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 INAUGURAL ADDRESS OF GOVERNOR ROBERT LYNDON S. BARBERS
July 2, 2001, Provincial Convention Center
Capitol Site, Surigao City

        Sa akong kapikas sa Politika, Vice Governor Rodolfo "Ompong" Navarro, Boardmembers of District I and District II, my grandparents who are so active and supportive during my campaign, Judge and Mrs. Felix Barbers, my aunties and uncles, my friends, all local officials who are present here today, barangay officials, members of the Barbers' organization, all employees of the Provincial Government, the City Mayor of Surigao City and of course, in a man's success there is always a woman behind;  Ladies and Gentlemen, my wife, Mrs. Tricia Barbers.  

        Moingon sila sa among kampanya, kada introduced sa Emcee, ako kuno si Aga Muhlach, jari si Tricia, si Charlene Gonzales.  To all Surigaonons, Maayong Buntag ug Mabuhay kitang tanan!

        Kon nahinumdum kamo sa akong mga diskurso sa kampanya, nag-ingon ako nga ang tingog sa katawhan mao ang tingog sa Ginoo.  I believe that the people of Surigao had spoken, that is why I am here before you.  I believe that this is the voice of the people and this is the voice that we wanted here.

        Ladies and gentlemen, today is a very special day.  It is indeed special because of all the events that had happened in my life.  Because of the prayers, and the support and confidence, you give me the chance and privilege to serve the people of Surigao del Norte in my capacity as your Provincial Governor.

        To be elected as Governor of this province was not surely part of my aspirations before. Because of my father's idea that it happened. Two years ago, when my father told me "Lyndon, I want you to run as Governor of Surigao". I was hesitant at first (Sorry, but this is tears of joy).  Motoo kamo kon dili, ako sija tagbalibaran. Waya ako mosugot sa ija hangyo tungod kay ganahan pa ako motrabaho sa Tourism.  I was then the Regional Director of the National Capital Region and it is a possibility that I will be promoted as Undersecretary if not Secretary of the Department of Tourism.

         My administration would be God-centered and pro-people. I will pursue programs to alleviate poverty. I will put priority attention to the improvement of delivery of basic services, upgrading of hospital and other health facilities and professionalizing its technical personnel. After the initial programs of my administration, I will fully promote education. I will work on programs to attain peace, unity and environmental integrity. I will work to upgrade the educational standard of our youth including our school facilities through the help of the Local Government Units and with the support of Senator Barbers, being part of the present administration, ato suportahan ang ato Presidente sa ato nasod, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

        We have also scholarship program for our deserving students by creating a scholarship foundation. We will closely coordinate with the local school board to hire additional teachers. On the youth and sports program; the Provincial Government will provide Sports Development Training Programs for the youth to further develop the skills of our young athletes. Who knows someday, we can produce a Benjie Paras or a Manny Pacquiao.

        After the youth program, there will be an exploration not exploitation of talents in the aspects of arts, such as singing, acting, dancing and etc.  All this programs enumerated under the Youth Program; are intended to keep the youth away from drugs.

        Police visibility will be increased in the city and areas frequented by goons through the implementation of foot and mobile patrol of our police task force that will ensure the safety and security of our people and foreign investors.          

        We create a unit that will establish quick and efficient resolutions of crimes.  There should be a campaign against drugs - the Junior drug Watch Program - by apprehending drug pushers and members of drug syndicates.  I will raid the police organization of scalawags with the help of Senator Barbers.  Those scalawags who abuse their authority and violate the human rights of the people and those police personnel who engage in graft and currupt practices even including provincial officials and employees.  I warn you that appropriate charges will be filed against you, so that you will be discharged from your service.  

        Under my administration I will focus on tourism for it is my forte.  Tourism means business.  I believe in a saying that "two birds can be hit by one stone". Tourism is similar to that.  In tourism, we can generate employment, and we can generate income, not only in Pesos but in other foreign currencies.  Right now, we are facing a crisis in Mindanao; the crisis of terrorists attack. But ladies and gentlemen, let us see these crisis as a challenge.  Let it not be the means of the downfall of Mindanao especially Surigao del Norte.

