Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Open Letter to the People of Zambales

My dear fellow Zambalenos,

The main problem in Zambales that must be addressed by its leaders is POVERTY.

The best strategy in fighting poverty in Zambales is to use the resources of the provincial government in the best way we can that will have direct impact on the lives of the people. The amount of financial resources that is directly controlled by the provincial governor under his office amounts to almost P200 million every year out of the less than P500 million annual budget of the province.

If only this huge amount of financial resources is utilized to provide support to our farmers and fisher-folks for their irrigation systems, fertilizers, agri-credit facilities, marketing support for their produce, technology transfers, post harvest facilities, among many other support for agricultural development that can be extended by the provincial government, the farmers and fisher-folks who comprise the majority of poor Zambalenos can be freed from poverty. We can capitalize on our closeness to SBMA and Manila to create market for our Zambales agricultural and fishery products.

If only this huge amount of financial resources is utilized to promote Zambales tourism on a year-round basis through aggressive and massive marketing activities and by standardizing our tourism facilities and infrastructure facilities including proper training of service personnel of tourist-related establishments, the big amount of income that will be generated from tourists and the big number of employment that will be created by tourist- establishments will free from poverty the people who will directly benefit from successful tourism program. Zambales is a very beautiful province. We can capitalize on our closeness to SBMA and Manila to invite tourists to come to our province.

If only the P17 million yearly indigency fund and other discretionary funds of the governor will be utilized to launch a massive livelihood programs for the women, youth, senior citizens then poverty can be eradicated. Instead of giving those poor people that flock to the provincial capitol with financial assistance of P100 - P200 each.

If only these huge amount of financial resources is utilized to invite investors to come to Zambales then that will create a lot of employment. Zambales is an ideal investment destination with our good road network, big supply of electricity from Masinloc coal-fired thermal power plant, availability of all communications facilities (Smart, Globe, Suncel, PLDT, Digitel, Piltel), good peace and order situation, skilled and educated labor force. If SBMA and other provinces can invite investors to go to their areas why can't Zambales. We just have to be aggressive and very massive on our efforts to market Zambales as an ideal investment destination. We need also good investment policies and programs that are well written in form of promotional materials and implemented by well qualified and highly trained staff.


But in the meantime, even with absence of financial resources in the vice governor's office, we are launching several projects in partnership with non-government organizations and other government agencies who believe in our vision of economic prosperity for every family. Some of which include -

1. Series of medical-dental-legal missions in partnership with Zambales War Against Poverty Foundation, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Rotary Clubs;
2. Establishment of small community drugstores in remote sitios/puroks called Botika Natin sa Nayon in partnership with Zambales War Against Poverty Foundation, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine International Trading Corporation. Please visit www.botikanatinsanayon.com;
3. Operation of small community radio stations called Radyo Natin for massive and aggressive public awareness campaign on local and national issues and concerns affecting them in partnership with Zambales Mass Development Foundation and Manila Broadcasting Company;
4. Employment assistance to job applicants through employment matching and referrals to prospective employers including SBMA locators as well as holding of Job Fairs;
5. Fund sourcing for agricultural projects called Agikultura Natin from national government agencies and leaders;
6. Fund sourcing for livelihood projects called Kabuhayan Natin from national government agencies and leaders including foreign organizations;

Let me clarify however that no matter how I want to work to maximize my performance as vice governor but with the absence of budget during the past more than two years, it is very hard for me to operate our office and perform my duties. With zero budget as vice governor versus the P200 million budget of the governor indeed when people compare about what the governor has done and what the vice governor has done, it appears that the vice governor has not done anything.

But please look at our performance during my first term as vice governor from 2001-2004, even with very meager budget of P3 Million per year, we were able to mobilized so much resources to implement many programs and projects for the farmers, the fisherfolks, the youth and the unemployed. Please visit www.ramonlacbain.com or www.vgovlacbain.com for more details.
Now we are facing an elections and no matter how I wanted to offer my full-time service as governor of Zambales, given my 13 experience as a member of the provincial board, given my 6 years of experience as vice governor and my many years of experience as a manager in many private companies, given my educational background as a master in public management graduate, given my track record and my clear vision for Zambales development BUT BECAUSE I DID NOT ENRICH MYSELF DURING THE PAST 22 YEARS THAT I WAS IN THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT I AM FINANCIALLY INCAPABLE TO RUN AS GOVERNOR OF ZAMBALES.

How can I run as governor when I have to rent a house for my family? How I can run as governor when I can’t even make both ends meet for my families monthly needs with P23,000 salary per month as vice governor? How can I run as governor when I don’t have even a minimum amount just to even campaign for myself, without any political line-up and much more to mobilize the watchers on election day which will amount to more than P2 Million (more than 2,000 precincts P500 per watcher x 2 per precinct).

This is sometimes the sad reality of Philippine politics - “Dahil wala kang pera kasi hindi ka nagpayaman sa pamamagitan ng pagnanakaw sa gobyerno, sorry ka na lang”. This is the reason why I have to say goodbye to serving the people of Zambales after 22 years when my term expires as vice governor this coming June 30, 2007.

I hope I can come back again serving the people of Zambales in the nearest future. But only God knows. I leave my fate to God. At least for now, I can claim with all humility and with all my principles intact and with my unblemished integrity that I have done my best and have maintained my good reputation serving the people of Zambales.

Everytime I am elected for the past 5 elections I consider them miracles because despite the absence of financial resources I still won. So I thank our Almighty Lord and the people of Zambales for trusting me. I know I owe you and the God Almighty my position and I am very proud to say that I have held this position with your interest always on my mind but unfortunately I am not in the right position to make major changes in your lives. Much as I want to be in that right position but no matter how it hurts the reality is I am financially incapable to run as governor of Zambales. So it’s goodbye for now people of Zambales.

God bless to the people of Zambales for this coming elections.


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  • I agree with you that improvements of our province were only attributed to the previous governor. Although we truly understand that because of financial issues in the local government, even those who are willing to help the people, without bearing the mentality "nagpapayaman sa gobyerno", still do not have the chances. It is so sad to think that those funds for the said projects go to the pockets of the higher elected government officials especially in your time of office. We, the Zambaleno youth share your thoughts and heartaches about the problems in our beloved province. We salute you for proving yourself and standing above the rest that there are still government officials who are not depending on the gov't funds and making themselves richer. We hope someday, we will see you again in a higher office. Do not lose hope. We have lots of aspiring youths who know the real complexity of the local politics. And as the new generation, we hope we become the panacea to our province's ill and we would like to see you there!

    Goodluck to you and to your family!

    From Zambales Youth Forum


    By Blogger krisJC, at 3/26/2008 7:47 AM  

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