By Noel Baguio
Davao del Norte – Saying the Dabaonon people are worth living for, Governor Rodolfo P. del Rosario is determined to continue his human development strategy until poverty is significantly reduced in the province.
The governor said the thought of giving up on the poor never crossed his mind even though he was disheartened that the poor apparently failed to fully exploit anti-poverty programs to improve their lot.
“We cannot give up, since no matter what we see around, it is our duty and responsibility to continue doing what we intend to do as public servants,” he said.
Del Rosario, who championed a no-nonsense pro-poor local governance from the start of his governorship in 1998, reviled how the culture of impecuniosity become self-perpetuating among many indigents.
He recalled the plethora of infrastructure projects and essential services that his administration has implemented, particularly starting from the minimum basic needs (MBN) program of his first term up to the comprehensive RDR WHEELS strategy he carried out during his comeback term in 2007.
He revealed about P1-billion worth of water systems, farm-to-market roads and bridges, electrification, day care centers, rural health centers, and barangay halls, among other infrastructures accomplished in his previous term, on top of the numerous projects coming from the national government and the official development assistance.
Still, to put a human face to all the physical facilities, the governor now realigned his focus on improved health, better education and livelihood opportunities, as he pursue his P.E.O.P.L.E. agenda that is also in line with the thrusts of President Aquino.
Yet, he lamented that the countless projects seemed to have failed to attain the goal of alleviating poverty because of the supposed cultural factors that contributed to the persisting indigence in the countryside.
He said many poor recipients of the government’s anti-poverty programs fail on their commitments, citing as an example the president’s flagship 4Ps program, where some beneficiaries reneged on the conditions set for them to stay in the program.
“I really do not know what we need to do. Siguro gusting-gusto natin ang poverty,” he quipped. “But, still we cannot give up on our people,” he quickly retorted, reiterating his hallowed commitment to continue uplifting the quality of life of his people.