggil sa inaasahan, ilan nga lang ang nagtratrabaho sa Bangui ngayon. All investments sustain growth, but what we need now are labor-intensive investments, replete with job opportunities, connected to value and supply chains throughout the entire local community.

This is the challenge of 2013: to unleash economic growth in labor-intensive sectors. Jobs not only in the wealthy centros, but jobs for the farflung barangays; not jobsfor only the well-educated and the young, but jobs for the greater number of rural workers; not mere contractual jobs without security or protection, but jobs that our families can count on for years and years to come.Agtultuloy ti asikaso, ad-adu a trabaho!

Kadagiti sangapulo a trabahador, siyam a sigud iti makastrek iti pribado a kompania. Dawatek ngarud ti agtultuloy a tulong ti pribado a sektor ket tumulong met to gobyerno kadagiti agpuunan. Kiddawenmi ngarud kadagiti kameng ti dwa a chambers tayo, gunglo dagiti mannalon, mangalap, babbai ken agtutubo kas iti MAFC, zanjeras, iti turismo, kontraktor ken agparpartuat nga idauluanda ti kampania a mangpataud ti pagtrabahuan.

Masalimuot ang isyu ng trabaho, at walang madaliang sagot para magparami ng mapapasukan. Ngunit nasaksihan natin ang pglikha ng maramihang trabaho ng mga probinsya ng Bulacan, ng Cebu, ng Pampanga. Pinangunahan ng maliliit na negosyante, kaakbay ng pamahalaang lokal, napalawak nila ang bahay-bahay na paggawaan hanggang sila’y naging malalaking pabrika. Ganun din sa Benguet, saan ang magsasaka ng gulay, prutas at bulaklak ay nakapagtatag ng malakihang bagsakan – trading post, salamat sa gobyerno at tulong panlabas. Mahirap man at kumplikado, binago nila ang pamumuhay ng kanilang kaprobinsya. Tularan rin natin sila : Mangpataud ti ad-adupay a trabaho!

Together we can transform Ilocos Norte, convert our emerging province into a diversified, developed and gainfully employed economy for the future. Just as we set a growth agenda in 2010, today let us establish together a jobs agenda of 2013.

First, with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan we should launch a “Job Creation Act,” targeting investment in strategic, labor-intensive sectors. A public-private Jobs Council can formulate concrete and measurable steps to attract businesses with the greatest job creation potential. With the INVEST Office, the Council can expedite start-up procedures, centralize registrations, and deliverthose barangay, municipal, and provincial resolutions under one week. We can do it! In coordination with the chambers, tourism associations, farmers groups and traders, the Council will compile a directory of local businessmen willing to partner with new investors, ready to mentor our rural start-ups.

With our comparative advantages, our job-rich targets should benumber one agribusiness, number twotourism and thirdly, manufacturing. Agribusiness because of our talented and committed farmers, and our popular Ilocano food specialties.Tourism, to exploit the boom in domestic tourism, and benefit from our accessibility to China and North Asia.Manufacturing because it is the backbone of every full employment economy. ATM ang makakapagbuhay sa atin, agribusiness, tourism and manufacturing canunlock jobs to bring not mere growth, butgenuine, transformational jobs-rich growth.

We need also a “New Agribusiness Program” to open the large uncultivated lands to farming and to finally effect the shift from grain to diverse and profitable cash crops, including horticultural and biofuel products. We must set up value-adding, processing and innovative plants for new food-based products.

May pitumpung ektarya ng natanim sa dragon fruit, sanamapaabut natin ng isang libokatulad ng Vietnam. Palawakin ang ating mangga, yung “Baguio vegetables” na galing pala sa Buttong dito sa Laoag at Bacarra, bulaklak at ornamentals pa. Sana dumami ang Cormel, ang Namnama, at Refmad at lumikha ng daang-daan trabaho para sa lahat. Makilahok tayo sa mga programa ng Department of Agriculture, DAR at iba pang ahensya para matuklasan ang modernong teknolohiya, makabagong makenarya, at mga produktong maititinda.

Sa turismo, malaking hakbang ang pagpasa ngating Sanggunian n gating Tourism Code nung nakaraang sesyon, at mahalaga rin ang pagsasanay ng probinsya sa travel agents, eco tourism at hotel and restaurant, pati tricycle drivers pinakailaman pa. Ngayon kilala ng lahat ang makasaysayang Sitio Remedios, La Preciosa, Saramsam, Bergblick sa malikhaing pagkain, Kapuluan, Kingfisher at Hannah’s zipline nangunguna sa adventure sports.

But we have yet to build key tourism infrastructure and a genuine souvenir industry. Pagudpud beach still awaits a world-class hotel complex, if only to compete with the mega-billion developments in CEZA Cagayan. Lallo International Airport opens early next year withits international hotels, marinas and game fishing preserves already completed. We must constantly create destinations, new events and activities to remain competitive in tourism, at the same time specializing in museum development, film and art management.

ATM, and M for Manufacturing, the most labor-intensive sector uniquely suited to Ilocos Norte, to take full advantage of our airport, our seaport, andour superior road network.

Pero hanggang ngayon wala pa tayong pabrika, kahit dumarami ang maliliit na paggawaan ng inabel, mga produktong gawa sa papel, at kahoy. Saan ang batang Manang Charing,Manang Cely, Veronica ng Paoay? Maybata bang maghahabi ng binakol sa Sarrat, o magpapanday sa San Nicolas? Hindi lang makalumang produkto ang nagkalat sa national highway, kundi mga automotive shop, sash and carpentry, cellphone at iba’t iba pa. Dapat may mamuhunan na ng malaking pabrika sa Ilocos Norte, na mamasukan ang maramingcailian.

Agribusiness, tourism and manufacturing- the investments we must pursue in the years to come. We shall include in our legislative agenda the establishment of an “Investment and Trade Promotions Office,” to foster these investment and trade in job-rich sectors.

And what can government do to support job creation by the private sector? Firstly, enlightened public policy can induce favorable macroeconomic conditions, maintain growth and lower inflation. Political and social stability is good for business, and so would be peace and order.

Ngunit walang mamumuhunan dito sa ATM kapag tuloy-tuloy ang patayan at kriminalidad nung nakaraang mga buwan. Hindi totoo na ang bawat eleksyon ay marahas, kundi aminin natin na tayo’y naging pabaya sa dating tahimik at mapayapang lugar. Diak kayat a mangeg a gapu ti pulitiko ket personal laeng ti motibo.Diak kayat a mangeg dagiti adu nga rason kas iti awan search warrant kahit binigyan naman ng ating judiciary,awan order iti ngato, awan lugan, ken awan gas, ken awan maipila a kaso! Agsardengkayo, Agbalbaliwkayon!

Tinatawagan ko ng pansin ang kapulisan, sundalo, PDEA, NBI at iba pang ahensya ng seguridad,ang ating BPATs, tanod at Barangay Intelligence Network. Itatag natin ngayon ang“Provincial Security Center” at sama-samang magpalitan tayo ng impormasyon, at magtulungan sa patrol, tauhan at abogado.

Sa mahal na mga mayor, pakilusin na ang “Local Peace and Order Councils,” laban sa nagkalat na iligal na baril. Walang mababaril kung walang mga baril. At sa mga nagtitinda naman ng motorsiklo, maging maingat, na wag kayong masangkot sa isa na namang karumal-dumal barilang “riding in tandem.”

Nakakasira sa negosyo ang krimen, at ang korapsyon tuluyang nakakawasak ng ekonomiya. We have taken the first step to reform our systems and institutions. Today, Ilocos Norte is the first province to achieve full,top-to-bottom ISO certification, covering all Capitol functions including the Provincial and district hospitals. We are now truly world-class, observing the international standards of transparency, predictability, accountability. I give my thanks to Laoag City and then-Mayor Michael V. Fariñas, now our Vice mayor, for pioneering the ISO effort. Palakpakan natin si apo Michael. Gusto ko rin pasalamatan ang mga department heads ko, hepe ng ospital at empleyado sa hirap at pagod nila para sa ISOcertification. Hindi biro mag- exam tatlong beses na sunod-sunod sa edad na ito. Ammok nga adu pay kinalaing ken alsemyo!

Today, I encourage the League of Mayors, and my City of Batac, to work Towards Province-wide ISO certification.” The international certification of every municipality and city will be the best proof, to our citizens and investors, of the province’s commitment to good governance and development.

Nangina ken awanpay umno a titulo ti daga ditoy Ilocos Norte. Isu ti makatubeng ti panagnegosyo. Babaen ti ‘Natalged a Titulo’ ti probinsiya ken ‘Handog Titulo’ ti DENR, DAR ken LRA, nangrugi ti nasayaat a pannakatitulo dagiti daga. Punduan ken ipangruna daytoy a gannuat tapno sapasap a maaramid kas iti Paoay ken Pagudpud! Ti alisto ken epektibo a panagrehistro nga impaay ti ADB ken Department of Finance wenno Regala ken manamnama a maipatungpal iti entero a probinsia iti mabiit.

Government can minimize red tape, legislatefor fair competition and social protection. The entry of large investors into the power, retail and housing sectors, makes it timely to enact a “Corporate Social Responsibility Scorecard.”We uphold CSR, responsible investing, and the triple bottomline of 3P—Profits, a sustainable Planet and above all, a community of employed People. We encourage investors to prioritize local job creation over token donations, develop value and supply-chains in the community instead of gratuitous sponsorships. The “CSR Scorecard” would thus reward the best employers in the province with a new perks and privilege.

To be pro-business, government should also provide private enterprise with essential infrastructure, particularly in the remote and mountainous hinterland we seek to develop.

Dahil dito, baguhin na kaya natin ang sistema ng pagpipili ng “priority projects.” Kaming mga opisyal at kapitan na lang ang nagsusuri kung alin ang kalsada, rangtay, kanal, at iba panauunahing gawin. Sa halip nito na ganap na pulitikal, tanungin natin ang mga negosyante, magsasaka, travel agent at hotel operator. Dapat mauna ang mga kalsada na didiretso sa negosyo at trabaho ninyo. Farm-to-market road na talaga, haan nga farm-to-pocket nanaman! Oras nang buksan ang mga bundok para sa highland agriculture, turismo, at mga pagawaan. Saan ninyo gusto itayo ang “bagong Baguio”- sa Sapat, Pasuquin, sa Solsona-Apayao? Maganda ang kagubatan at ilog ng Nueva Era, Lammin sa Piddig-Carasi, at malapit ng masemento hanggang Adams. Kayo nalang ang pumili kung alin!

Access to infrastructure includes dependable power, water and utilities. Potential investors complain, just like we do, about costly power and frequent power outages.

Napakamahal ng kuryente at sa investor at sa atin pareho ang bagsak. Inuusisa natin ang INEC na ibaba ang presyo, at gandahan ang serbisyo. Luma na kasi ang substations at transformer, ngunit kailangan sabayan ng INEC ang pag-unlad ng probinsya, mula sa matataong lugarhanggang sa kadulu-dulohang pinupuntahan ng turista.

