By Boy Ryan B. Zabal
Aklan Cong. Florencio Miraflores has devoted his first year in Congress to establish and strengthen ties and linkages with national government officials to advance the development agenda of the province of Aklan.
Miraflores, vice chairman of the Tourism Sub-Committee on Development and a member of the Committee on Appropriations, admitted that "much has to be done for Aklan and to build the foundation, it needs the shared effort of every Aklanons for a better, more peaceful and progressive province."
"I purposely became a member of the Committee on Appropriations to know the frontline agencies, budget and personally lobby with their department heads for Aklan’s development needs. Our efforts - in getting the projects and programs including airport development and national roads improvement - are bearing fruits," he said.
Recognizing the tourism thrusts of Aklan, Miraflores represented the House of Representatives in the "Internationale Tourismos Borse," an international tourism fair in Berlin, Germany and International Tourism Mission in Moscow, Russia along with Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano and Tourism Planning and Promotions Assistant Secretary Eduardo Jarque, Jr. last March.
He said a bilateral agreement on tourism was signed by Durano and Russian counterpart Vladimir Strzhalkovsky to strengthen the tourism cooperation between the Philippines and Russia on areas of tourism investments and services, national legislation and promotion of organized group and individual tourism.
Miraflores also lobbied with the DepEd officials for additional classrooms and teacher-items, established linkage with the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) and the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST)-SEI to include public schools in priority programs on info-technology.
"I have supported the scholarships of some of our less privileged young people whose families could hardly support them through college – a big number of them are enrolled in Aklan State University," the solon stressed.
Miraflores also said House Bill No. 5130 on the establishment of the Timbaban Hydropower Development Project within the Aklan River Watershed Forest Reserve in Brgy. Maria Cristina in the town of Madalag was approved by the Committee on Natural Resources and is now slated for second reading.
"With the renewed national interest on bio-fuels and renewable energy resources, I believe we are getting closer to our collective dream of energy-sufficiency not only for Aklan but also for our neighboring provinces in Panay Island," he added.
He also revealed that Aklanons abroad are helping the province as tourism ambassadors during his visits to Aklanon communities in the United States, particularly in the Aklan Eastern USA Association and the Ibajaynons, USA.
"We have a shared vision – a peaceful and progressive province of Aklan – and to achieve this vision, it requires a collective endeavor from us," Miraflores pointed out. /MP mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org