Candidates for Bukidnon Vice Governor respond to Dialogue Bukidnon: Piliay 2013’s “Questions from the People”

DIALOGUE BUKIDNON: PILIAY 2013

An election coverage and documentation project initiated by Bukidnon News
in partnership with the Diocese of Malaybalay -Bishop Jose A. Cabantan and
the parishes in Malaybalay City, Valencia City, Maramag, and Manolo Fortich

Excerpts of the responses in the Key Informant Interviews (KIIs)

Issues* Beltran 01NEMESIO B. BELTRAN JR.
Incumbent board member (Majority floor leader)
Age:  53
Party: Nacionalista Party
calingasan 2ALEX P. CALINGASAN
Incumbent Governor
Age: 63
Bukidnon Paglaum Party
Dalao 02TONY S. DALAO SR.
Farmer
Age: 61
Independent
JULIO D. VILLANON
Independent
Bukidnon News was unable to reach Mr. Villanon for the Key informant interview
Privatization of Pulangi IV Not yet; allow private sector first to put up power generation plants; if Pulanqi IV will be privatized, there will  be monopoly. No to privatization Wants that government maintain ownership of Pulangi IV.
Energy source: renewable or fossil fuels? For renewable energy; coal plants will not be allowed here Yes to both renewable and fossil fuels (coal-fired) it depends on the hands who used it. Renewable energy is ok just a question on if there are enough investors; on the urgency of the problem coal is better as long as we balance the value of using it and environmental effects No idea about the asked energy sources. Given input, he favors coal because its usefulness and efficiency is already proven over time
Proposed Pulangi V: big dams or smaller run of river dams? Preferred smaller but many run of river dams but the barangays should not be displaced. It is OK but affects many barangays; against Pulangi V, preferred mini hydro dams No idea what Pulangi V is. Given input, he favors bigger dam because it provides more power.
Funds for mandatory representatives down to the barangay level LGUs who can afford it should be complied to field mandatory representatives at the barangay level. It is good innovation to empower indigenous peoples. That’s mandatory, it should be complied No idea of what mandatory IP representative is. Given input what mandatory IP rep is, he said he will support the appointment and will support the mandatory IP reps.
Will you consider Civil Society Organizations as partners in governance? Civil society organizations should be made partners as the government cannot do it all; willing to look for funds to accommodate CSOs but noted that they also have their own sources. Yes to CSOs as partners if it’s not too much Civil Society organizations must have roles in governance.
Stand on political dynasty It is a ticklish issue. Congress should define what is political dynasty? He also cited that families are still subject to the vote of the people.  OK if one member of family is elected to national office; then another for local office.  The country is democratic, it is still the people who are deciding, why blame the politicians? There is a need to educate the people citing that they no longer look at performance in office; their idea of “help” is “receiving money” “Political dynasty is for the good of the people.”
Program for mitigation of climate change Has proposed to declare six more mountain ranges in Bukidnon as protected areas, vows to protect vs. illegal logging and illegal mining Initiated the provincial Re-greening Project. Institutionalized mechanism that barangays cannot avail of assistance or will not obtain approval of any request from the provincial government if they will not plant trees in their own reforestation area Tree planting activities to lessen the effects of climate change.
Livelihood support for IP areas Innovations needed; “farm inputs now, pay later” for farmers; farm inputs will be more sustainable than giving livestock Not asked but mentioned elsewhere in the interview that he has programs for the  livelihood of IPs Provide livelihood support that fits to them, like Manokan, but needs to be given support thereafter.
Professional Squatting in Bukidnon It is a big problem. “We have to find relocation sites for them, there are a lot of farms.” I haven’t heard of that problem here in Bukidnon. Professional squatters are those big agencies that came into the province and grabbing the lands of small landowners. The lands that is due to the poor must be given to the poor.
Is the reported power crisis a manipulation? It is staged-managed, every summer we have the so-called “energy crisis” starting from time of President (Fidel) Ramos. He believes there is enough power supply during the time. There is probability the crisis is true. Water level decreases fast in Pulangi, it is also possible in Lake Lanao. No concrete answer but said that if power companies provide more power, then the brownouts will be lessened.
Livelihood support for farmers in the hinterlands There should be contour farming to protect soil from erosion. Existing ordinance should be implemented. Local agriculture offices should teach contour farming. Not asked but mentioned elsewhere in the interview about the livelihood projects he initiated for farmers and other sectors Will encourage and support planting of food products.
Program for environmental protection Protect mountains, trees, discourage mining except non-metallic. Legalize small scale mining. Bukidnon Forest Inc. IFMA (Industrial forest Management Agreement) should give way to National Greening Program. No to renewal of BFI IFMA Not asked but mentioned elsewhere in the interview about his pro-environment programs such as the local regreening program and his support for the protect areas in Bukidnon as addressed in No. 7. Plant more trees.
Program for Values education Values is the task of schools and parents. he doesn’t think Values Education is a problem. He said it should start from the family. In terms of lack of values in governance COA should come in prosecute for violation if proven. Not asked No concrete answer but says values education depends on the individual.