Dagdag pa ang matinding problema ng tubig, dulot ng mahabang tagtuyot, sira-sirang watershed, at ng walang habas na paggamit sa ating mga bukid.

Kabalikat ng INWD at ng mga water districts, ang probinsya ay magbubuo ng integrated water management system, na sisimulan sa Pinili, sa Badoc at ang timog-silangan.

Communications have grown exponentially, not only to reach families overseas, but to conduct trade and commerce. Information and e-systems help overcome communications and information barriers in the remote hinterland. However, service remains erratic in mountain zones, and tourists complain of the lack of internet access in the northern towns.

Visitors to the province never fail to commend on our good roads, but they also decry the lack of public transportation on these roads.

Adun ti naibunongko a kuliglig, tricycles, minitrucks, e-jeeps, Sirib Bus. Baben ti tulong dagiti TODA’s tayo, jeeps ken bus operators, mapapintas ti rota ti negosyo ken turismo.

Makumpleton ti Paseo de Paoay, dagiti dalan iti Sirib Mile ken ti heritage walk idiay Sarrat. Nalpasen ti plano iti Mangrove Board Walk ken tourist hub idiay Pasuquin, matarimaan ti Burgos Lighthouse, ti baro a plaza idiay siudad iti Batac, Dingras, commemorative art ti Basi Revolt ken munisipyo ti Piddig, ti tribal village ken museo iti Nueva Era, ken ti Presidential Guest House idiay Pagudpud. Mainayonton a pasiaren dagiti Ilokano ken bisita!

Ngunit kahit kumpleto ang gusali at kalsada, ang pinakamalaking hadlang sa magnegosyo ay ang kawalan ng kapital. Walang mautangan o mahiraman ng puhunan ditto, yung maliliit na magsasaka at pagawaang naguumpisa pa lang. Kapag wala kang titulo sa iyong pangalan mismo, o bagong sasakyan na maisasanla, o cash, maraming pera para magbukas ng account, walang bangkong papansin sa iyo.

We need an“ Entrepreneurship and SME Initiative” to jumpstart micro, small and medium-scale enterprises to bring jobs to the countryside. DOST, DTI, DSWD, our Coop Bank, and other agencies offer microcredit and non-collateralized loans, most borrowers however in thebarangays are simply unaware of them. The province has pooled all of these into a “Business Start-up Fund” to access all credit sources for self-employment and livelihood.


Ang probinsya’y namamahagi na ngayon ng tulong pinansyal sa maliliit at bagong negosyante. May SKB si Atty. Amor Respicio, Sea ng tig-limang libo, at sa grupo Sea-K naman P50,000.00. May Lacasa, OF-RED, OFW Families at iba pang programa para sa pamilya ng OFW. Namimigay din tayo ng special financing sa katutubo, sa kababaihan, sa kabataan. May kumpanyang nagpapaupa ng equipment na babayarang na lamang ng unti-unti. May ilang paliksahan para sa mga mag-aaral para sa best business plan at ang premyo ay puhunan- congratulations, SIFE o Students in Free Enterpriseng ng MMSU! Nanalo ng international championship at may capital pa at pupunta sa Mexico! Tunay na ang small and medium scale enterprise ay pinakamabisang paraan na magparami ng trabaho. Intayon, paspas dur-as!

I am sure our private sector can come up with even better ideas to expedite lending in pioneering areas like light manufacturing, hospitality in the mountain zones, and “green investments” like solid waste management and sustainable forestry. We hope you join this vital conversation towards transformational growth.

Masaya naman ang Capitol Express, bagong proyekto ng probinsya, na nagdadala ng iba’t ibang serbisyo ng Kapitolyo sa mga bayan-bayan tuwing araw ng palengke. Mga mambubukid ng Banna humihingi ng hayop na para pagkakakitaan; sa Batac, magbubuo na ng organic farm na susuportahan ng probinsya ng teknikal at pinansyal; mangingisda sa Pasuquin tanging fingerlings ang laging hinahanap. Sino ngayon ang magsasabing hindi negosyante ang Ilocano? Kuripot kunada, ngem kalalaingan met gayam nga agnegosyo!

Tourism has lately proven to be an attractive investment for overseas Ilocanos, many of whom come home to spend ever longer holidays and perhaps one day to retire. Our balikbayans and OFWs are a unique Ilocano sources of financing, and we should harness their enthusiasm, managerial and specialized skills, as well as their dollars, for job creation. An energized and committed diaspora is an advantage indeed, but let us channel remittances into productive infrastructure instead of ostentatious homes, and investment rather than consumption.

What else can the provincial government do for business? Policy and law, infrastructure, financing, we are also ready to support costly but vital training to grow the ranks of job-ready Ilocanos. Our Provincial Education Department, together with DepEd, the PTA’s, the barangays will now focus on high school, whose students will join the workforce in 2-4 years. With a revitalized high school program, we can guarantee private employees they will be ready for hiring!

Kabahagi ng K-12 ng DepEd, iba’t ibang skills ang matututunan ngayon sa high school. May mga gawaing unti-unti nang nawawala sa Ilocos – paghahabi, paggawa ng basi at sukang iloko, pag-ukit ng kahoy. Ngunit magsasanay rin ang ating mga estudyante sa computer, tulad ng web design, data encoding, desktop publishing at iba pang mga skills upang agaran makapasok ng trabaho.

Ang Sirib Mile sa Laoag ay unang pagkakataon na iba’t ibang high school – INNHS, INCAT, Shamrock, MMSU lab schools, CIT, CTE, Divine Word College atNCC – ay sama-samang gagamit ng ating provincial facilities. Tulad ng higit sa dalawang daang computer sa I-Hub, sports facilities ng Marcos Stadium at Centennial, food court, transport terminals na ipagkakabit ng mga sidewalk.Sec. Luistro of DepEd has lauded this Sirib Mile as the “first community of schools,” a pragmatic solution to the lack of competitive high schools facilities.

In addition to high school, it it timea TechVoc Roadmap”must be put in place to prepare our students for the workplace. However, to embark upon a wholehearted technical-vocationalcampaign, we need a great mindshift away from our Ilocano fixation on college degrees.Dati pang nanguna ang Bacarra sa skills training ni apo Mayor Nico de la Cruz. Ang kanyang mga batang electrician ang nagbuo streetlights ng Bacarra, hindi propesyonal na kontratista.Congratulations kay Mayor Eddie Guillen ng Piddig- nanalo ng Regional Kabalikat Award ng TESDA para sa construction and manufacturing training- Sigurado nga ad-adu pay iti pagtrabahuanyo!

Lastyear the province brought UP professors, Palafox, the hospitality specialists in an effort to professionalize our stakeholders. We linked travel agents to national travel and leisure organizations. Training is very expensive, whether in tourism, agribusiness, more so in the unfamiliar manufacturing and Business Processing or call center sectors. Your provincial government is eager to assist you upgrade the technical, financial and managerial skills of your workers.

Job-readiness also requires “soft skills,” best learnt in the workplace, instead of the classroom: teamwork, multi-tasking, time management, problem solving, determination. During the hectic summer and Christmas months, October break, the Provincial Tourism Department hired 1,200 students, nurses, out of school youth as information and first aide assistants. The private sector, with the association of travel agencies (INTAA), the local bakeries and restaurants (BRAIN), hotels and resorts (HARALIN) reported 15,440 short term, on-call jobs. And we have only just begun!

Nakakapanghinayang ang daan-daan na nars na di makapasok sa trabaho. Bakit hindi natin naplanong mabuti ang pag-aaral nila na hindi na nabigo ang ng mga nars magtrabaho sa labas ng bansa? Napakaraming nilang nag-aral at nangarap na ngayo’y walang mapagtrabahuan. Pilit kong pinapasok sila sa ating mga ospital, ngunit sa dami nila, di naman kayang kunin lahat. Nagpadala na rin kami ng mga narssa mga call centers ng medical transcription, pati pinag tourist first-aid, hotel, restaurant at retail assistant. Ngunit kulang pa rin, at maglulunsad ang probinsya ang programang “Saguip NARS.” Ito’y magpapadala ngmga nars sa mga barangay upang bantayan ang mga buntis, sanggol at senior citizens. Malamang hindi sapat ang isasahod nila, ngunit makakatulong naman tayo kahit papano na mabuo nila yung kanilang “2years clinical experience requirements.”

Dati, dagiti BRO wenno Barangay Ranger Officers ket agtrabaho laeng nu tiempo ti bagyo. Innala laeng ida ti DENR nga agbantay kadagiti kayo, aglinis ti dike ken bantay, ken tagimula a kayo para national greening kadagiti delikado a barangay ti Solsona, Marcos inggana Nueva Era. Itatta dagiti BRO ket agmulmula ti pinya ken sayote ti nagbaetan dagiti kayo ken plano da pay a nayunan ti laya, ube ken strawberries. Agtultuloy nga asikaso, ad-adu a trabaho!

Palawakin natin ang trabaho sa barangay, iba’t ibang pagsasanay at karanasang OJT. Kabalikat ng mga mayor at kapitan, tinutulungan na natin ang BHW, BPATS, daycare worker at lupon, at ang barangay road na binibigay ng Probinsya, ngayon ay ginagawa hindi ng malalaking kontratista ng public works, kundi ang gumagawa ay taga barangay lamang. Itaguyod natin ang kilusang “Trabaho sa Barangay para magkalat ng barangay electrician, barangay carpenter, barbero at iba pa. Mabibigyan na sila ng hanapbuhay, may public service pa sa mga kabarangay!

If training is expensive and time-consuming for the small business, technology and innovation are downright unattainable. We should harness our local research institutes, like the multi-awarded ILLARDEC, and MMSU tissue culture, industrial technology centers, Northwestern Biodiversity Park to provide science updates and generate innovation for business and fledgling SMEs. After all, product innovation is the name of the game, whether in crops, novel food items or sporting activities, italways brings in the biggest profits and the greatest number of jobs.

Kinilala rin ng Department of Agriculture ang Ilocos Norte Mango Growers Association, nauna sa rehabilitation ng matatandang mangga dito sa atin. Nung makuha yung P5million mula sa RA 7171 ng probinsya, si apo Carding Tolentino kasama ng mga mango farmers ng Vintar at iba pa ay nagtabas ng ugat at sanga, nagbuhos ng pataba, at isa-isa na binalot ng supot ang bawat prutas. Itong taon nadagdagan ng higit na 36% ang mangga ditto sa Ilocos Norte, samantalang sa ibang lugar nagkakasakit at nabubulok ang kanilang prutas. Congratulations din sa Bonsai Association, namayagpag sa Asia-Pacific Exhibition, at ngayo’y may Taiwanese na magtatatag ng paaralan ng bonsai sa Ilocos Norte. Kayang-kaya natin itong ATM!

