16th SP All Set for Gov.
by Odon S. Bandiola
Aklan Governor Florencio T. Miraflores is scheduled to deliver his State of the Province Address (SOPA) on February 4, 2015 during the 5th Regular Session of the 16th Sangguniang Panlalawigan at its Session Hall Provincial Capitol Kalibo, Aklan.
This will be the second SOPA of Miraflores since he assumed as Governor of Aklan noontime of June 30, 2013, to start his second round of governorship. Miraflores was Governor of Aklan for a full-9-year term starting 1995 up to 2004.
Thereafter, he was elected Congressman of the lone district of Aklan in the House of Representatives from 2004 to 2013, another 9-year full term before becoming a Provincial Governor again.
The 16th SP under the stewardship of Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo has invited some 190 heads of local and national government offices, municipal officials, media practitioners, academicians, clerics and other sectoral representatives in the Province of Aklan.
Expected to be contained in the SOPA of Miraflores are his accomplishments in 2014 as Aklan’s chief executive to include his plans and programs for the succeeding years starting this year.
Expected to highlight his address is the P1.5 billion 2015 annual budgets of the Province of Aklan which was approved by the 16th SP towards the end of December 2014, joining the elite billionaires club composed of the provinces of the country with billion peso budgets. This year’s annual budget will cover the operations of the Provincial Government of Aklan under the General Fund and the Economic Enterprise Development Department. Miraflores is expected to emphasize that the provincial government is becoming less and less dependent on its year from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) from the national government. With about P750 million IRA share this year. Aklan is only about 50 percent dependent from national government funds.
Miraflores likewise, is expected to highlight the provincial government accomplishments in terms of local revenue generation to which Aklan was adjudged by the Department of Finance as the top province among the provinces of the country to have the highest locally generated revenues Aklan, too, had been cited by the Department of Finance as one of the top 10 provinces of the country to have the highest expenditure for the education of the children in terms of scholarship and Special Education Funds.
The Governor is also expected to highlight in his SOPA is the P40-Billion tourism receipts realized by the province through increasing tourist arrivals in Boracay Island which reached some 1.4 million visitors last year. It is also expected that the Governor will cite the drastic reduction of poverty incidence in the province of Aklan to a low 20.9 percent from a high of 37 percent five years ago. /MP