Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro
15 November 2012

President Benigno S. Aquino III inaugurated the Mompong Yapang Bridge and Approaches in Sablayan, and at the same time led the switch-on ceremony of the Accelerated Total Electrification Project in the municipality of Paluan to commemorate the 62nd Founding Anniversary of the province of Occidental Mindoro.

During his visit, Provincial Governor Josephine Sato expressed her support to President Aquino’s goal towards government reform, especially in converting the country to be rice self-sufficient by next year. According to her, rice production of the region for this year has yielded enough produce to supply the demands of the National Food Authority (NFA) which currently agreed to purchase 2.5 million bags or 125 metric tons of rice worth two billion pesos. She added that given the support of the government to supply more irrigation projects in the province, she is confident that they can triple the rice produce to supply the country’s needs to be rice self-sufficient. In return, the governor sought help from President Aquino to cancel a dubious electrification contract acquired from the last administration that continuously rips off the region of electric bills even with its apparent failure to deliver its services. She also sought help from the President to investigate the province’s justice system, which according to her is being manipulatedby someone, whom she did not name, that releases temporary restraining orders to protect someone.

President Aquino in return assured the governor that they will investigate the issues she raised and will bring to justice anyone that will be proven unlawful. The President also on the spot instructed Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala to increase the ongoing 80 million pesos worth of irrigation projects to 228 million pesos next year. He also assured her that electrification of other sitios in the province will be completed before he steps down from office in 2016.

Currently, 97 sitios have already been installed with electric grids which is expected to increase to 135 by the end of December this year. The President also said that in order to completely cover all 36,000 sitios in the country with electricity they will have to source out 36 billion pesos since each grid amounts to one million pesos which the President swore to prioritize in his term.

On the other hand, the Mompong Yapang Bridge is a pilot bridge of 91 contracted/replaced bridging project to be installed nationwide. Funding for the project was made possible through a soft loan with the Spanish government amounting to 1.862 billion pesos.

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