by ODON S. BANDIOLA
Outgoing Governor Carlito “Lito” S. Marquez deserves a jubilant and gratifying send-off by Aklanons whom he served superbly well from June 30, 2004 to June 30, 2013 as Aklan chief executive. (Provincial Governor).
Gov. Lito will certainly go back to the private sector as a businessman, tending to his family businesses. He however hinted that he will continue to serve the people of Aklan through Ang Kasangga which will be establishing a permanent office in the province.
Whatever it will be in the next three years, Gov. Lito deserves a niche in Aklan’s history, political, social and economic well-being of Aklanons.
He will be going out of public service as a great transformer in local governance. His nine (9) years as governor of Aklan is characterized by giant strides toward effective and very productive governance. He transformed Aklan to one of the elite provinces of the country (via his leadership). The outgoing governor deserves the credit for the following:
• A virtual first class province with annual income way above the required income for such an LGU but the BLGF-DOF has yet to come out with a long overdue income reclassification of LGUs;
• Aklan has joined the elite billionaires club of LGUs with the latest annual budget of more than P1.2 billion with annual income almost approximating current budgetary appropriations;
• Successfully reduced poverty incidence in Aklan from a high 38 percent to a low 21 percent as of the second half of 2012, the lowest ever in the entire Mindanao and Visayas regions;
• Father of the Rice Hybridization Program, Economic Enterprise Development Department Lambaklad Projects, Crop Diversification into mango, abaca and rubber tree plantation;
• Transformed local fiscal management into replicative success stories to include bond flotation which is cited by the DOF in its book of sound and best practices in local governance;
• Aklan figured prominently in the annual awards for LGUs like the DILG’s Gawad Pamana ng Lahi Awards, EXCELL Awards and the Seal of Good Housekeeping;
• His sports development program harvested golds, silvers and bronzes in regional and national sports competitions by Aklan athletes capped by the construction of the sprawling Aklan Sports Complex in Calangcang, Makato, Aklan;
• Afforded Aklanon indigents full coverage under the PHILHEALTH and the 4Ps;
• There are many more outstanding achievements to include the facelifting of the seat of government at the Provincial Capitol.
His nine years in Aklan politics and local governance are great fulfillment which deserves repetition. /MP