Sharing similar business models—new mango, dragonfruit and vegetable producers, just as barangay homestay operators related home-based industries—can be organized by government into “production clusters.” Each clusters can be provided withtraining, equipment, and group financing to produce the quantity and the quality required by national and international markets.

Government agriculturists should look beyond the farms to develop supply and value chains, linking farmers directly to SME processors and to large national retailers. Ang pinuno ng province-wide Vegetable Association, si Wilfrido Valdez, ay naubusan na ng giant granex onions at bawang dahil nagbenta diretso sa mga restaurant at hotel ng mga miyembro ng BRAIN. Si Angel Padron naman ng Bacarra, ang tanging supplier ng papaya sa Save More. Marami pang tayong mabebenta, kundi sana tingi-tingi lagi, alanganin ang kalidad, at di-maasahan ang supply. Para maalok natin sa malalaking trader, magkaisa ang mga magsasaka, mga tour operator, naghahabi ng abel at binakol, magtinda tayo ng sabay-sabay. Ang governor ang tindera ninyo, maganda pa ang presyo.

Provincial advertising, promotion, marketing, in addition to new linkages with professional associations, have driven tourism, and will be crucial for agribusiness and manufacturing as well. We will also persist in call center promotion and training in order that our graduates can work elsewhere until the province finds a major BPO investor. Unless we act now, truly the total number of Ilocanos in vulnerable, impermanent jobs may increase in the years to come.

Adu dagiti arapaap ken plano tayo. Agmaymaysa tayo ngarud a manggun-od kadagitoy a kalikagum a mangbaliw iti Ilocos Norte a kas gagangay ken nakurapay a probinsiya.

Ita nga aldaw. Irubuat tayo ti Agtultuloy nga asikaso, Ad-adu pay a trabaho para iti nasaysayaat a masakbayan dagiti annaktayo. Kiddawek ngarud kadakay amin, kadagiti local a gobyerno, dagiti adda iti serbisio sibil, kasta met dagiti pribado a sektor ta maymaysa tay nga agtignay ken mangitungpal kadagitoy a plano.

Rugian ken ipasnek ti panagbalbaliw tapno nadurdur-as ti probinsia nga inkay tawiden ken pagsanggiran.Saganaantayo ti panagbalin a baro a lider ti Ilocos Norte, lider a mangipateg iti kannawidan ngem mangsirmataiti baro a karit iti masangwanan.

Namnamaenyo, Itultuloy ko ti Asikaso ken Ad-adu a Trabaho para ken Ilocano.

Dios ti agngina kadakayo amin.




State of the Province Address 2012

3PM, July 9, 2012
Convention Center, Plaza del Norte Hotel

(Full Text)
Apo Bise Gobernador, dagiti mamaingel nga miyembros iti Junta Probinsiyal:

Appo a mamayor:

Patpatgek a kailian :

Naimbag a malemyo amin a sangapada.

Kasla agnerbyosak, saan a kas itay napalabas a SOPA.

May batikang pulitiko kasi, sinabihan ako nung nakaraang SOPA- walang problema kapag bagong gobernadora ka. Siguradong mahihirapan ka sa umpisa, lahat ng gusto mong gawin, palpak. Kaya ang gagawin mo, sisihin mo lang ng sisihin yung dating administrasyon. Walang problema yun. Basta’t ibintang mo sa nauna sa iyo. Ngayon, ikalawang taon ko na, hindi ko na pwedeng sisihin ang sinuman. Alangan namang sabihin kong kasalanan ni Vice Gob o kasalanan ng board member o kasalanan ng mayor? Wala nang may kasalanan kundi ako kaya medyo kinakabahan ako ngayon.

Completing my second year in office, in fact, things have gotten much, much better. There is no blame saying to make; instead may I begin by thanking you, my civic and political family, for the faith and trust you have given me as your Governor in the last two years.

To realize our vision to be the northern gateway of the country, we have undertaken vast changes in our polity and our countryside, transforming our capital as well as the remotest barangays. We have begun this great enterprise with courage and with verve, unmindful of the dangers we faced, unwavering in your trust in me, your governor. For this, I shall always be grateful.

Mula sa pagbabago ng siyudad ng Laoag, sa bungad ng probinsya sa Badoc, Caraitan, hanggang sa nakabibighaning bayan ng Burgos, tayo’y nagsumikap na magbagong anyo ang Ilocos Norte. Paoay laging kumakaway: mula sa simbahan, hanggang sa Malacañang ti Ammianan, sa lawa at sa buhangin ng desyerto, isinasaayos naming lahat at pinaganda.

Ilang daang milyon na din ang ating ibinuhos upang labanan ang kahirapan: agriing tayon, pukawen ti narigrigat! Iskolarship, school bus, agas, insurance, pagkain, salapi, hanapbuhay todo-buhos para umahon ang ating mga cailian na nilubog ng masamang-palad, ng limot at ng panahon.

At sa lahat nito, sinuportahan ninyo ako ng taus-puso at walang alinlangan. Maraming, maraming salamat! Awan ti imposible, sabi natin nung nakaraang taon. At maski ako, naniniwala na rin!

In the Book of Proverbs there is a warning: “without vision the people will perish.” No awan ti sirmata, awan masakbayan.’ Without vision, but to me, without the people, the vision too shall perish. And in the mound of great plans and grand projects, is the Ilocano everyman somewhere to be found? Not the gifted or the ambitious, but the ordinary citizen- the farmer bemoaning the price of grain, the fresh graduate unable to find work, a harried mother unable to make ends meet? Will this elaborate and grand vision translate into jobs and touch each and every one of their lives?

Makakapagtrabaho ba sila? Makatutulong sa pamilya? Kung hindi ako makaluwas ng bansa, magiging maayos at matiwasay ba ang hanapbuhay? Trabaho, Manang Imee= Trabaho, panindigan ko yan, at bilang gobernador, at ina ng tatlong anak na naguumpisa pa lamang magtrabaho, asahan ninyong mayroong trabaho! Ngem agsagana tayo.

For the first time this year, we tallied our provincial income accounts, an initiative that other provinces are emulating. Previously slow growth rose to 8.4% last year, pushing closer to 12% this year. There is—thanks to you—a “mini-boom” in Ilocos Norte” while the rest of the country struggled last year at 3.4%, and the rest of the world limps at less than 2%. Kayat si Henry Sy, Lucio Co, John Gokongwei, Senator Manny Villar at ang mga bilyonaryo ay nagnenegosyo na dito sa atin ngayon. Mukhang tayong mga G.I. nalang ang natatakot. Tayo na lang na mga GI ang nahuhuli magnegosyo dito sa atin. Apo, kasano tay ngarud nga umasenso?

Our provincial accounts show that while we remain a largely agricultural province, employment in farming has declined substantially, from 2/3 in the 1990’s or in agriculture, it is slightly more than half today. Our average farmer is 56 years old, underlining the exodus of our young people from the farms.

Kas kuna dagiti mannalon, nu agtalon ka, siguraduem nga adut kwartam. Agriculture should be a rich man’s hobby indeed. The volatility of agricultural production is evident from the extreme zigzag of palay and corn prices over the last few years. Mango output has gone down steadily, despite Carding Tolentino’s heroic efforts. Tobacco is once again on the rise, while the prices of garlic, lasuna, tomato and other vegetables confound even the best farm analysts.

So it is simple farmers’ logic that I receive never-ending requests for manok, kalding, burias. Livestock and poultry prices have been far more reliable than crops, although the steady rise in the price of chicken, swine, and goat has been accompanied by a decline in cattle and carabao prices. Following the success of MDG graduate, Tony Alcera of Bomitog, Banna, the province has supported livestock entrepreneurs. With a creative mix of feeds and ube, his pigs have allowed him not only to pay back his loan, but to redeem his land and to buy even more pigs.

Syempre hindi lahat katulad ni Tony, meron ding kumuha sa akin ng biik, at nung naniningil na kami, ang sabi ba naman, nasiraan raw ng bait yung baboy, at bigla na lang tumalon sa bangin. Kung bakit laging nagpapakamatay ang mga baboy ‘pag Pasko? Mass suicide ng biik dispersal o lechon sa Nochebuena, ay apo.

Marami ring kababalaghan sa pangingisda. Isang daan at limampung kilometro ang baybay ng ating probinsya, apat na daan at limampung kilometro ang total waterfront. Bakit pa tayo nagi-import ng isda? Hindi ko maintindihan, kaya’t unti-unting pinararami natin ang marine and inland fisheries, fish sanctuaries, at pamimigay ng sigay, daklis ken iket. Mas lalong hindi ko maintindihan: bakit tayo nagbebenta ng bangus fry sa Pangasinan, na paglaki ay bibilhin natin ang bangus ng pagkamahal-mahal, malamang bochok at double dead pa! Bakit hindi na lang natin i-grow-out yung fry, na maging fingerlings at lumaking bangus at hindi na tayo bibili sa labas? Nakakapanghinayang ang kinikita talaga!

While there is much room to improve, agriculture overall has posted high gains of over 10% in each of the last 2 years. We just won the P4million prize as the top Rice Achiever of the nation, and year after year, Ilocanos are recognized as the country’s best farmers. The question arises, however, ‘have the opportunities abounding in new agriculture benefited the ordinary farmer? Where are those high-value crops we have publicized for years? And when shall we finally make that wholehearted transition from a single planting of rice, to those precious and profitable boutique vegetables, organic fruit and cut flowers. Today, with the NFA, we will continue to support grain, buying yellow corn at P13 above market price, but our priority will emphatically be high-value crops.

Maraming pagkakataon sa bagong pagsasaka- mula sa minamata nating malunggay sa Sarrat, na tinatawag ng hapones na moringa, binebenta ngayon na pampabata o anti-oxidant- tama pala si Lola Sepa ko! Pwedeng magtanim ng saluyot, sari-saring klase ng sili, at pati yung dwendeng talong ng Adams, balusa, ay patok sa restawran at hotel. Ibida natin ang granadilla, ating antigo nating passionfruit, at ang makalumang rimas o breadfruit tulad ng saniata o dragonfruit ngayon. Magtanim ng ballatinaw, katulad ng mga tribu sa Vintar. At kung wala kayong lupang sapat, magsosyo nalang tayo- yung mga lupa sa probinsya na nakatiwangwang, kasabay ng DENR at ng DAR, upahan ng sinumang gustong magtanim. Bibilhin ko na rin ang kakaiba at organic ninyong produkto, kahit maging bagsakan na muna ang Capitolyo.

Our agricultural frontier will undoubtedly be food processing and value adding, as they will open endless opportunity for students and workers: industrial and food technologies, crafts and arts production, microenterprise, bookkeeping, packaging design. Dito sa Paoay at sa Dingras, naimbento yung cornix, ngunit ang yumaman ay taga-Bulacan. Mawawala na rin ba ang longganiza, ang bagnet, ang empanada dahil hindi natin alam ibenta at takot tayong magnegosyo? May pag-asa bang maging national brand ang Banna rice coffee, Pinili garlic chips, bugnay wine at basi, lahat ng Pinakbest ng Ilocos Norte kapag di tayo makikipagsapalaran? Kaya tay amin dagita!

