The greatest Boholano the late Pres. Carlos P. Garcia is a constant inspiration driving Bohol leaders after him to a higher pursuit for their provinceâ€™s fuller good, according to the regionâ€™s highest socio-economic planning official.
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Efren Carreon said Garciaâ€™s â€œvision and wisdom have continued to live and inspire the outstanding achievements of Bohol leaders today.â€
The chief socio-economic planner in Central Visayas was the guest speaker during the 120thÂ birth anniversary of Garcia on Friday, November 4, a Bohol holiday also known as the CPG Day.
Garciaâ€™s niece, Marilou Valmoria Fudalan, daughter of Mary Garcia-Valmoria (CPG’s sister) spoke on behalf of the presidentâ€™s family during the commemorative program at the Bohol Cultural Center.
In his commemorative message, Chatto cited Garciaâ€™s â€œFilipino Firstâ€ policy that had â€œsplit the colonial mentality.â€
Garcia acted on the Bohlen Serrano Agreement which shortened the US bases lease of 99 years to 25 years, renewable after every five years.Â Â In effect, Garcia fathered an earlier independent foreign policy of the country, the governor said.
Chatto extolled Garciaâ€™s modest life and Â character, virtues and values (honesty, integrity and credibility) made evident in his acts and programs about austerity, wise spending and trustworthiness.
Carreon must himself Â said he â€œmay have some Boholano blood.â€
He said the â€œfirst 800 families that settledâ€ in his birthplace, Dapitan City in Zamboanga, â€œcame from Bohol and led by Datu Pagbuaya from the Kingdom of Dauis in Panglao island.”
The ways of Garcia Â inspire todayâ€™s Bohol leaders, Carreon said, citing how he had himself been Â working with Chatto in the Regional Development Council (RDC) for the last three years.
Carreon called Chatto a â€œmodelâ€ Boholano leader and official, citing the governorâ€™s â€œfirm grasp of public management and governance and undivided pursuit for the developmentâ€ of his province.
These are â€œtraits of Boholano leaders which I strongly admire and believe to have transformed Bohol to what it is
â€œENVY OF MANYâ€
For Carreon, Boholâ€™s growth â€œis an envy of manyâ€ and a â€œproduct of careful planning, clear visioning and systematic implementation of strategies and programs as embodied in the provincial physical framework plan.â€
He said the national NEDA chief is a Boholano himself, Director General Ernesto Pernia,
According to the NEDA official, Bohol performed very well in poverty reduction in the last 10 years.
The poverty incidence among Bohol families had kept decreasing from 41% in 2006 to 38% in 2009, further to 32% in 2012 and 25% in 2015.
The 7.8-point reduction in the last three years, 2012-2015, was â€œtruly amazing,â€ Carreon said, as it indicated a yearly 2.6% reduction average and â€œthis is again an envy of many regions.â€
Boholâ€™s reduction rate is far, far larger than the regionâ€™s 1.8% in the same three-year period.
If sustained, Boholâ€™s poverty incidence has to be around 15% after the next three years and can be one of the lowest poverty incidences in the country most likely in 2019, the NEDA official was optimistic.
Carreon congratulated the Boholanos for such â€œa very important accomplishment.â€
The commemoration was also attended by Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Reps. Rene Relampagos and Aris Aumentado, former Philippine National Police Provâ€™l. Dir. Dennis Agustin representing Regâ€™l. Dir. Noli TaliÃ±o, and Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II and Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso.
Rep. Arthur Yap is still in London for a global travel mart.
Relampagos proposed to rename the Bohol circumferential road in memory of Garcia, the eighth Philippine president whose literary and oratorical prowess had earned him the titles â€œPrince of the Visayan Poetsâ€ and â€œBard from Bohol.â€ (Â Ven rebo Arigo)