         Let us promote Surigao del Norte to foreign investors. Tourism has three categories: existing, emerging and potential.  What is existing in this province, we should capitalize it.  The island of Siargao especially the Municipality of General Luna has been part of Department of Tourism's Satellite Destination List.  I have that list when I was in that Department.  I encourage the Department if possible include Surigao del Norte as one of the satellite destinations in Mindanao.  Now as Governor, my goal is not only for Surigao del Norte to be a satellite destination but to be one of the top 9 destinations of this country.  So let us develop  our existing assets.

        In terms of emerging assets, we have Dinagat Island. We have the Suhoton Cove. All we have to do is to promote and market these products that are available to us.  And as a potential destination, ladies and gentlemen, now with Mayor Casurra at the city government, with Senator Robert Barbers, Congressman Ace Barbers and Congresswoman Glenda Ecleo and together with Vice-Governor Navarro and the Boardmembers, I believe that Surigao City could be a potential convention city in the country.  

         In terms of environmental protection, to curve the destruction of marine and terrestial resources, I will create a task force called "Bantay Surigao" with the help of our law enforcement units, goverenment agencies and non-government organizations.  Bantay Surigao will lead the way to conducting surveillance measures especially on critical areas.  We have to stop illegal logging. We have to stop illegal fishing too, in this province.

        In tourism, as we all know, tourism requires development.  Although we can develop our tourist potentials but we can do this without destroying the environment.  Let us be rational by making ourselves aware of long impact development. Kinahanglan usab ipatigbabaw an tingog sa mga kababayen-anů because women will be part of our development.  So, we will have livelihood programs for our women sector, such as food preservation and food preparation through our cooperatives.

       We will also give importance to the senior citizens.  In my administration, I would definitely implement the Senior Citizens Act because we should know where we came from and there are lots of things to study. We should give importance to our lolos and lolas especially our parents.

         Another sector of our society that shall be given attention is the disabled group in our society.  The Disabled Act shall be implemented in this province and for this, I would even start to show to the people of Surigao that all government offices and all government facilities should be accessible to the disabled.  Starting tomorrow, ladies and gentlemen, the new Governor of Surigao del Norte will no longer hold its office in the second floor.  I will hold office on the flat level so that I could be accessible to the elderly and disabled.

         Sa kataposan mga kaigsoonan, bagan nayabag ang akong feelings tungod sa dakong kalipay.  It is true that this is part of being elected Governor of this province and part of my aspirations.  Matud pa lagi nako kaina, kamo may nohangyo dako, kamo may nohagit dako, so kinahanglan ijo sab ako tabangan sa ako katungdanan isip Gobernador sa lalawigan.

         I would like to challenge each and everyone especially the members of the capitol family, the employees of the provincial government, ato na kalimtan ang politika.  Ang politika isa ra ka adlaw iton, Mayo 14, 2001 ra, humana ang election.  We will unite, Maghiusa ta, Mag-uban ta alang sa kauswagan nan ato probinsya.

         Let us forget all the things we had heard during the campaign period.  Kaina medyo na delatar ako tungod sa mga dili nato kalikayan na mga kakulian.  Naay panghitabo kaina buntag, a medical emergency.  But I believe I don't have the guts to tell you, but I will give the chance to my father for him to explain what had happened.

         So, ladies and gentlemen I believe that my time is up, I'm also excited to see or visit all offices of this province so that we will know each other.  Again, I request each and everyone to forget politics.  Let us unite for the progress of our province.          

        Lastly, Daghang Salamat, Salamat Karadjaw sa tanan mga Surigaonon na notabang ug nohatag ug suporta  kanako niadtong miaging piniliay ug labaw sa tanan daghang salamat sa ijo mga pag-ampo sa akong pamilya.  Marajaw na buntag ug Mabuhay kitang mga Surigaonon!

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