Leading Camarines Sur to greater heights
Posted on: Monday June 26, 2017

In 2013, Camarines Sur elected the youngest governor in the Philippine history. Clearly, Governor Miguel Luis “Migz” R. Villafuerte did not disappoint as the province re-elected the young leader to serve his second term.

In 2013, Camarines Sur elected the youngest governor in Philippine history. Clearly, Governor Miguel Luis “Migz” R. Villafuerte performed well and beyond that the province re-elected the young leader to serve his second term.

Significant Change

In only three years, Governor Migz lowered the poverty threshold of the province from 33.5% in 2012 to 29.2% in 2015 through the effective programs of the province. The percentage of families who cannot afford decent meals was also reduced from 20% in 2006 to 9% in 2015. In effect, Camarines Sur’s malnutrition rate lowered from 18.6% in 2012 to 12.5% in 2015. “We have already done so much during our first term. We have helped many, but this is just the beginning,” promised Governor Migz.

Youth & Education

One of the governor’s main advocacies is promoting quality education. He allocated over PhP130 million for scholarship programs and helped 35,000 college, 65,000 high school, and 45,000 elementary students get access to free quality education. “Education is the great equalizer, that is why I put emphasis on education as a povertyalleviating measure,” Governor Migz said. 

Camarines Sur’s challenging geography hampers easy access to schools and learning facilities. In some municipalities, children even had to walk three kilometers to attend school. To solve this, the governor built high schools in inaccessible areas, such as in Maragni, San Fernando, Calabnigan, Libmanan, Toytoy, Garchitorena, Salvacion, and Buhi. 

In the next years, Gov. Migz will be opening five Governor Mariano Villafuerte colleges (GMV colleges) in Libmanan, Siruma, Garchitorena, Tinambac, and Caramoan to help the youth secure their future with college education. He will also prioritize the construction of more learning facilities in far-flung coastal, mountain, and riverside areas and distribute school supplies to 40,000 students in the province. 

The governor also plans to make Camarines Sur the first province to ever have free WiFi. This initiative has already started with 88 public schools that currently has free Inte et connectivity and will roll out to the entire province in the coming months. More so, he will be building a special school for persons with disabilities in District 2 in partnership with Congressman Lray Villafuerte.




Economy & Environment

Though the geography of Camarines Sur poses a difficulty in implementing povertyalleviating programs, Gov. Migz used this very challenge to the people’s advantage. 

Gov. Migz continues the El Verde Project, which aims to plant 40 million trees by 2020. He included food-for-work and cash-for-work livelihood modes of planting, benefitting more than 10,000 families for being good stewards of the environment.

“The poverty and hunger threshold has lowered because of our effective livelihood programs. Soon, we will also be establishing livelihood and skills training centres in various towns to empower the women, youth, and senior citizens,” he said.




Agriculture & Infrastructure

Camarines Sur continues to be the top rice producer in Bicol under Governor Migz’ leadership.On the national level, the province is the 4th top rice producer. Aside from rice, Governor Migz plans to ensure that the province will be active in the production of dairy milk, corn, and coconut, among other produce. 

The dairy milk production will greatly increase the income of farmers who will grow and milk the community-dispered goats. This will also complement the nutritional program for elementary schools who will benefit from the processed milk. 

The governor also plans to purchase tractors, rice harvesters, rice transplanters, and water pumps that will be lent to farmers and farmer associations to help increase their productivity. This speaks volumes on the importance the governor gave to the farmers and the agriculture sector. 

As part of the mode ization of the province, over 150 kilometers of farmto-market roads were constructed for better market access. Governor Migz plans to extend the farm-to-market roads in Pasacao, Libmanan, Sipocot, Pamplona, Del Gallego, Goa, and Buhi. Aside from these, more than PhP1.7 billion has been allocated on infrastructure programs such as multipurpose covered courts, school buildings, day care centers, and public markets.

A diversion road from San Fernando to Pili will also be constructed. Along with this, a feasibility study on the Quezon-Bicol Expressway (Quebex) is already approved by the Department of Pubilc Works and Highways. Quebex will help improve accessibility of the coastal barangays of Ragay as it connects Quezon to Camarines Sur. More so, the gove or plans to construct a bridge connecting Caramoan to Camarines Sur.




Health & Nutrition

Gov. Migz also led the construction of Bula Provincial Hospital and Libmanan Diagnostic Center. The affordable rates in these hospitals do not translate to mediocre service and outdated facilities. Upgraded medical equipment and supplies worth PhP90 million and 14 brand new ambulances were also distributed among the district hospitals.

Weather stations and early wa ing systems that help measure rain and predict flooding in the province were also installed in municipalities. Camarines Sur is also one of the few provinces that has an established 24-hour quick response team with operational hotlines, ensuring that the province is the first to respond in emergency cases. These hotlines will also be used to support the strong anti-illegal drugs advocacy of the national gove ment. 

The Camarines Sur Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Training Academy, led by the provincial gove ment, has also finished training representatives from Camsur PNP on emergency response and disaster risk management. In the coming years, Gov. Migz expects other agencies, such as the army, to train under the province.




Tourism & Jobs

Governor Migz continues to develop and support tourist destinations that propelled Camarines Sur to the global tourism arena. The Camarines Sur Watersports Complex (CWC) will again host the World Wakeboarding Championship this October 2016 and the next years to come. 

Gota Village is still the top destination choice of the inte ational TV series, “Survivor,” which generates hundreds of livelihoods for the locals and boosts the municipality’s economy. “I don’t think I will be able to send my children to school if Gota was not built,” said Dante, one of the Filipinos hired by Survivor every time they shoot their TV series in Gota.





Years to Come

Now that Gov. Migz is serving his second term, the gove or has great plans to continue pushing the province into the gates of progress. But working towards progress does not depend on the leaders alone. Camarines Sur is living proof that it takes a whole province to march towards greatness. As Gov. Migz said, “We are on the right direction. We have a vision and a master plan in achieving that vision. Let’s all work together in making our province economically prosperous, environmentally friendly, and globally competitive.

Written By: Estel Lenwij Estropia

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