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Pre-SONA Caravan 2023: Celebrating milestones, transforming visions to realities

LEGAZPI CITY, ALBAY (PIA) – As early as 7:00AM, a long queue of residents can be seen at various installed booths inside the vast Sorsogon Capitol grounds. They are going to avail of the onsite services and assistance of the sixteen (16) government agencies that said "yes" to the Philippine Information Agency's (PIA) invitation to participate in 'The 2023 Pre-SONA Serbisyo Caravan.'

Residents from Sorsogon City and nearby towns availed the various government and services for the Pre-SONA 2023 Serbisyo Caravan at the Sorsogon Capitol Grounds on June 5, 2023.

The Serbisyo Caravan is part of the "Nagkaka1sang Bumabangon: 2023 Pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Caravan organized by the Philippine Information Agency Region 5 (PIA ROV). It aims to highlight the direct provision of essential government services  to the grassroots community through collaboration with various government agencies, private partners, and other stakeholders. This is also in response to the directive of Pres. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. 

Philippine Information Agency Region 5 Regional Head Ramil Marianito (3rd from left) joins the ribbon cutting for the opening of the Pre-SONA Serbisyo Caravan, together with the officials of the local government and representatives from the 16 participating agencies. (PIA 5 )

Even under the scorching heat of the sun, residents kept coming at the Sorsogon Capitol grounds. Over a hundred constituents of Sorsogon City and nearby towns benefitted from various programs and services on health, agriculture, job opportunities, discounted basic goods, updating of civil records and many other government assistance.

Milestones and prospects

The Pre-SONA Caravan at the Sorsogon Gymnasium in the afternoon of June 5, Monday, highlighted the significant gains and accomplishments of the provincial government, along with the prospects for advancements under the Marcos leadership.

Sorsogon Governor Edwin Hamor highlighted the Blue Lane Program of the provincial government as initial solution to the long-standing concern on Matnog Port congestion during the Nagkakaisang Bumabangong: Pre-SONA 2023 Caravan at the Sorsogon Gymnasium on June 5, 2023.

“I hope that the conduct of the said inter-agency collaborative conference will give birth to a new plan for more development projects, with the guidance and assistance of the present administration, which may be brought to the knowledge of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. through the Presidential Communications Office (PCO)-PIA and be part of the next State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the President,” PIA V Regional Head Ramil Marianito said.

Sorsogon Governor Edwin Hamor presented the Blue Lane Program as one of the solutions implemented by the local government to address the long-standing concern on Matnog Port congestion especially during bad weather.

The metamorphosis of Matnog from a congested port to a well–developed transportation hub for seafarers has enhanced the province's appeal to local, national, and international investors.

The said transformation also elevated the province's potential to attract not just local but also national, and even global investors.

“For the province of Sorsogon to alleviate the traffic problem in Matnog, we made an ordinance, perfectly suited to the needs of the people of Visayas and Mindanao. Not only did we take steps to alleviate the problem, the provincial government spent PHP17 million to address the problem," Hamor said.

With the blue lane program, the waiting time to ferry the trucks from Visayas to Mindanao was shortened to three hours from the previous three days.

Terminal expansion

To sustain the success of the Blue Lane Program, the national government has allocated P550 million for the Sorsogon Roll-in, Roll-out (RoRo) Terminal Expansion Project to increase the capacity of the RoRo facilities to accommodate large capacity vessels.

“The project involves the construction of additional 14, 979.29 sqm port operational area in the Port of Matnog,” National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Dr. Joseph Capuno said.

This project is part of the Port Terminal Management Regulatory Framework of the Philippine Port Authority which aims to foster higher efficiency and productivity in port operations.

Capuno cited Matnog Port as the shortest link from Manila to Mindanao via the Pan-Philippine Highway. The port has existing trade linkages with the ports of Allen, Dapdap and San Isidro.

Testament to progress and innovative accomplishments

PIA Director General Jose Torres Jr. lauded the effort of the local government in achieving transformative change under President Marcos.

In his first keynote address at the Pre-SONA Caravan in the province of Sorsogon as director general (DG) of the Philippine Information Agency, USec. Jose Torres Jr. appealed for unity despite differences in political affiliations to achieve progress in the regions.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the officials of the region for their clear vision and unwavering dedication. Through your tireless efforts and commitment to public service, you have paved the way for a brighter future for our people, deserving our wholehearted appreciation,” Torres said.

The PIA chief acknowledged the significant milestone of the Bicol International Airport in Albay as a testament to the vision of the Marcos administration.

“With the potential commencement of international flights, the airport will surely contribute to the exponential growth of tourism, creating a gateway to our beautiful region for travelers from all over the world,” he said.

Torres also expressed the commitment of the PIA in disseminating relevant and timely information about these programs and services.

“We will continue to ensure that the successes and impact of these initiatives reach every corner of the country, empowering our citizens with knowledge and opportunity,” Torres said.

Torres further called for collaboration, despite political affiliations and differences, to achieve progress as a collective endeavor.

“Together, we can build on the solid foundation that has been laid and create a future that is even brighter, more inclusive, and more prosperous for all,” he added. (PIA5/Albay)

About the Author

Sally Altea


Region 5

"He provides. Everything is in His hands."

Information Center Manager of the Philippine Information Agency - Albay


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