Defensor on 1st 100 days: Good despite challenges

first_imgGov. Arthur Defensor Jr. PNA Defensor requested a P100-millionsupplemental from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to fund a loan scheme foraccredited farmers’ cooperatives. “We want to create opportunities forour people not only to survive but to live good, comfortable lives,” addedDefensor. This was how Gov. Arthur “Toto”Defensor Jr. described his first 100 days in office. ILOILO – Good despite the manychallenges. Defensor said he was thankful thatdengue cases have started to dwindle. From Jan. 1 to Sept. 21, theProvincial Health Office (PHO) recorded 19,929 dengue cases with 77 deaths. “It was a good 100 days despite damo challenges,” he said. District hospitals overflowed withdengue patients resulting to shortages in rooms and beds. One big challenge his administrationfaced was the surge in dengue cases. As of Thursday last week, Oct. 10, thePHO reported a drop in dengue patients admitted in district hospitals – 180, ofwhich only 21 were new cases, said Defensor. “It’s not easy but we are doing well,”he told Panay News. Defensor, a lawyer, succeed his fatherand namesake, Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. Another test to Defensor’s leadershipwas the adverse effects of the Rice Tariffication Law on small farmers ofIloilo. A deluge in imported rice resulted to a drop in local rice prices. Ensuring the efficient delivery basicsocial services is a given, he said, but “those who have less in life shouldhave more in law, and more in the administration of the province of Iloilo.” Then the threat of the African SwineFever (ASF) emerged. To protect the province, Defensor issued Executive OrderNo. 159 temporarily banning on hogs, pork, pork products and by-products fromASF-hit areas. Defensor officially started histhree-year term on July 1. He said good governance won’t be enough; hisadministration would also focus on social justice. Defensor declared a dengue outbreak onJuly 5 and 18 days after placed the province under a state of calamity. The cooperatives must use their loanto buy rice from small farmers at premium prices, said Defensor. One way of delivering social justice,he said, is achieving food security in the province and creating an environmentconducive to the growth of businesses and other economic activities that createemployment for the Ilonggos. According to Defensor, his first 100days in office was instructive. Eight hours of work each day is not enough, hesaid, but he managed his time well. Achieving social justice, however,would be difficult without everyone’s support, he said, thus he appealed foreverybody’s cooperation. “I cannot do it alone. Theadministration of social justice needs more than just me.  It needs us all,” he stressed./PNlast_img

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