Tourism opens for remote rural communities the prospect of agro-tourism: city slickers will soon learn that “planting rice is never fun” in Solsona and Bacarra, try out Piddig’s historic basi, live the life of a fisherman on the Pagudpud coast and in Paoay Lake. Maraming taga-Maynila na ibig subukan ang buhay sa bukid, bakit hindi magkaisa at magsimula ng barangay homestay? Pero ang panalo talaga ay ang mga tribu ng Nueva Era, Dumalneg at Carasi, na may camping na, trekking, at may ibig pa raw magpakasal na mga banyaga ayon sa ritwal ng katutubo! Apay ngarud awan iti trabaho? Addu ti maubra idiay kataltalunan ken ti gundaway para iti mannalon.

Yun nga lang, dapat handa tayo magbago at matuto, mangutang kung kailangan makapagnegosyo. Kusinero, tagabiyak ng niyog, marketing graduate, bookkeeper. Naghahanap nga kami ng mangingisdang madaldal para siya na lang ang mag-tour guide sa balikbayan. Kaya lang mga mangallap, mag-aral na tayo ng inggles at mandarin! Bantay-kalding, taga-lechon, microbiologist, mananayaw na Isneg at Igorot- basta’t bukas ang loob, bukas ang kaisipan, sana bukas din ang pitaka, marami tayong gagawin!

So the opportunities in agriculture are vast, yet there are dangers ahead. The zanjeras’ dire prediction of 8 months of drought and soil erosion, followed by 2 months of flooding and siltation has come to pass. Ti dannum ti biag. Water will be our frontline for decades to come. How shall we revive our moribund rivers in Laoag and further southeast? Can we re-engineer the ancient catchment systems of Paoay Lake, Danao, Billoca and Quiaoit River? Is there hope for the 5 ruined dams of Madongan, Papas, Cura, Labugaon and Solsona? Can we seriously reforest our mountains eroding heavily into our waterways? Already the provincial government offers jobs for hydraulic engineers and geologists, water technicians, bridge builders, backhoe operators, tree rangers, botanists, gardeners, landscape architects, geo-hazard specialists, and of course, the best of all—the most enlightened zanjeras—young and old who know the water’s course and its true value.

The truth is that there will be ever more disasters, and that disaster management should become everybody’s problem. We can’t lie back and wait for government to do it all, but rather like Ilocano families of old, start building palomar when the weather is still sunny. We must make our communities adaptable, building far from the flood-prone areas shown on our geo-hazard maps, so that they will be able to withstand nature and its unpredictable force. To this end, the Provincial Engineering Office will open a northern sub-office as well as an eastern sub-office, making certain that equipment and men will always be at the ready. We have given 21 boats to our towns for common use. Walang may alam kung kailan tatama ang bagyo, ngunit tayo ay maaring maghanda at kapag handa na, magdasal.

Industry makes up the second sector of our economy, with the smallest share at less than 10% of total output. In the last few years, the industrial decline of the province appeared inevitable and relentless, decreasing in 2008 alone by 6.3%. Today we have turned around local industry’s decline, starting with 9.3% sectoral growth in 2010 and rising through the present.

Utilities head the list, growing by 10% in each of the last two years, despite the unresolved controversies surrounding the Renewable Energy Act and its feed-in tariff. In the meantime, we should already train for the “green jobs” to arise from wind, from solar and hydro power- electrical engineers, turbine operators, solar specialists, hydro mechanics, and transmission and line workers. Agsagana tayo!

Growth in construction restarted by 11.1% in 2010 and is projected to reach16% by the end of this year. 6,000 jobs have been for the past six months alone. And we could have many more jobs if we were better prepared. Nasaan na ang mga karpentero, master karpentero, tubero, mason, welder, arc specialist? Wala nang mahanap na pipe-fitter, o glass-fitters o roofers, mga trabahador na sanay gumamit ng power tools at bihasa sa prefab technologies. Nagagalit tayo kapag ang mga malalaking kontratista ay kumukuha ng trabahador galing sa labas, hanggang dulo ng Pampanga at higit pa. Ngunit kasalanan ba ng kontratista kung kakaunti lamang ang skilled labor dito sa atin? Paano tayo makikinabang sa ating “construction boom” kung hindi naman tayo nagsanay sa mga gawaing kinakailangan? Agsagana tayon!

We have always invested wisely in infrastructure, let us also invest in the Ilocano worker, the human capital of our province. We recently received the PAG-IBIG’s approval to build the first public housing project, Adigi Homes in Baligat, Batac City for government employees. PAG-IBIG contributions, untapped for decades, will also finance a pilot condominium project behind the stadium in Laoag. Sana lahat ng trabahador na gagawa ng project ng mga taga-Capitolyo ay galing sa Ilocos Norte na rin .

Meanwhile, or more accurately mining or quarrying in the province, has been industry’s most spectacular performer, reaching an unparalleled increase of 88.2% in 2010 and through the past 2 years. Let us be candid about this prickly issue: the majority of Ilocanos want the exploration of our natural resources and the progress it promises. Already illegal quarries, with neither safety standards nor environmental safeguards, threaten a number of our barangays. We are better off registering and regulating them, imposing the best technologies for the environment and making sure that the communities benefit together with the mine-operators. Until we are assured that strict regulation can be enforced, ready to punish and even close mining operations if necessary, we will not rush into the exploitation of our God-given resources.

There is virtually no manufacturing in the province today, and this absence of a robust and dynamic industrial sector exposes our economy to the vagaries of external forces. While economic planners in Manila boast of the Philippines’ supremacy in the service sector, I am adamant that we must bring industry to Ilocos Norte. We need industry to provide the backbone of a strong, self-sufficient and much less vulnerable Ilocano economy. Anyone who plans to set up a factory, please come and see me and I will do everything I can to help you.

Another major challenge to our investors lies in the welter of the titles, claims and disputes that is our land ownership system, aggravated by the emotionally inflated prices in our town centers. Last year we launched Task Force Titulo a Natalged to speed up the issuance of titles throughout the province, and to date almost 6000 titles have been issued entirely free of charge. For this, we won the Regala project, 4 million pesos for the full automation of revenue collection, to begin in San Nicolas and Piddig, but we have such a long way to go!

Trabaho? Lahat ng surveyor, geodetic engineer, real estate agent, abogado at paralegal, pati mga taga lagay ng mojon—mojon na hindi lalakad sa gabi, mojon na hindi lalangoy ‘pag araw! Ay, magic mojon, only in Ilocos Norte ngarud!

Our efforts to establish Economic Zones in public buildings such as Takuat in San Nicolas and MMSU in Batac, have attracted investors. We have started work on second green belt in Laoag at the Centennial, Rizal Park and Marcos Stadium area; it will hopefully be a PEZA zone too. Laoag International Airport, finally, after much cajoling is undergoing upgrading, and the Currimao seaport, will soon offer tax holidays and other eco-zone incentives. Nakasagana tayon!

Peace and order is a solid selling point to our investors, a stark contrast 2 years ago when the province had the highest number of unsolved political assassinations in Northern Luzon. Today, with your help, we have reduced crime by almost one-third, and crime solution is among the highest in the entire country. We have successfully used our own provincial administrative powers against private armies and guns-for-hire, an effort the PNP is replicating nationwide. We have the best police force in Region I, a contender for “Best-best in the entire Philippines” and even our Sarrat BPATs have outdone themselves as the “best Rural BPAT in Region I.”

Ngunit ang tanging pinagmamalaki ko ay ang daan-daang pangkaraniwang tao na nagboboluntaryo at nagbibigay sa atin ng ebidensya. Kung dati walang makuhang testigo, lahat tigib ang bibig laban sa malalaking tao, ngayon matapang, walang takot ang testigo at ordinaryong mamamayan. Problema nga, ngayon sumosobra naman ang sumbong, pati asawang nangangaliwa, opisyal na tulog ng tulog, chismis na ito na hindi ko na sana gustong malaman, tinetext pa rin. Huy, maiparit ti tsismosa, mayat ti pulungera!

At habang dumadami ang turista, maaring dumami rin ang tarantado. Kaya nagrerecruit ang pulis, ang Coast Guard, at sundalo. Pero wala naman sa inyong naga-apply. Dumadami ang security agency sana, katulad ng mga janitorial, catering, at laundry na kailangan ng probinsya, kailangan ng Capitolyo. Dapat matuto na tayo ng CCTV, habang binubuo ang electronic surveillance, kukuha rin tayo ng mga trabahador dahil ito ang sistemang ginagaya ng buong Pilipinas. Medico-legal, transcriber, notaryo, pati mga beking nag-oorganize ng mga events. Masayang ibenta sa turista ang street party at events, at kapag magkakilala ang mga tao, kapag magkaibigan ang magkakapitbahay, bumababa pati ang krimen sa barangay. Kaya’t mga pulis, kapit-bisig sa mga beki!

The last and fastest-growing economic sector is the service sector, providing most of the new jobs in Ilocos Norte and the rest of the country. Services account for almost P11.1 billion and are growing briskly at 8.5% yearly. Trade has the largest share, followed by real estate, which is booming at 11%, with shopping mall and housing developers investing heavily in the province. Huwag naming mahuli ang ating local na mga negosyante.

Transport, communications and storage is clearly another boom industry, posting over 20% growth today after years of stagnation. Laging namamangha ang ibang tao sa mga kalye at kalsada ng Ilocos Norte, maganda pa raw kaysa sa EDSA. Ngunit ang reklamo nila, sa dami ng kalsada, wala naman sasakyan! Magsimula na tayo magkaroon ng simple at payak na public transport system. Huwag maalarma ang ating mga tricycle at jeep dahil sa pagkakaisa at pangunawa, makakahanap tayo ng paraan upang magdulot ng serbisyo at magibigay din ng hanapbuhay sa ating pamilya.

Finance and banking has grown modestly but there’s been a recent upsurge in expansion. Private services are up, and government services are way way up, growing 18, 10, now 24% overall, as One Ilocos Norte attempts to transform itself into an enterprising, competitive and modern local government. At ang ating probinsya ay bilyonaryo na: yung nadatnan kung 707 million peso budget ay lampas-lampas na ng 1 billion pesos na provincial income. Bunga ng pagtitipid, masugid na pangongolekta at bagong development sa Tabacalera, Heroes Hall, Badoc Gateway, ang Ilocos Norte ay bilyonaryo at isa sa “Top 10 best provinces of the Philippines”. Maraming salamat sa Local Finance, ang ating assessors, admin at quarry boys!

Ang turismo: nakakabigla ang init ng pagtanggap sa atin ng media, balikbayan, dayo, at mga artistang panay ang shooting sa atin. Nakakabigla rin ang pagdagsa ng mga turista nung Holy Week, naubusan na ng pagkain, tubig at tulugan sa Paoay, sa Burgos at sa Pagudpud. Kung tutuusin kasi, unang hirit pa lang ng “Paoay Kumakaway” at andito na sila- 680,000 ang turistang bumisita sa atin, tuloy-tuloy pati ang booking hanggang ngayon, hanggang Agosto kahit ang lakas ng ulan. Milagrosa talaga! Congratulations sa atin lahat, at umpisa pa lamang ito.


