LA Purisima, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur–For Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza who turns 55 last Monday, August 21, his birthday was not only a celebration of life, but celebration of peace in this interior village where residents were once living in fear.
In his message before hundreds of residents in the village hall, Plaza said that he cannot forget the atrocities happened in the barangay (like robbery and hostage taking) in the past, but he is also thankful to the support and cooperation of the community to resolve these incidents.
“I cannot forget to thank the Lumads and the people of La Purisima for cooperating with us (the government ) in sustaining peace in the area”, the governor said.
“I also ask you to send message to your siblings to stop sowing conflict, and if you can sustain peace and order here, I will try to look for a means to extend the road concreting even if it reaches Gacub”, he added.
The lumad leaders in this village serenaded the birthday celebrator and expressed their gratitude for his big role in attaining peace and order in their community.
La Purisima made international headlines in 2011 when armed lumad militiamen led by the Perez siblings abducted 14 public school teachers and two students to demand for the release from the Provincial Jail their brother Ondo Perez and three other inmates.
Prosperidad Mayor Albin Magdamit and local officials together with the residents welcomed the governor and offer various
birthday renditions. The Department of Education headed by SDS Minerva T. Albis and tribal leaders also presented their birthday greetings.
Over the years, Plaza has been celebrating his birthday in the barangays bringing food to the community and even boxes of Jollibee hamburgers with matching Jollibee mascot to the delight of the children who are mostly deprived of eating at the popular Filipino fast food at the town centers and cities.
“I am thankful to all of you and the entire Prosperidad for the love you’ve shown to me. My heart will always be with the Agusanon, because without your trust in me, I am not in my position right now,” Plaza said.
A medical mission,blood letting and other social services of the government were also held apart from the launching of Upland Sustainable Agri forestry Development (USAD) program to this village. USAD is the centerpiece program of the governor to uplift the impoverished conditions of the farmers, especially those living in the hardly-reached hinterland villages.
Plaza earlier launched USAD in Barangay Sta. Isabel in Sta. Josefa town and Barangay Getsemane in Bayugan City as part of his weeklong birthday celebration.
USAD is a convergence approach of the provincial government, municipal and barangay local government units with the national government agencies in addressing high poverty incidence in some of the communities in the province based on the Community Based Monitoring System( CBMS).
“For 2017, there are two barangays–Sta Isabel and San Patricio of the Municipality of Sta Josefa identified as pilot barangays of USAD”, said Engr. Linda Boquir, USAD Coordinator.
“We will still be identifying another barangays of this town to be included as USAD recipient by 2018”, she added.
Annalysa Bayquil, 43 yo, resident of Purok 6B, Sta Isabel, Sta Josefa, a housewife with 4 children, and a recipient of medical consultation, said that, “nalipay gyud ko kay nahatagan me diri sa Sta Isabel ug program gikan sa gobyerno sama sa Medical consultation ug tambal nga libre”.
“Gusto unta nako nga mapdayon ni nga programa ni Gov. Eddiebong Plaza,” Bayquil added.
In his message to USAD enrollees in Sta. Isabel, Plaza said that, “ the key to success is for you to take good care of the projects turned over to you , just like the way you care your children, your husband or your wife”.
“The government’s responsibility is to provide seedlings for you, yours is to make social preparation like digging the hole before you will receive said seedlings (cacao, falcata and rubber), and to pay your taxes when these will grow, “ Plaza added.
Sta. Josefa Mayor Symond O. Caguiat expressed his thanks to the governor and the provincial government for all the support extended to his town.
“I thanked Governor Plaza for all the programs extended to my town, especially the allocation of around 3 million pesos for the street lights of barangay poblacion and the counterpart for the acquisition of rescue vehicles for all barangays of Sta Josefa”, said Caguiat.