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Province of South Cotabato

South Cotabato Achieves Milestones in Education, Nutrition, and Public Safety

Koronadal City, South Cotabato — The Provincial Government of South Cotabato has marked another year of significant achievements, as highlighted in the recent State of the Province Address of Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. Key areas of progress include education, nutrition, healthcare, public safety, tourism, transparency, and agricultural development.

Limang taon na tayong umuupo bilang gobernador. At sa limang taon na yan halos nabugbog tayo ng mga pagsubok–lindol, pandemya, eleksyon, at ang bago lang na el nino,” the governor said, but he consoled the public that because he felt the unity of every South Cotabateño, “…naipakita natin na tayo’y nagtagumpay!

Commitment to Education

In a move to support public education, the provincial government allocated over Php 84 million to various public school programs last year. Partnering with the Department of Education (DepEd), South Cotabato has ensured that elementary and secondary education remains free and accessible. This collaboration has sustained the zero-collection policy in schools, significantly reducing the financial burden on families and ensuring that every child in the province has the opportunity to receive quality education.

Nutritional Advancements

Efforts to improve community nutrition have yielded remarkable results, earning South Cotabato the Green Banner Seal of Compliance for the second time at the 2023 Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony held on July 28, 2023. This prestigious award, given by the National Nutrition Council (NNC), recognizes local government units with effective nutrition programs and policies. The province has seen a notable decrease in malnutrition rates, with stunting and severe stunting rates dropping by 40% from 2021 to 2.88%, and wasting and severe wasting rates falling by 49% to 0.44%. These figures represent the lowest rates in Region 12.

Public Safety and Drug-Free Barangays

“Hindi ko hahayaang may susubok sa magandang public safety meron tayo. Hindi ako papayag na tatakutin ang ating lalawigan. Hindi ko isasakripisyo ang maayos na seguridad meron tayo. Hindi ako takot sa anumang banta!

His strong words reverberated in the gymnasium as he believed  that with unity among the people of South Cotabato, peace reigns.

The Barangay Drug Clearing operations have made significant strides, declaring 173 out of 199 barangays as drug-free. This progress is attributed to the efforts of the Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing Program. The remaining 26 barangays are receiving focused attention to achieve a safer, drug-free environment.

Healthcare Initiatives

Public hospitals in South Cotabato continue to implement the No Balance Billing policy, ensuring free hospitalization for residents. This initiative underscores the provincial government’s commitment to providing accessible and affordable healthcare to all.

“Tutulong kami, magsabi lang,” the governor said, stressing the importance of collaboration with the City Government of Koronadal in constructing an infirmary hospital so that the Provincial Hospital will serve as referral hospital.”

Tourism Recognition

South Cotabato has emerged as a top destination for domestic travelers, as recognized in the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) 2022 household survey on domestic visitors, released on May 14, 2024. The province is one of the Top 10 Destinations for Domestic Travelers for vacation or pleasure purposes, and notably, it is one of the two locations on the list outside Luzon and the sole representative of Mindanao.

Transparency and Accountability

The province’s dedication to transparency and accountability was honored at the 2023 SUBAYBAYANI Awards on November 16, 2023. South Cotabato was named the Top Overall Performer Awardee, recognizing the exemplary performance of the Local Project Monitoring Committee and Local Engineering Office in promoting transparency and accountability through the SubayBAYAN portal.

Agricultural and Economic Development

Despite modern challenges, South Cotabato remains committed to the growth and prosperity of its agricultural and economic sectors. The Provincial Government has allocated Php 25 million for food sufficiency and security programs. In support of the national government’s initiatives, the Consolidated Rice Production and Mechanization Program was officially launched on June 14, 2023, with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., then the concurrent Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary, in attendance.

As South Cotabato continues to achieve new milestones, the provincial government remains dedicated to fostering growth, development, and prosperity for all its residents.

“Walang perpektong gobyerno, pero meron tayong ginagawa upang maibigay natin ang tama at maayos na serbisyo!

 

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