Sana umabot tayo ng 2 million tourists next year. Jackpot tayo dun! Pero kulang pa rin tayo sa serbisyo, restawran, hotel, kusinero, waiter, tagalinis, front desk, chambermaid, geologist sa Culili Point at sa Kapurpurawan, bird biologist, expert ng bonsai, ng bantigue, pati na rin spa therapist, entertainer at nightlife. Ano nga ba yun? Ar-arya lang daw ang gumagala sa gabi dito sa atin at walang gimik—totoo ba yan? Hindi lang ang maganda at batang dalaga ang makikinabang sa turismo, patok din ang nangisit na tsuper ng 4×4, ken ti insarabasab, luto ni Manang Flor.

While medical tourism has become a buzzword, our healthcare leaves much to be desired by balikbayan retirees and locals alike. Our incomplete PhilHealth coverage, inadequate hospitals and the lack of specialist doctors leave room indeed for improvement. So to our medical and dental societies, healthworkers and BHWs, dakayo to namnama mi! Please come and help us.


And onto business processing, or what we know as call centers, which I am convinced to be our next big thing. Metro Ilocos is finally on the shortlist of “Next Wave Cities” endorsed by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines. MMSU’s C4 for English proficiency, the Johnny Moon Creative Festival, our public buildings up for lease, make us a prime outsourcing destination. Soon we will needing workers with high-value skills: animators, graphic artists, game developers, medical transcriptionist, legal transcriptionists, telemarketers, copy writers, software engineers, accountants all keen to be the world’s back-office- nakasagana tayon?

Don’t get me wrong, I will help anyone who travels abroad for work. In fact, we have brought passporting to Laoag many times, and will have issued over 3000 passports by year-end. But the real trouble with dollar remittances is our heavy dependence on them. According to our provincial accounts, 22% of total household income derives, not from anything that we work and earn on here in the province, but from overseas. Each year there are fewer local enterprises generating smaller and smaller share of revenue, rendering the Ilocano household the most dependent on dollar remittances on the entire country. Now, as the US and world economy sputters and fails, how will our families cope with fewer dollars from abroad and barely any jobs at home? For years, we have counted on pauwit, growing dollar-addicted and complacent, now what shall our families do? This is no doomsday scenario, but the harsh reality of our jobless growth.

Matagal na akong nababahala sa walang tigil na pag-alis ng ating mga estudyante at ating mga nanay, upang paunlarin ang negosyo at bayan ng iba. Inaaruga nila ang pamilya at anak ng estranghero, dahil napilitan silang iwanan ang sariling anak. Dahil di naman natin kayang bigyan sila ng sapat na trabaho, mga graduate at kababaihan, ito na ang tinatawag na “social cost of the Ilocano diaspora”: mga drop-out na nagdoDOTA na lamang, mga lalaking puro tambay, karahasan kontra sa kababaihan at bata. Totoong masayang makatanggap ng dolyar, ngunit hindi lang pera ang dapat bilangin, kundi ang epekto sa pamilyang Ilocano na kalakip nito.

Migration has also eroded inclusivity, traditionally equal distribution of wealth, that has characterized Ilocos Norte. We have not only become a rather wealthy province, but one that has become rich with very few poor. An aggressive poverty reduction program to meet the Millennium Development Goals reversed an incipient increase in poverty. National statistics indicate that poverty in Ilocos Norte is at a low 9%, and even by our own provincial index it is at a low 17%. Mga bisita natin, madalas akong tanungin, “Teka nga, saan ba ang squatter area ninyo?” Hindi naman sa wala tayong mahirap, kundi maraming sa ating mahirap ay kahit papaano, may alam sa pagsaka, handang magbanat buto, kinulang lang sa swerte at sa lupain. Kayanin lang natin sana na iahon sila sa kahirapan!

So, we face a double challenge today. Firstly, we stake the pathways out of poverty for the remote and coastal poor for our women and indigenous people. There are Ilocano families ready to break out of poverty, and with new skills, a little capital and all our encouragement, they are succeeding. There are also our graduates, committed and talented, unable to find the jobs they were promised at school. For them, Ilocos Norte must level up to meaningful and sustainable jobs and careers. For both the poor and the educated, we must set forth a blueprint for an economy that is as pro-job as it is pro-poor, as competitive as it is compassionate, as hardworking as it is visionary.

Ibuo natin ngayon ang isang task force—Task Force Trabaho, PESO diyan sa Capitolyo, education, MDG, social work at iba pa. Wag silang manatili sa Capitolyo, kundi lumusong sa mga barangay at tyendaan upang alamin sinu-sino ang talagang naghahanap ng trabaho, sinu-sino ang mga employer na naghahanap ng tauhan, at sinu-sino ang may produktong maibebenta. TESDA, DTI at DOST, lalo na yung mga technical-vocational schools ng INCAT, INAC Pasuquin, MAIS sa Marcos at Bangui, barkadang IGAMA sa Badoc, at lahat ng ating mga high school. Manang Imee=Trabaho, asahan ninyo, paninindigan natin ito! Agsagana tayon!

Sabi sa K-12, karamihan ng Pilipino hindi makakaabot ng kolehiyo. Kayat pagkatapos ng high school, dapat alam na ng ating mga estudyante ang mga trabahong papasukan nila. Mga mahal na guro, tutukan natin ang high school ngayon, na maitaas ang nakalulugmok na NAT scores ng probinsya at ibaba naman ang drop-out rate. Tutal, malaki na ang pinagbago ng elementarya nitong dalawang taon, congratulations pala sa ating lahat. 94% ng bata ay nag-aaral na, 84% nagtatapos ng Grade 6, IRAA Champion tayo ulit, pati mga debaters natin wagi sa San Jose, California, at kahapon panalo na naman ang Samiweng sa Cincinnati world choir.

Sulit naman ang bayad ko sa kuryente ng mga MDG schools- Badoc Central, di kayo agbuteng, saan nga maputulan! Sagot na rin natin ang 17,500 indigent iskolars, pati ang Sirib Buses na maibibigay sa lima pang bayan. Pagtulungan lang natin ang high school, please. Asahan niyong ibibigay ang mga additional titsers, mga upuan, mga i-Hub computers na kailangan ninyo. In Laoag, we will begin to build the “Sirib Mile’ or “S-mile” in order to put together and consolidate the services required by our students—food, transportation and other requirements from INCAT, to INHHS, Centennial, MMSU, DepEd and Divine Word. This would be one coherent Sirib Mile na kapag natapos ang ating mag-aaral sa high school, alam nila na may trabahong pwedeng pagkakitaan, kahit hindi maka-apak ng kolehiyo.

Huli, Uly, hindi kita natiis! Si Ulysees Gaygay, anak ng magsasaka at guro sa Bacarra, nagsulat sa akin, 1.31 ang kanyang grade point average sa MMSU Education, kaya lang, kinapos sa matricula. Ngayon, kung may estudyante na hindi kayang ituloy ang pag-aaral, ngunit astig, maangas ang grado, iskolar ng probinsya kayo. Uly, ikaw na! Sikan!

To our partners in business and our friends at the diplomatic corps and of the Chinese consulate, to both the Philippine and Chinese Chambers of Commerce, to our partners in LINAC and the construction industry, our valued investors in energy, in housing and development, BRAIN restaurants and HARALIN hotels, INTAA travel and the new ILEA retail, we look to you to create the jobs we need. After all, it isn’t government that creates jobs, it’s the private sector. We don’t want just a single public-private project, but we need public-private partnerships for jobs here in Ilocos Norte. Counting on my Provincial Board, we will offer you incentives for onsite, in-plant training: accommodation and training venues at Takuat and Marcos Stadium; fare and meal subsidies for trainees and trainors, and the governor’s permit free of charge. Trust me, Ilocos Norte means business!

May iba naman gustong magumpisa ng negosyo, at talagang dapat samantalahin ang pagkakataon na kumita sa turismo, construction, at iba pa. Si Manang Elia Viloria, matagal nang gumagawa ng Christmas décor ay biglang nakansela ang kanyang kliyente. Ayaw magsara ni Manang Elia at, kahit may anim na pu’t limang taong gulang, buong tapang paring nangutang sa Lakasa Womens’ upang manahi ulit. Ang bituen na binakol na gawa niya ay binebenta ngayon sa Hawaii, sa Hongkong, Canada at Australia, nagbibigay pa siya ng trabaho sa Darupidip, Pasuquin kapag maraming order.

Nakakatuwa rin ang Nagsurut-Tanap Vendors Association, sampung maybahay ng magsasaka na kung anu-ano ang pinasok na nila sa Burgos—pagpapatuyo ng gammet, paggawa ng noodles, pagba- buy and sell—lahat sinubukan na. Ngayon, malaki na ang kinikita nila araw-araw, nakakatawid sila ng gastusin ng pamilya at higit sa lahat, halos bayad na ang utang sa amin. Hindi naman ako naniningil, dahil alam kong siguradong mababayaran ang probinsya. Ang gusto ko nga, mangutang sila ulit, at palakihin ang kanilang negosyo.

Task Force Trabaho will provide job information and assistance to students, to employers and potential entrepreneurs in one office, one website, one bus that will visit your barangay. Tweet hashtag ‘imeetrabaho’, and all of you in twitterdom can start looking for jobs now. With the recent 18% increase in employment, TFT—Task Force Trabaho—commits to generating 5,000 quality jobs in the next year, 20,000 on-the-job, part-time, student and home-based opportunities. Ilocos Norte is open for business, and we are now hiring!

Yes, today the state of our province is better than it has ever been, and we are once again on track for development. Of course, Ilocos Norte has never been about being the biggest province, with the largest land area, or the most massive population. Nor has it ever been the richest or the most developed. We say One Great Ilocos Norte, but we point to Every Great Ilocano, working in the fields and on the coast, in schools and in offices, here and abroad. This is Ilocos Norte’s greatness and true wealth, the Ilocano everyman.

Until we reach each person, and touch his life in some small way, we cannot say that we have really made the difference. Until we are able to give every citizen the opportunity to do great things for himself, for his family and his community, we in government have not yet made a change. Politicians like to say that all politics is local. But I think, even more importantly, all politics is personal. Beneath the political maneuvering, and the grand projects, and all that economics, it is nothing less than the transformation of people’s lives that is the work of governance. All politics must be personal and reach out to the people. As governor, I would not have done my job until I have found you a job, or in some way made the job you already have, and the life that you live, a better one.

For my part, let me tell you one thing—I want this job. Time and again I have said, I am a reluctant politician, and you all know I sat out 2007 unopposed. But I have finally changed my mind, I want this job. I want to be your Governor again. Because this year, from where I’m sitting in the Capitol, things have changed. Now I am sure we can do this. Together. I will certainly be running for re-election next year.

