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New governor vows new Bukidnon: ‘Government money is people’s money’

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 28 June) – Governor-elect Rogelio Neil Pepito Roque has vowed to push for a new Bukidnon in his speech Tuesday morning where he underscored his administration’s core principle: “government money is people’s money.”

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Governor-elect Rogelio Neil Pepito Roque. Screengrab from the LGU-Bukidnon Facebook page

“We owe to the people the most efficient use of their money paid from their own sweat and tears through their own sacrifices,” he added during the oath-taking of newly elected provincial officials at the Folk Arts Theater here, which was streamed live via the LGU – Bukidnon Facebook account.

Roque, who took his oath before Judge Isobel G. Barroso of Regional Trial Court 10-Branch 8, is the outgoing congressional representative for Bukidnon’s fourth district.

Roque cited some of his administration’s key programs. He said he will set up extension offices in the towns and cities to ensure the provincial government services become more accessible.

He also promised to create a more comprehensive provincial health plan that is “all-inclusive and complimentary.” He said this will not only provide the basic health service but which “will hopefully make our hospital resources complete and competitive.”

Roque said he will set up an agricultural support system that will take into account farmers’ needs first. During the campaign period, he promised to set up a voucher system in granting assistance to farmers. He said he came from a family of farmers himself.

“[The vouchers system] will give farmers their choice of seeds and fertilizers and when they need to use,” he added.

He assured his constituents that he will set up a social services system that is more accessible to the people. During the campaign he clarified that he will not make people queue in the Capitol grounds just to hand in financial assistance.

Roque, whose family belongs to business people in Valencia City, vowed to foster a strong business environment that will promote commerce in the province. He said he will give importance to policies that will generate and promote business opportunities for all “free from excessive regulation.”

“If we want more jobs, there should be more business,” he added.

He cited the need to end the bondage of poverty in the province through education and jobs.

He declared openness for the help from others.

“Let me just add that Bagong Bukidnon (new Bukidnon) needs the help of everyone – I need help from all of you,” he added.

He cited that with the “help of the Vice Governor and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan” we will be able to continue programs and innovate new programs that will alleviate the lives of the constituents.

In thanking supporters, Roque cited that family was his strongest backbone. He cited the difficulties experienced by the people of Bukidnon through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is a great challenge as I step in to be the new governor of the province … but there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he added.

Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, Senate President Pro-Tempore, officiated the oath-taking of vice governor-elect Clide D. Quino.

Bukidnon’s four members of the House of Representatives were also scheduled to take oath Tuesday but only Jose Manuel F. Alba (1st district) and Jonathan Keith T. Flores (2nd District) were the only ones who were able to take oath.

Outgoing Governor Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr., who has won as 3rd district representative, was not able to arrive due to a scheduled renewal of vow with his wife in Manila, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said. Representative Laarni R. Roque (4th district), wife of the governor-elect, has earlier taken her oath in the House of Representatives. 

The members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan took their oath before Judge Barroso. Senator Zubiri was set to give his message during the ceremonies.

The other SP members are Mario B. Albarece Jr. and Eliezer S. Onahon of the first district; Nemesio B. Beltran Jr., Lorenzo L. Dinlayan Jr., and Hollis C. Monsanto of the second district; Benito U. Baguio, Minerva C. Casinabe, and Joseph D. Palmada of the third district; and Ranulfo Jose Z. Pepito Jr. and Rodrigo A. Rosal of the fourth district.

The new officials will serve their three-year term starting July 1, 2022, a day after the end of term of current officials. (MindaNews)

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