Bukidnon centennial VIP guests: Binay, Roxas

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News.Net/31 August) The provincial government has confirmed that Vice President Jejomar Binay will be the guest of honor on September 1, on the day Bukidnon will celebrate the centenary of its foundation day as a province.

Binay has confirmed his attendance, provincial administrator lawyer Nestor Cajes told Bukidnon News.Net. He said the office of President Benigno Aquino III, who was the first choice, have sent word he will not be able to attend due to prior scheduled trips abroad.

Bukidnon Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. earlier said he wanted Aquino to be the guest of honor but is willing to invite the vice president if the former declines.

The day before Binay’s arrival, today, the provincial government will host Interior and Local Government Sec. Manuel “Mar” Roxas III. The two officials, opponents for vice president in the 2010 elections, have been touted among the contenders for the presidential elections in 2016.

This is Binay’s second time to be the guest of honor in Bukidnon’s foundation day, the first time in 2012.

Cajes said former Bukidnon representative and now Senator Teofisto Guingona III is also expected to arrive today, the final stretch of the two-day street dancing competition.

Hansel Echavez, head of the Capitol’s public affairs and information office, said Gov. Zubiri invited Roxas and Guingona after they greeted him on his birthday earlier this month.
In a press release Friday, the office of Sec. Roxas said his visit is “for the Kaamulan Festival and Bukidnon Centenary as Guest of Honor.”

Roxas is also scheduled to attend the launching of the “Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP)” to be held in the 403rd infantry brigade after the second batch of presentations of Kaamulan 2014 street dancing competition.

Roxas’ staff said via SMS to MindaNews that CLIP is part of the Payapa at Masaganang Pamamayan (PAMANA) capacity-building project of the DILG, which was originally under the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

The project was transferred to the DILG as the implementer of the government’s community level integration program through the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2014-01.

Roxas, the press release cited, will “facilitate” the turnover of P65,000 livelihood assistance to each of 66 rebel returnees and their families or a total of P4.29 million.

Bukidnon is celebrating the centennial of its founding as a province tomorrow. The whole month of August including the two-day street dancing presentations is the run up to the celebration. In previous years, the street dancing competition pits only seven to eight contingents from the province’s towns and cities. For the centennial, all 20 towns and two cities compete in the two days with 11 performers each day. The street dancing performances showcase folktales and myths of seven tribes of Bukidnon. The floats and costumes also feature the rich tradition and bounty of the province. (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News.Net)