Gusto ba ninyo ng isang pormal, mahinahon, at tahimik na gobernador o gusto na lang ninyo sa akin? Magkakilala na rin tayo, alam ninyong minsa’y di ako nakakapunta sa mga birthday, at kung minsan hindi rin nakakatagal sa mga pyesta, ngunit sigurado naman kayo na andyan ako kapag may nasalanta sa bagyo, kapag itinuro ng sinungaling sakdal, lalu na kapag naubusan ng pangmatrikula ng inyong matalinong anak.

Haan nga nalaka iti dalan nga intay daliasaten ngem makaguyuguy rikna, ken ammuk nga adu pay dagiti naindaklan nga banbanag nga intay maaramid! Agsagana tayo kadagiti ad-adu pay a karit ken sakripisyo a sumangbay kadatayo nga mangted iti pagimbagan ken ballaigi a sangapada! Nakasagana ak ken iti probinsya a tumulong iti panawen ti rigat.

One great Ilocos Norte, for every great Ilocano!

Idi, ita ken ti agnanayon.

Dios ti agngina kadakayo amin.


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State of the Province Address 2011

29 June 2011

The Hon. Congressman, my partner, Rudy Fariñas. Vice Consul of the Peoples Republic of China, Hon. Lee Ching Yao.

The boss for this afternoon affair, Apo Bise Gobernador, promotor, dagiti kameng ti Hunta Probinsiyal, madaydayaw a mamayor, opisyales ti munisipio ken barangay, ken ti Laoag City, adu a bisita ken padak nga Ilokano.
Ladies and Gentleman, saan a mailimed nga adu kadakayo ti saan ko a kadua iti politika, sangapulo ket walon a bulan ti napalabas, ngem ita, maymaysa tay’ kas nain-daklan a bagi, nangabak tay amin babaen kadagiti umili ken bukod tayo a partido.

Para kaniak napintas ti napasamak. Dayta ti pudpudno a demokrasya ken naakabigbigan ti maysa nga ilokano, no maminsan, saan nga agkikinnaawatan ngem iti kamaudianan ket agkaykaysa tayo met laeng, kontra kadagiti agpanggep a mangdadael iti Ilocos Norte.

Amid the noise and rancor of public debate, we are reminded that no matter who we are or who we ran with, each of us is part of something greater, something beyond mere party or politics: we are part of the Ilocano family. And like every family, no matter what anger or bitter argument may have ensued over the kitchen table last night, we stand on a new day with the great Ilocano people, bound together here in our home, Ilocos Norte. That makes us the solid north.

Marami sa atin ang nakakaalala na noon simpleng-simple lang ang buhay. Matiyaga ka lang pumunta sa mga ahensya, maghanap ng trabaho sa abroad, malamang makukuha ka. Kundi mo kayang umalis, punta ka na munisipyo o kapitolyo, mag apply ka. Mababa nga ang sahod pero panghabang-buhay naman ang empleyo mo. Mayroon ding umuunlad sa pagsasaka noon,dahil noon matino’t maaasahan ang presyo ng bigas. Ganon noon, simple lang ang buhay nung dekada setenta. Noon yun, ngunit ibang iba na ngayon.

How different things are today, when jobs are scarce everywhere, in our province, in the rural areas, throughout the country and abroad. Ilocos Norte today posts the shocking unemployment rates as high as 37%. Underemployment is even more alarming, plaguing the rural and agricultural sector with over half the population during low, non- harvest seasons. Southern Tagalog and the ramparts of Metro Manila saw unprecedented growth last year, while our provincial growth has been slow, agriculture declining for the past three years, investment barely trickling into our economy.
Bicol, volcano- and typhoon-ridden, today boasts an historic boom, and even Mindanao is moving after decades of war. Here in Ilocos Norte, we instead witness the relentless exodus of talent, and even more problematic, of women compelled to leave their families to care for strangers overseas. While other regions have benefited from hundreds of thousands of jobs from retail and service sectors, call centers and micro-enterprises, Ilocos Norte has been left behind, a stagnant and unchanging backwater. Indeed, ask Ilocano “how are you?” And I am sure his answer will be, “Kastoy latta, apo.”

What does it take for Ilocos Norte to compete with other provinces in the rest of the country? Can we still cut it in the fierce global marketplace? What is the challenge that faces us now that we allow our once-great province to fester and decline, or can we discover a new Ilocano solution for the 21st century? Kastoy kad lattan?

At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in Ilocos Norte, as they did in the 70’s, or will employers simply leave for somewhere else less political, less troublesome? It’s whether talent and industry of the locals and Ilocano will again be recognized and rewarded, without leaving for somewhere far away from their families. It’s whether we can reclaim the leadership that made Ilocos Norte not just a place on a map, small, remote and feudal, but an exemplar of governance and development for an entire country. Isardeng tayon ti ‘kastoy lattan!’

Hindi ganyan ang Ilocano dati, tanyag tayo sa buong mundo na sumusugod sa malalayong lugar, lumulusob sa makabagong gawain ng walang takot o kaba. “The first global citizen,” is the Ilocano, ang manggagawang pandaigdig, yan ang bansag sa Ilocano. Umun-una tayo a kanayon.

Mahirap makahanap ng lugar na walang Ilokano, may Ilocano diaspora sa lahat ng sulok ng daigdig. Alsa-balutan kahit saan, basta’t matirang-matibay, walang sukuan kailanman – yan ang Ilokano! Batang musmos sa baryo nananaginip na, “Saan ako makakaabot paglaki ko?” Maliit at mahirap, matayog na ang pangarap, at malakas ang loob na anumang sakripisyo o pagtitiis and idararanas, sa banding huli matutupad niya ang kanyang pangarap.

Di ba’t laging nagtataka ang ibang tao sa atin? Alam nilang masipag ang Ilocano, matipid, masinop sa pag-aral at sa pagtrabaho. Pero nagtataka sila pano tayo lumuluwas ng bansa na walang kakaba-kaba upang magbanat-buto sa mga banyagang lugar? Mga pioneer ang tawag sa atin! Ilang taong nakalipas, napusuan ng isang batang babae na alamin, hindi lang ang malalayong lugar, kundi pati ang langit at bituing kumukutitap lampas pa ng Torre ng Bacarra. Paano matutuklasan ang ibang mundo, ibang planetang nagtatago sa kalangitan? Yun si Angelita Castro Kelly, kilalang space scientist sa NASA, Aerospace ng America, at nung itinanung kung pano siya nagtagumpay sa makabagong larangan na panay lalaki ang katapat, ang sagot niya’y “Awan ti imposible! Wala namang nagsabi sa akin na hindi pwede.” Iba nga ang Ilocano – at kakaiba rin ang Ilocana!

Buong-loob makipagsapalaran, ang Ilocano ay mausisa sa harap ng problema, kukuririin, kulitin, di susuko hangga’t matuklasan ang solusyon. Minsan hindi katanggap-tanggap ang kanyang naiisip, bago paninindigan pa rin, tigas-ulo hangga’t makumbise ang lahat. May isang batang natuto lumangoy, wala namang dagat naman doon sa Piddig. Tuwing bagyo o baha, nakikita niyang napakahirap ng freestyle na turo ng Amerikano. Naimbento ni Teofilo Ildefonso ang modernong breaststroke, langoy na ginagamit ngayon ng kada lifesaver sa kalamidad. Siya rin ang unang Pilipino na nagwagi ng medalya sa Olympics. Awan ti imposible, Ilocano daytoy!

Can we bring home this restless, resourceful, pioneering spirit to Ilocos Norte? We have what it takes to succeed overseas, but can we make it here in our province? We didn’t become a leading province decades ago because Ilocos was big, or rich, or close to the centers of power and influence. We became a leading province because time and again, Ilocanos led the way, daring to embark on mad and brilliant adventures, pioneering with patience and courage in the face of those who mocked, who insulted, even impoverished him. That is the Ilocano way, and we need to bring it back home to Ilocos Norte.

Dayta ti wagas ni Ilocano. Kasapulan nga iyawid tay manen ti kinna managpartuat. Ken mangiyun-una kadagiti naisangsangayan nga aramid. Awanan amak ken buteng!

Sumikat ang Ilocano dahil kakaiba ang paninindigan – di tayo marunong sumuko, loyalist kahit magkaubusan ng lahi! Ilang dekadang nakalipas, may isang mag-aaral na sumamang nagprotesta sa embahada ng Amerika. Araw-araw nagmamartsa sa ilalim ng init at ulan, kinokondena ang pananatili ng mga base militar ng Amerikano sa Pilipinas. Problema yung tatay ng bata ay mataas na opisyal, negosyador sa pagpapatuloy ng mga military base dito sa atin. Bigla tinawagan nung opisyal ng Pilipinas ng katapat niya sa State Department doon sa US. At nagtaas ng boses iyung Kano, “Awatin mo yang anak mo, o wag na tayong mag-usap!” Sumagot yung opisyal, “Paumanhin nalang, at pasaway talaga yang anak. Kakausaapin ko pero malamang hindi rin ako susundan.”

Pinagalitan ng tatang yung anak,“Nagtangken ti ulom nga ubing! Haan ka maisursuro!’ Sagot ng bata, “Hindi tama na may dayuhan sa ating lupa, kaya ka naging sundalo dib a at lumaban sa hapon, ba?” Nag-isip iyung tatay matapos ang ilang sandali sumagot din, “Teka, Imee, baka tama ka, baka makatulong itong kalokohan mo sa negosasyon ng bansa natin.” Si Apo Presidente Ferdinand Marcos ang tatang ko, at ako yung batang pasaway na yun, natangken ti ulo nga anak ni Apo Lakay, gobernadora ninyo ngayon.

Ilang buwang nakalipas, binago ang bases agreement at naging mas makatarungan para sa atin, may dala pang tulong sa mahihirap. Kung minsan ayos maging pasaway, at tama makinig sa batang natangken ti ulo na!
How do we bring back that rebellious Ilocano spirit? We have declared time and again Pasingkedan ti kinatan-ok ni Ilocano! Let us make the Ilocano great again. Pioneers, revolutionaries, today’s artists, scientists, the rule-breakers, the trouble makers and gamechangers, with them we shall rediscover ti Kinatan-ok ni ilocano. Together let us reinvent Ilocos Norte as the nation’s hub of creativity and innovation. Encourage fearless initiatives and ambitious projects. Let us enable our precursors, our instigators, perhaps some madmen, for they will be the reagents of transformation. And then the North will be the creative hub of the nation, and our province will indeed be great again.

Three pathways to greatness known to every Ilocano pioneer we vow to undertake today. First we shall INnovate to transform our old communities and habits. Second, we will INspire our students and teachers to education. Third, we must INvest decades of saving into growth and a diverse economy. With your help and support, this government is determined to out- innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the competition. Ilocos Norte will be the best place in the country to invest and to do business, emphatically committed to research and development, supplying investors with the highest motivated and best skilled talent, ready to partner with enterprises in growth and development. And this is how we will win the future.

