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Albay Gov. Joey Salceda has unveiled a road map for his province centering on an economic strategy that mobilizes its massive potential for green energy, eco-cultural tourism, modern transport system, productive agriculture, responsive tertiary education and a state of the art medical system.
Salceda said the strategy aims to make Albay a California In 40 years. To achieve this, he calculated, that the province ‘s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should post a sustained seven percent annually. If we grow 8% pa, we can reach this status in 30 years. The goal, he added is for “our people to have an enhanced standard of living, a sustainable environment and equitable opportunities.
While the advancing moves are being made on infrastructure development, education and health, our effort begins with climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction to assure investors that the province is prepared to manage the disaster risks so they can proceed with their business normally. The governor presented his economic strategy at a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) National Competitiveness Council (NCC) roadshow forum held here over the weekend.
Outlining his road map and strategy for Albay, Salceda said his priority infrastructures include the Bicol International Airport, the Albay-Donsol access road, completion of the Pantao Regional Port and the PNR Southrail line, and the setting up of the Guicadale (Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga and Legazpi City) Business Platform.
In the area of education, Salceda said his goal is for “every home in Albay must have a college graduate.” He wants to pursue this goal through a program he calls “Albay Higher Education Contribution Scheme (AHECS),” an Australian-inspired educational program. He also wants the Bicol University modernized.
To further enhance medical services for Albay folks, Salceda said his program will work for universal health coverage for indigent families through PhilHealth, and the modernization of Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH).
The Green Energy program, he explained, will involve the promotion of renewable energy through windmill power in Cagraray Island , hydropower in Rapu-rapu Island and expansion of geothermal power generation from 370 megawatts to 640 megawatts
Tourism development, he said, will also give focus on eco-tourism, as well as on medical and educational tourism, aside from enhancing further the many natural and scenic tourist destinations in Albay. A top economic adviser of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Salceda said his vision is socially desirable, feasible and attainable and that its chances of realization will be further enhanced if the national economy could sustain its growth.