NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Gov. Arthur Yap broke the ground for Capitol workers’ housing in Malayo Sur, Cortes on Friday in what he calls “the start of the fulfillment of an elusive dream.”
At the same, the governor launched the search for the best concept design of the project, which is called the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) Employees’ Village.
A socialized to low- and medium-cost shelter project has been awaited by many PGBh workers, even officials.
They have longed to own both housing lot and unit in Tagbilaran City or nearby locality, which in this case is Cortes town.
Many Capitol workers, including those having families, rent rooms or houses in the city or travel daily from their towns to workplaces, vice versa.
With an initial area of 11.6 hectares, the housing site is part of the provincial government property in Cortes.
On a sprawling lot also owned by the province in Cortes will soon rise the over P4 billion new Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Medical Center, a breakthrough in Bohol’s healthcare system.
Yap led the housing project groundbreaking and capsule-laying together with Vice Gov. Rene Relampagos, Provincial Administrator Kathyrin Fe Pioquinto, Bohol Provincial Employees League (BOPEL) president Engr. Ronilita Bunado, and Cortes Mayor Lynn Iven Lim.
They were joined by Provincial Board Members Ricky Masamayor, Aldner Damalerio, Frans Garcia and Jescelo Adiong and the members of the PGBh Management Executive.
On the concept of the village, the governor said all practicing and aspiring architects, engineers and design professionals, in and out of Bohol, can join the search for best design.
Contest criteria and guidelines will be posted on the official FB pages of the provincial government and governor.
The housing program is essentially based on a major provision of the PGBh Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) for the officials and employees.
Yap cited the CNA which gives privilege to the officials and employees to benefit from a housing program facilitated and provided by the PGBh in cooperation with BOPEL.
The PGBH management, with the support of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, allocated the initial 11.6-hectare area for the first phase of the employees’ village, which is near the new Cortes town hall.
Yap first announced the project during his rounds of CNA bonus distribution at different Capitol offices last December.
He then also announced each employee of the province would get additional benefit through a health card worth P70,000 yearly.
For either hospitalization or outpatient case, the health card is transferrable to any member of the employee’s family.
The housing project and health card are just among the firsts in the province initiated by Yap.(Ven rebo Arigo)