Newly installed Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has vowed to lead Negros Occidental with dynamism and stewardship under the slogan “Abanse Negrense” in the next three years.
“I assure a dynamic and responsive leadership vested in the premise of true and genuine service because above all, we are public servants and only stewards of this province,” Lacson said in his inaugural speech during the oath-taking rites of provincial officials held at the Capitol grounds here on Saturday afternoon.
Lacson, who served as vice governor for two terms from 2013 to 2019, took his oath as the 35th governor of Negros Occidental before Judge Kathrine Go of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 59 in San Carlos City.
Echoing his predecessor Alfredo Marañon Jr.’s statement that much still needs to be done despite the gains in the past nine years, the new governor said “there is good work to be continued” and “we still have a long way to go”.
“I am committed to rise to any occasion and with everyone’s commitment alongside mine, we can redefine a preferred future with the interest of our province and our people, right at the very heart of our endeavors,” Lacson said.
He urged his fellow Capitol officials to “set aside differences and make sacrifices for the next generation”.
“We have to continue the hard work, roll up our sleeves and sustain and deepen the unity we have built so we can attain the goals and visions we have set for our people,” he added.
Moreover, Lacson said his administration will focus on agriculture, education, health, tourism, and the economy.
“We want to continue to bring food to the table by making our farmers play a greater role in ensuring that goods will be quality and available, and our people will have the power to purchase them,” he said.
The top provincial official also stressed the need to enhance the farm mechanization program and improve assistance to farmers through inputs for better yield.
To get poor Negrenses out of poverty, Lacson said scholarships and similar assistance will be made available, and the provincial government will establish linkages with other institutions abroad for student exchange opportunities.
For health services, he said the province will continue to upgrade the facilities in district hospitals, and will also increase enrolment for the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program to add to the thousands of cardholders, and reach more families and individuals in the remote villages.
Lacson further said his administration will strengthen policies and programs for tourism to promote the province as haven for tourists and investors.
“Finally, the Negros economy will move to the next mode of production. We will step up to create jobs, bring in investments, and create middle-class families. We will be happy to stand as movers of entrepreneurial leadership who work and create opportunities for our people,” the governor said.
He added that Negros Occidental “will be friendly to big investments by creating a balance between regulation and support to boost economic and financial cycle.”
“The private and the public sectors should work together and avoid counterproductive competition,” Lacson said.
Meanwhile, Lacson’s successor, former 4th district congressman Jeffrey Ferrer, also took his oath before outgoing governor Alfredo Marañon Jr.
The board members from the north –Rommel Debulgado and Araceli Somosa (First District); Samson Mirhan and Sixto Guanzon Jr. (Second District); Manuel Frederick Ko and Andrew Montelibano (Third District)– were sworn in by Judge Dyna Doll Chiongson-Trocio of RTC Branch 50 in Silay City.
Those from the south –Victor Javellana and Jose Benito Alonso (4th District); Agustin Ernesto Bascon and Rita Gatuslao (5th District); Valentino Miguel Alonso and Jeffrey Tubola (6th District) — took their oath before Judge Fernando Elumba of RTC Branch 42 in Bacolod City.(PNA via NDB)