Moratorium on expansion of agricultural plantations (banana, pineapple) Moratorium dapat. We should study position on expansion of agricultural plantation. We should balance between employment and planning. Municipalities and Cities should assess. Get opinion on experts on zoning land use. Invite stake holders in the hearing. Agrees that there should be moratorium. Enough already on expansion. “The province needs grasslands.” No idea of what moratorium is. Given input, says there must be moratorium on the plantations because of the harm that they give to agriculture and to the people.
LGU-led price mechanism for farm products Create task force to monitor practices and to call attention of violators.Price is a subject of the law of supply and demand. Provincial Agriculture Office should take a hand on the problem. Not asked It is better that the LGU controls the farm products because the businessmen are controlling the prices of farm products at a very low price.
Infrastructure priorities – Will you prioritize farm to market roads? Build by-pass roads. Widen existing roads especially in city proper to Casisang and City proper to Kalasungay and four lanes in some parts. Ex. In Mangima to Dalirig.Farm to market roads are very important. We’ll ask DA to release funds for farm to market roads. Ask DOT for funds for tourist destination sites. The government should look at projects that address specific needs; those that help the people; there is no use making projects that are seen widely by the public but does not help them. Will prioritize farm to market roads in order for farmers to easily transport their products.
Lack of medicines in Bukidnon hospitals Better a semi-private economic enterprise to ensure supply of medicines. Cited that he will ensure that it will not be delayed anymore; he said lack of medicines was brought by the long process of procurement, which has to be fast tracked in favor for medicines much needed in the hospitals; when he found out about the problem, he suspended those accused to be involved Said based on his observation, there is no shortage of medicines. Medicines are kept by hospital staffs for themselves.
Small Scale mining in Bukidnon No to metallic mining. Legalized existing mining operations. Ensure they will not destroy the environment. Will continue to allow small scale mining; will legalize existing illegal mining operations so easy to control it against environmental hazards; cited the example in Gango that if given attention it will help improve the lives of the people dependent on the industry; mining depends on how well it is used; it should help IPs in their livelihood, there is no substitute in san Fernando (Dao). The government should guide them how to manage, not stop it. Small scale mining must be banned.
Chemical spraying among agricultural plantations The firm should look into it and they should have their own health programs. Help those affected via private health program. Firm should provide safety for workers. LGU should make strong representations to company owners to ensure public safety. He said it is important to weigh things economically, Plantations are using chemicals that are not harmful to the environment Condemns the use of too many chemical fertilizers by the agricultural plantations.
Waste disposal in Bukidnon LGU should follow the Solid Waste Management Act. Waste should be used in producing biomass energy. He cited the project of GreenPower in Maramag. Zero waste must be continually implemented. Zero waste council must be supported.
Bukidnon as the only province with no sports complex Request Philippine Sports Commission to fund construction of sports complex. It should be located in Malaybalay City being the capital city. There should be genuine sports program among barangays, towns and cities. There were other priorities. The towns and cities can take the project. Bukidnon caters to sports that does not need sports complex the way they have in Lanao Norte. He cited off-road, rodeo, shooting, among others. He said these are the kind of sports that attract tourists Said he will support the construction of sports complex because it is for the benefit of not just the young people but also the old ones.
No proper playground for children Authored ordinance converting portion of the Capitol Grounds in to park and picnic grounds with playground facilities for children . It is the concern of the barangay, town, or city not of the province. Utilize the parcels of land that are not being utilized. The government has the capacity to do it.
Police visibility and response time Not the concern of province. It’s a town and city issue. Not LGUs concern. True there is lack of visibility. Expressed concern about the police policy of securing the station vs. attacks rather than moving around to conduct patrols. He also cited the dilemma police and military confront about human rights violations; Human rights are affecting how aggressive police will pursue operations. Our police must be alert all the time. Police visibility is important because it hinders the possible criminal acts.
Peace and order in the province/Insurgency Should address the root cause which is poverty by providing opportunities for jobs and livelihood; that’s why attract investors. There should be good program for poverty alleviation. Continue with the peace process; LGU should be involved. Wait and see for the new strategy of Zubiri (running mate). He did not specify yet but said he will support it. There is no problem with our peace and order. What exist are just petty crimes. He also comments that juvenile law must be revisited. Will give support to police intelligence.
