Gov. Edgar Chatto has thanked outgoing US Amb. Philip Goldberg for doing many significant things for Bohol, a Philippine a home to a people that have most impressed him.
Goldbergâ€™s trail of diplomacy and goodwill have helped recover Boholâ€™s tourism from the impact of the devastating earthquake exactly three years ago on Saturday, October 15.
Chatto on Wednesday personally expressed the Boholanosâ€™ appreciation for the support extended to the province by the American envoy.
They met at a Manila Hotel reception tendered by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham-Philippines) in honor of Goldberg, who is about to end his tour of duty in the country.
Chamber President David Ebb Hinchliffe invited the Bohol governor to the farewell party for the US diplomat.
Along with then United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Country Director Gloria Steel, Goldberg visited Bohol immediately after the 2013 epic earthquake.
They joined the effort to rehabilitate the severely battered island-province, specially for the recovery of the tourism industry.
The USAID largely and critically assisted the local tourism recovery masterplan.
In a recent interview on ANC of the ABS-CBN, Karen Davila, program host of â€œHeadstart at ANC,â€ asked Goldberg which Philippine places he was most impressed.
The first answer of the ambassador from the worldâ€™s most powerful nation was â€œBohol.â€
Having gone to Bohol not just once, he expressed particular fondness for the â€œwarmthÂ of the Boholanosâ€ as a people and the sensational tourist spots in the island paradise.
It was at a Panglao island resort where Goldbergâ€™s immediate predecessor, former Amb. Harry Thomas, proposed and was engaged to his now Filipina wife.
Before his Philippine diplomatic mission, Goldberg had been assigned to many places such as Kosovo, Chile and Bolivia.
Goldberg witnessed some important cooperation projects in Bohol as in the signing, with Chatto for the province, on the Bohol Government-Industry-Academe Council for Human Capital Development in 2015.
On that same visit was signed between the USAID and Tagbilaran City government, under Mayor John Geesnell Yap II, the agreement on the Cities Development Initiative (CDI).
The CDI provides for the cooperation with USAID for the â€œcatalytic, sustainable, transaparent and equitable economic growthâ€ of Boholâ€™s lone city.
Unknown to many, Goldberg once snorkeled in the Danajon reef off northwestern Bohol, which is the only double-barrier reef in the country and one of only few on the planet.
Meanwhile, Goldbergâ€™s counterpart and new Philippine Ambassador to the US Marciano Paynor formally â€œacknowledged with appreciationâ€ the Boholanosâ€™ felicitation expressed by Chatto on his appointment by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.
Paynor thanked Chatto for supporting the Philippine hosting of the series of meetings for the Associaiton of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in 2017.
Bohol will be one of the venues of the high-level conferences during the summit, specifically the 15thÂ meeting of the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKTFA) implementing committee and related meetings in April next year.
The parties to the AKTFA are the Philippines,Â Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Korea.
BOHOL A DARLING
Foreign Official Development Assistance (ODA) partners have cited Bohol as their â€œdarlingâ€ and â€œfavorite.â€
Thru their assistance arms, nations like Korea, US, Canada, Australia and Japan have partnerships with Bohol on various development programs.
Chatto said their commitment is intact with due respect to the presidentâ€™s independent foreign policy.
Overseas partnership is sustained as relation with others improved, the governor said while acknowledging that local programsÂ do largely rely on national government support.Â (Ven rebo Arigo)