Una, bigyan natin ng suporta ang bawat manggagawa ng agham at mga manlilikha ng sining, ang entrepreneurs at agribusiness, mga nagsusumikap sa turismo, IT, at lahat ng makabagong sector. Madaling alamin aling industriya ang lalaganap sa bagong milenyo, digital at interactive, life sciences at nano-technology, green energy, lahat hinggil sa kalikasan, anumang may kinalaman sa klima at ang pagbabago ng klima. Dito na rin manggagaling ang saganang trabaho para sa kabataan.

Ang totoo, ibang bansa pa ang naunang kumilala sa Ilocano bilang henyo’t manlilikha. Sa NASA, may mahigit walong Ilocano scientist, National Aero Space ng Amerika, pinangungunahan ni Dr. Joey Comiso. Unang sumulong ng adhikaing climate change, dulot ng kanyang pag-aaral ng mga glaciers at yelong natutunaw, research na naging base ni Bise President Al Gore sa kanyang kampanya sa kalikasan. Narito kamakailan si Dr. Comiso, pasimuno ng research hinggil sa satellite remote sensing. Malaking tulong maibibigay sa mangingisda dahil sa mga simpleng retrato agad makikita kung saan marami ang isda. Pati sa magsasaka, hindi na huhulaan ang patubig o yung soil erosion, kundi makikita sa remote sensing 24 hours! Ang maganda, libre pa ang lahat ng datos ng NASA, diskarteng Ilocano talaga!

Maraming nagtatanong kung bakit lahat ng balik-scientist gustong magsiksikan pa rito sa Ilocos? Alam na ata nila na dito ang bagong innovation hub ng Pilipinas. Maski ang ordinaryong luwad ng Pagudpud at Solsona pinag-aaralan ni Dr. Chelo Pascua bilang bagong nanoporous-ceramics. Makalilinis ng tubig inumin ng mga barangay na walang tubig na maaasahan. Secret weapon din natin ang ILLARDEC sa pagsusuri ng mga bagong mais, bawang, dragonfruit at teknolohiya ng pagkain.
Meanwhile, balik-scientists Dr. Blanche and Dr. Capareda seek to exploit our province extended dry season to plant red sorghum, jatropa and other potential biofuels. Ilocos Norte is already known as the home of renewable energy in the country, and the birthplace of windfarming in Southeast Asia. This year 6 more projects have been approved: Energy Development Corporation to generate 86 megawatts for $301 million; Energy Logics in Pasuquin and Burgos to build a major120 megawatt, $318 M. UPC is all set to start with 50 megawatt facility in Balaoi and Caparispisan in Pagudpud. Datayo ti immuna! Haan tay nga agsardeng aginggana a haan mapasamak dagiti arapaap ni Ilocano!

But the transformation wrought by the windmills in our communities is best revealed by people, people like Engr. Julius Orpia, site engineer of Northwind. After getting his engineering degree, he set off to Manila, high hopes but unable to earn a good wage, he returned home frustrated and discouraged. Then he heard of a newfangled wind project, and nothing to lose, Engr. Orpia applied. He got the job in Bangui and today we are proud that an Ilocano engineer runs the first windfarm in Southeast Asia.

For the windfarms and other renewables to bring down our energy bills, we must undertake our own practical research and applications. Today we decide to break our dependence on fossil fuels and within the next few years must generate at least 50% of the energy used in the province from renewable sources. Let us put a hundred electric vehicles on the road, light streets off-grid with solar street lamps, set up cold storage, iceplants, processing with renewables. If we get behind these innovations now, we are investing in tomorrow’s energy. Awan ti imposible, Ilocano tayo!
By September, we shall be the first province with full wireless broadband through ECI of Israel and Singtel of Singapore. Salamat Gen. Dumol. With their P160 million investment, they will lay 300 kilometers of fiber optics for high-speed, robust and competitively-priced Internet access. The province is geared to be a world wifi hotspot, adopting the smart grid system of the US and UK. This will be augmented by satellite links to the mountainous east of Nueva Era and DIngras, at P10 an hour, this is the cheapest Internet surfing rate around!

Ang ating pangarap ay makabitan ang walang-pu’t limang por syento ng probinsya ng pinakamabilis na wifi bago matapos ang taon. Hindi ito para lamang sa mga bagets na mahilig na maglaro ng Internet games, o para sa ating mga cailian na umaasa sa pagiis-Skype sa Hawaii. Ito’y badyang paggising na natin ito sa digital age, kung saan ang magsasaka ay makakapag-download ng tunay na presyo ng tabako, ng bawang, ng bigas, di mababarat ng namamakyaw. Si manang na nagbi-binakol sa Sarrat makakabenta tuwing pyesta sa California, habang ang mga balikbayan at turista makakapag-booking ng Burgos homestay ng mura’t mabilis.

May nakakaalala nung pinagtawanan ang tatay ko sa Maynila nung pinagmalaki niya na magkakaroon ng rural electrification sa bawat barangay. “Naku!” ang kutya nila. “Wala naman refrigerator at telebisyon ang mga taga-baryo!” Ang gulat nila nung nagkakuryente, nagbago ang buhay, at tulad ng sabi ni Apo Presidente Marcos, pilit na nakabili ng ref at telebisyon ang kada barangay. Ganyan din ang Internet – wala pang computer ngayon, pero pagnaka broadband tayo, mabubulabog na natin ang buong mundo sa internet!

Pagpasok ng malalaking call center dito sa atin, at wala akong duda na manyayari ito dahil next-wave location na ang Metro Ilocos, daan-daang trabaho ang ating maibibigay sa mga graduate at estudyante. Ngayon pa lang nag-aaral na ang ating mga English trainors, C3 at C4 sa mga pamantasan. Magsisimula na rin ang technical-vocational na mag-training. Customer service nga lang muna, pero paghandaan na natin ang medical and legal transcription, finance and accounting back office, animation at games, pasukan na natin dahil dyan maganda ang sahod at maraming trabaho.

Sa Hulyo, ipagdiriwang ang Juna Luna/ Johnny Moon creative media festival, kauna-unahan digital fest ng Northern Luzon. Sikat na director, cinematographer, game developer ang magtuturo. Tuloy-tuloy na rin ang dating ng mga nagsho-shooting ng sine at advertisement sa ating probinsya. Kung bigyan natin sila ng magandang insentibo, sigurado na may mga Ilocanong artistahin ang lahi na madi-discover ng showbiz!

Technology provides us today with a level of transparency and accountability never seen before – and the Capitol intends to win the future with real-time document tracking, paperless communications, transactions, bar coded monitoring and other digitized efforts. I am told that this is the first State of the Province report by a governor. We are now live over cable TV and for the first time also podcast live through an Internet feed to all Ilocanos worldwide. To all those watching, please text 09266959326 or email your reactions to! Let’s pioneer open and responsive governance right now!

In a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to the Provincial Board, asking for a modest 5% of our total budget for research and development in GIS and other research agri-fisheries research, material engineering and bio- tech, clean energy, culture and the knowledge-based industries. And I hereby appoint Mayor Joseph de Lara, our own environmental visionary, to lead the Governor’s new Innovation Council. One day soon, everything will again start up north, from Solsona throughout the province, in the new innovation hub of the country.

If INnovation is out first step to winning the future, the second step is surely INspiration through education. My father’s pride in the 60’s, the radical Marcos-type pre-fabricated school building system, is in a sorry state of disrepair and deterioration. The province is set to spend upwards of P50million in emergency schoolbuilding works and new classrooms, counterparting with the Deped, municipalities and NGOs. We will also be paying for the electric bills of our poorest MDG schools, freeing our teachers to do what they do best, teaching our children.

Nung tumakbo ako, magkasama kaming umiikot at nangako na pipilitin kong maging 100% free ang edukasyon, balak kung tuparin iyang pangako.Unahin natin ang MDG at ang pinakamahirap na eskwelahan. Labing- pitong libong (17,000) iskolars ng probinsya ang nabigyan na ng “miscellaneous expenses” noong nagbukas ang eskwela. At sa mga magulang na dumadaing ng plete, pamasahe sa malalayong eskwela, sa hapong ito ibibigay natin ang mga unang Sirib-bus, sa Laoag at sa Badoc, pilot school bus na walang ibang gagawin kundi ihatid at isusundo ang mag-aaral. Nawa’y mabigyan ng siribus lahat ng munisipyo at siyudad sa lalung madaling panahon.Tulad din ng unang i-Hub, narito ngayon, makabagong library at computer center bubuksan natin at sanay ikalat din sa buong probinsya. Awan ti imposible!

Sa hanay ng edukasyon matunog ang pangalan ng MDG iskolar, si Stef Cimatu, Youth Olympics silver medalist ng Pagudpud. Palarong Pambansa champion, national record holder sa javelin nung labing-anim na taon gulang pa lang, ngayon siya na ang unang Sports Scholar ng probinsya sa UP Diliman, at sana tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang straight A average ni Stef. Agbiag ni Stef ken dagiti estudyante nga Ilocano!

Kung mahusay ang ating mag-aaral, magaling din ang ating mga guro. Yun nga lang, taga- London na silang lahat, Loan ditto, Loan doon! Kaya’t tayo’y nagtatag ng Provincial Education Department ng malutas ang problema sa edukasyon, kabalikat lagi ng DepEd. Isasabatas ang Saguip Maestra ng masigurado na ang sweldo ng ating mga guro. May ihihirit ako tungkol sa isang guro, nainip sa walang-katapusang beauty pageant at balikbayan dancing. May ideya siya, gymnastics kaya ang pasukan natin! Walang may alam kung ano iyong gymnastics na pinagsasabi niya, at pinagtawanan siya sa tototo lang. Ngunit hindi nagpaawat ang gurong ito at tuloy-tuloy pa rin nag-ensayo. Laking gulat na lang nating lahat nung nanalo ang Laoag Gymnastics sa Showtime. Agbiag ka, Christian Espiritu, kailanman wag kang magpaawat!

At ganun din ang Samiweng Choir na walang takot na lumaban sa Vietnam. Nandito an gating Champion Chorale Singers.

Marami pang kailangan gawin, pagkat dapat tulungan din ang mga estudyante ng 3rd o 4th year college na matataas ang grade, sayang kundi makapagtapos! Dapat bigyang pansin talaga ang mga gifted kids ng Arts High School at 2 science high chool natin. Dapat pagsumikapan natin ang TESDA, INCAT, INAC, MAIS, STI, Data, Igama at lahat ng pribadong tech- voc, bigyan ng tsansa sapagkat kayo ang pag-asa ng nakakarami.

Wag iwanan sa paksa ng edukasyon na hindi nababangit ang mga nars, teacher, nursing aide, physical therapists, medtech, caregiver di makahanap ng trabaho. Nakikipag-ugnayan tayo sa mga bansang kumukuha ng OFW, Tsina, Hapon at Korea. May ibang natulungan nang pumasok sa medical transcription at call centers sa Maynila. Ngunit sa huling banda may ilan pa rin na kailangan mag-retrain. Sa laki ng ginastos na ng pamilya, ito’y dagdag-pasanin. Tutulungan ko kayo, tulad ni Nana Lucing.