Certificate of Ancestral Domains Title (CADT)  for IPs The SP approved the 10M budget to help process the Certificate of Ancestral Domains Title for IPs. He cited his IP ancestry. And added that the provincial government has budgeted P10 million to help IPs process their CADT What our IP deserves must be given to them.
Bukidnon as haven for Organic and sustainable agriculture LGU should go for organic farming. We’ll see to it the ordinance will be implemented. Promoting organic and sustainable agriculture but cannot ban agriculture using synthetic chemicals. Cited that organic agriculture cannot cope with the demand for production of local consumers. Supports organic farming and will provide machineries to process organic fertilizers for use of the farmers.
Conversion of agricultural lands There’s nothing wrong with the conversion of land in the province Focus on agriculture that produces food for the province. Agricultural lands must remain agricultural lands.
Reforestation/increasing forest cover of Bukidnon We should increase forest cover through the National Greening Program. BFI should give way to NGP. Continue re-greening program and support for the protected areas. We will continue to reforest our mountains to restore it.
Child labor in Bukidnon Child labor is a big problem in the province. We should not tolerate it. Children should not be forced to work. Ok for child to work only in weekends but it must be ensured that they go to school during school days. The solution to lessen child labor in Bukidnon is to educate them. We will provide education for those children.
Budget for natural parks in Bukidnon —- Continue support programs for the protected areas. The natural parks must be restored. The budget for the parks must be applied for the park.
Stand on the extraction of pine tree saps/resin in Bukidnon Against  the extraction of pine tree saps. No idea of the pine tree sap extraction. Given input, he said that those must be stopped.
Will you be active in watershed councils? Promised to be active. Not asked Promised he will be active on watershed councils and said big plantations near the watershed must be stopped because health is more important.
Support for Land titling in Bukidnon Ok.as long as it is in the private lands. Not asked Supports land titling in Bukidnon for the people as long as they qualify.
Food security in Bukidnon: rice/corn or banana/pineapples? There is no food security problem in Bukidnon. Prefer land be used for production of rice and corn over banana and pineapples. The latter will not be allowed to expand Banana and pineapple plantations are the cause of the lowering of our food supply, if possible we will block them to prevent them from coming in.
Sustainability of provincial health station Not Asked Not asked Our hospitals are no longer sustainable because it is the staff that benefits from the hospital.
Bukidnon provincial hospitals ran as economic enterprise Not Asked Bukidnon needs to make it an economic enterprise so it can hire doctors and nurses without violating budget rules on ratio of expenses for personnel. All must be accommodated in our provincial hospitals. They are also humans. Regardless of not having PhilHealth cards, they must be treated fairly.
Infant and maternal deaths Not Asked To continue promoting natural family planning, not artificial. If possible we will help provide facilities to help our mothers and their infants.
Airport in Bukidnon Not Asked There should be airport. Proposed site in Don Carlos is nice place. But economically sound airport should be located in Malaybalay. Airport in Bukidnon is good. If we have airport here in Bukidnon we no longer need to travel long hours to CDO for the flights and will cut travel time.
*The issues were generated from a series of 11 focus group discussions (FGDs) in the four areas conducted from February 2, 2013 to March 15, 2013. To back generation for provincial level issues, Bukidnon News consulted key informants in the business, civil society, academe, women sector, farmers, IPs, health, tourism, youth, and other sectors.**Not Asked – Due to some constraints or because sometimes the respondents answer in random, some of the questions were either not asked or not responded to. Interviewed by
Walter I. BalanePhoto by Walter I. BalaneDate: April 17, 2013Venue: Session Hall, Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Malaybalay City
Interviewed by
Walter I. BalanePhoto by Walter I. BalaneDate: May 7, 2013Venue: Mobile from Malaybalay City to Lumbayao and San Isidro, Valencia City
Interviewed by:
Daniel V. MentalPhotographed by:
Ronald Christopher NeriDate: April 29, 2013Venue: Residence of Delfina Bicatulo in Purok 11, Valencia City

~Responses of candidates for mayor and vice mayor in the district pilot areas – the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia and the towns of Manolo Fortich and Maramag, may be accessed on the official website of Bukidnon News (www.bukidnonnews.net) starting May 10, 2013. The Focus Group Discussion Results and more information about Dialogue Bukidnon: Piliay 2013 are available on the website. Bukidnon News is the news service arm of Bukidnon NEWS (Network of Editors and Writers for Social Change), Inc.

Dialogue Bukidnon: Piliay 2013 Team: Dr. Lourdes G. dela Torre (Consultant/Lead Facilitator), Walter I. Balane (Bukidnon News editor in chief/project coordinator), Loreta Sol Dinlayan (Lead Documenter), Daniel V. Mental (Reporter/Focal Person), April Rose Torion (Reporter), Rhea F. Egargo (Finance In-charge, Kristopher Julius Alcordo (Web master), Hazel Mae Generalao (Invitations), Sealtiel Melendez (Intern). Volunteers: Iyren Dalipe, Ronald Christopher Neri, Gabriel Diwalay, Stephanie Jane F. Efondo

Bukidnon News also received cash and goods donations from Del Monte Philippines Inc. and cash assistance from the Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative for the conduct of the focus group discussions.