Distinguishing her consistent performance as a proactive leader urging the transformation of Ilocos Norte for the past six years, Governor Imee R. Marcos received the Outstanding Governorship in the Philippines Award 2016 for the second time.
Gov. Marcos personally received the award at The City Club, Alpha Land Building, Makati City yesterday, March 30. Since launching the provincial vision of “Pasingkedan ti kinatan-ok ni Ilocano” (Together, we can make Ilocos Norte Great again!) in 2010, she has pursued the four provincial missions to attain rapid and sustained growth; inclusive growth; an enabling environment; and to uphold the Ilocano heritage and positive values.
The award was conferred by Superbrands Marketing International, Inc. (SMI), an award-giving body honoring quality governance throughout the country. Recipients of the said award are governors who enable inclusive growth among their constituents and demonstrate stellar public service.
According to Mr. Harry Tambuatco, president and chief executive officer of SMI, assessment is done through thorough research of the candidates’ projects and their actual impact on constituents.
In 2013, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) recognized Ilocos Norte as one of the least poor provinces in the country. Under Marcos’ governorship, the provincial poverty rate fell from 24% in 2010 to 8.4% in 2015.
By creating the Provincial Education Department and increasing scholarship opportunities, Ilocos Norte students’ school survival rate went from 89.79% in 2009 to 93.56% in 2014; and from 7.69% of children not attending elementary school, the figure dropped to 2.53%. Since 2011, the provincial government has provided 2,925 college, 843 technical-vocational, 13,006 high school, and 31,884 elementary scholarships.
Her flagship program for the youth, “Sirib Express,” was a 2015 Galing Pook Awardee for having inspired community involvement among young people and giving them a voice in provincial affairs. It has since transformed into the Sirib Youth Office, the official Capitol youth department, and yielded the Sirib Ilokano Kabataan Association, a youth volunteer organization with over 9,000 members.
Furthermore, between 2012 and 2015, Marcos hired 4,284 barangay rangers and officers to patrol Ilocos Norte forests as well as to plant the “Green Wall of Ilocos Norte,” which currently covers 21,000 hectares across the province with 12 million seedlings having an 85% survival rate.
She was also able to attract foreign investors in renewable energy, and early 2015 saw industrial growth of 29.3%. A total of 412.9 Megawatts of wind energy went online from Burgos, Pagudpud, and Bangui, while 20 MW of solar energy from Currimao began supplying the Luzon power grid.
Gov. Marcos shared of her award, “Parang mas masaya ngayong apat kami at grand slam, kaysa noong mag-isa ako last year,” referring to fellow Ilocos Norte officials Vice Gov. Eugenio Angelo M. Barba, Laoag City Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas, and Bacarra Vice Mayor Jonathan Blas P. Ramit, each a recipient of the Outstanding Local Legislator Award.
“We’re very grateful, but at the same time, we’re also aware that there still remains a lot of work to be done,” she said.—(Mizpah Grace G. Castro, PGIN-CMO)