Minsa’y napadpad ako sa Bangui sa graduation ng alternative learning, kung saan namukod-tangi si Mrs. Lucia Valdez Raguingan, sesentay otso anyos, honors graduate. Si Nana Lucing ay nahinto pag-aaral niya nung napilitang maghanapbuhay para sa pamilya. Napatapos niya ang kanyang tatlong anak, kayat ngayon siya naman ang nag-aral ng high school. May gusto pang gawin si Nana Lucing, “Pwede bang humingi ng TESDA scholarship?” Ok ngarud, Nana, Marcos pa rin, awan ti imposible!

INspired and INspiring indeed, education must be accompanied by a third pathway: Investment. If we want to produce jobs in Ilocos Norte and not simply send others overseas, let us re-build and build the province. After all, ours was the province that launched the Pan-Philipine Highway, through the Manila North Road, ultimately connecting the entire archipelago, island to island to island. Jobs didn’t just come from laying down pavement, but from farms selling directly to a town market, sari-sari stores opening at the new crossroads. Already with the help of Cong. Rudy Fariñas and Mrs. Imelda Marcos we have paved the balatong road from Laoag-Bacsil to Vintar, the Piddig Road including Sta. Maria plus the Estancia provincial road, Paoay-Balacad, the Ilocos Norte-Apayao approach is looming. The opening of Vintar road which will one day provide access to Surong Valley, Tadao to Saricao, Monte Bridge in Paoay. From a meager P2million allocation last year, we are funding over P100-million-worth of public works through the province and allotments from Senators Marcos, Villar and others. These projects shall be selected solely on the basis of what’s best for our people and our economy – never again for the benefit of politicians or contractors or others claiming to be close to the powers that be!

With the help of the Vice-Governor and the Provincial Board, we now have an aggressive Annual Investment Plan, seeking investors to restore the Currimao Seaport and the Laoag International Airport to a whole new international level. We have also restored public buildings and the Capitol is our statement that the province is back in business! If the Supreme Court remains unable to rehabilitate the Marcos Hall of Justice, we will start work on our own slowly but addiciously to provide the judiciary and prosecution with a workplace that befits their difficult task.

A side note to INEC. Let us give Sitio Bucarot in Adams power this year please. Let us be the first electric cooperative to complete 100 percent electrification. Go Adams!

As we INvest in infrastrucure, so too must we INvest in business. The province’s mission to spearhead new agriculture won Ilocos Norte the grand slam of Presidential Agriculture awards: agbiag ni Prescillano Tabios, Rogelio Ceredon kenni Nana Edita “Dragon Fruit” Dacuycuy ! With our agri-businessmen and women, we now have “Pinakbest”, our showcase of the best products of Ilocos Norte launched at the Philippine Food Expo, Baguio’s World Food Fair and the North Expressway’s “Tara na sa Norte.” We have set the goal of doubling our provincial exports by 2013. Already Cormel liquors are on the shelves of the Seafood Palace in California, Namnama chichacorn and bugnay wine are now distributed nationwide. Also we were featured last February in the International Time Magazine, dios ti agngina, Hans Villarica ti Banna!

With the stoppage of China and Taiwan flights, the truth is, tourism suffered last year. But Air Macau has restarted international flights. Truly, God works in mysterious ways, for the loss of profitable international flights has been a wake-up call for the province. With the Palafox masterplan, we take a hard-headed look at the old casino-dependent model, and for the first time, develop a multi-faceted, family-driven tourism of sand and wind sports adventure, heritage and gastro-tourism. Today we seek to provide investors and tourists with the unique Ilocano lifestyle, reengineering the Museo Iloco as a food and retail outlet, rebranding the convention center as Plaza del Norte, soon to be the best meeting facility north of Subic and Baguio. Paoay kumakaway, to date Paoay Lake has been turned-over to the province and will be co-developed with the Environmental Department. Malacañang ti Amianan is also backed in the hands of the province. Through our promotions and marketing events we have had a bumper summer, domestic boom, hotels seeing as much as a 300% increase in occupancy well into June. Our new sisterhood agreements with the premier provinces of Cebu and CamSur should strengthen this marketing effort.

Isang hirit nalang tungkol sa munting barangay na may sariling turismo. Iyung barangay kapitan, kasi doon walang maubos na maisip kung paano tutulungan ang kanyang mga kabarangay, wala kasing lupa na maayos na masakahan sa mga bulubundukin. Nagplano siya ng kubo-kubong piknikan, dinayo ng mga kalapit. Pumatok! Nagbenta pa ang kababaihan ng pagkain. Ayos din! Pero kulang pa ring ang kita ng barangay. Wala nang maisip si Kap, hanggang nadining niya na may nauusong zipline. Takbo siya kay Mayor Carly Abadilla, na imbes na pagtawanan ang plano niya, tinulungan pa siya magpatayo ng “home-made zipline.” Noong una, di tuloy-tuloy ang takbo sabi nila, ngunit pagkatapos ng ilang subok, inanyayahan ni Kap. Adonis Manuel ang mga kaibigan sa unang zipline ng Ilocos Norte. Agbiag ti Barangay Caribquib, Banna ken ti turismo iti barangay!

Nagpupundar tayo sa kalsada, sa bagong negosyo, dapat din tayo mag- INvest sa tao. Tulad ng balikbayan at OFW na bumubuhay sa ating ekonomiya. Noong nagkagulo sa Middle East, sa North Africa, pinangunahan ng probinsya ang pagsagip sa ating mga cailian. Tuloy-tuloy ang ating pagtulong sa kanila, sa training bilang skilled worker sa hotel at restaurant, service and retail, at iba pang trabaho na indemand. Balang araw, sana’y puro skilled work na ang gagawing ng OFW natin, nang di na manganib ang ating kababaihan.

Ito rin ang sabi ng Project OFs- RED, pilot kasi tayo ng United Nations at Western Union. Ibubuo natin ang kauna-unahang counterparting scheme ng OFW at ng probinsya “piso ko, sa piso mo.” Ilulunsad rin ang Lakasa, isang project ng kababaihan para sa kapwa babae, pamana ng salapi’t dunong ng ating matitinik na businesswoman, bangkera, doktora, at propesyonal.

Ang pagINvest sa tao ay hindi nagtatapos sa mga nag-aabroad, kundi sakop rin ang pag-alaga ng mahina’t may-sakit. May makabagong Provincial Health Investment Plan na tayo. Kasama rito ay ang inaasahang South District Hospital sa Pinili o Badoc, equipment at gamit na kulang-kulang sa mga ospital, pati ang Mothering Centers ng nanay at baby sa ilalim ng MDG. Samantala, ang ating masisipag na BHWs ay inisponsoran ng Unilab Corporation ang kanilang training. Tag-ulan na, kayat problemado tayo muli sa dengueng natuklasan sa San Marcelino, Dingras. Katapat nito ang Anti-Dengue Task Force ng probinsya. Sana’y mabuo natin sa lalung madaling panahon ang Solid Waste at water management plan ng probinsya.

At pinakahihintay ng lahat, maibibigay na rin ang PhilHealth cards ninyo! Matapos ang madugong pagsisiyasat ng namanang utang raw ng probinsya, marerehistro na ang mga dating opisyales, tanod at BHW. Sulit din naman ang paghihintay, pagka’t madadagdagan ng mahigit na disisais na libong 16,000 MDG indigents ang Philhealth natin.
Marami pang dapat gawin, at ang ating Provincial Hospital unti-unting nagbabago, mula sa new wing hanggang sa ating mga doctor. Pati na din ang Laoag Hospital, malapit na. Wag mag-alala, kayang kaya tayo!

National corporations have been the first to note that One Ilocos Norte is abuzz. Leading the way, Robinsons is developing Phase 3 of their housing offerings. After false starts and political intrusions, Puregold is finally building in the heart of Laoag. We have SM group’s commitment to invest in 2 grocery sites, and shortly we hope to have an SM mall in Ilocos Norte. Meanwhile, Camellia Homes, buoyed by strong opening sales from a “huge pent-up market,” is committed to develop more sites and malls shortly. Duty Free Philippines just opened last week at the airport also. We believe that there is no better endorsement for local government than private INvestment.

Still, problems remain, for not only is land hideously expensive in our town centers, but our failure to adequately title property poses a serious deterrent to growth. Even land that has belonged to the province for decades, including the hectare lot of the Capitol remains untitled until today. But with Executive Order 42-11, we launch “Task Force Titulo a Natalged,” a provincial titling program to begin in Pagudpud. Without infallible title, our beachfronts and scenic zones will remain idle and vulnerable to those who arrogate property for themselves flagrantly against the law.

The rule of law has been violated time and again in this province. As we sit here today, we are also mindful of friends, family, fellow public servants who are no longer with us this year. Felled by assassins’ bullets, they bear sad proof of the political assassinations rampant in our region. Until we show a marked improvement in peace and security, no matter what efforts the government may make, businesses will not continue to invest. PD Chan, Capt. Piso, Vice Mayor Tom Torralba of Badoc, kayo na lang ang pag-asa. We have a long way to go, with countless illegal firearms, inadequate policing, and a prosecution undergoing public scrutiny. The Anti-PAG has been struggling. But as citizens let us take responsibility and determine at last once and for all to end the violence in our generation.

Hinihiling ko ang tulong ninyo, pagkat sa kabila ng marami at magandang pangarap para sa ating probinsya’y wala naman akong magagawang mag-isa. Nagpapasalamat ako ako na inihalal ninyo ako bilang gobernadora, at sinusuportahan sa bawat hakbang nitong makasaysayang taon.

Magkapit-bisig tayong muli na maihatid ang Ilocos Norte sa bagong milenyo, na walang barangay na maiiwan at wala ring mahirap o may sakit na makakalimutan. Magkaakbay, dalhin natin ang Ilocano sa kinabukasan, para sa ating anak at pamilya – sa INobasyon, INspirasyon, Investment. Makikilala muli bilang malikhain at dakila ang Ilocos Norte. Isa tayong munting probinsya ngunit matayog ang ating mga pangarap.

One great year, one great Ilocos Norte!

Ti Ilocano ket naanus ken nagaget. Ti kinalaingna ket mabigbig iti sangalubungan. Dumtengen ti panawen a haan tayo makuntento iti ‘kastoy lattan.’ Awan ti imposible!

Mamatiak a ti Ilocos Norte ket lugar dagiti managpartuat,umun-una kadagiti naisangsangayan nga aramid. Awanan amak ken buteng. Panawenen tapnu intay pabaruen ti aramid ken panunot tayo.

One Great Ilocos Norte!

Dios ti agngina. Dios ti mannarabay iti ayayaten tayo a probinsiya ti Ilocos Norte.