By Rodolfo Andal
MAASIN City, Leyte — President Rodrigo Duterte last week expressed hope that the local executives of Eastern Visayas will work with him in uplifting the lives of the local folks.
Moreover, Duterte, while attending the 58th founding anniversary of Southern Leyte last week, expressed trust that local officials will be unwavering in their desire to make the country truly progressive.
“I trust that you will remain unwavering in our mission of transforming the Philippines into a truly progressive and prosperous nation,” the President said in his speech during the event,” he said, adding “Together, let us sustain the gains of our reform so that we may fully realize our aspiration of providing a more dignified and comfortable life for all our kababayans. May you renew your commitment to our promise of real and lasting change as you celebrate today the success of Southern Leyte.”
Duterte pointed out that the province’s major problem is connectivity because of lack of airports and seaports as he urged the Department of Transportation (DoTr) to improve infrastructure in Eastern Visayas.
Citing the Davao-Manila shipping service when he was still mayor of Davao City, he expressed happiness that people travel from Mindanao to Manila using the shipping service. Poor people used to transport livestock, poultry, and vegetables through ship cargo, he noted.
As this developed, Duterte announced that the DoTr is set to rehabilitate an airport in the region in two years. He said being the window of the Pacific, Southern Leyte must build resiliency and effective disaster response to better cope with calamities.
Tackling the issue on mining, the President reiterated his plan to stop mining due to the destruction it has caused to nature and the communities.
“One of these days, I will stop mining actually,” he said.
Open pit mining is also dangerous to villages because it causes landslide, he added.
He noted that while mining companies contributed about PhP70 billion a year to government funds, such amount is not enough to compensate for the damage they caused to the environment.
The Chief Executive also renewed his commitment to eliminate illegal drugs in the country, warning local officials to stay away from the drug trade. He likewise vowed to stop corruption in the bureaucracy.