Re-electionist First District Representative, Cong. Rene L. Relampagos bared that his vision is strong and clear as regards the first district of Bohol becoming prosperous and progressive through its booming tourism industry. He added that even when he was seated as Governor of the Province of Bohol, he already saw the province’s potential to become the prime eco-cultural tourism destination in the country. It was during this time that he started developing this vision and exerted efforts to make the province walk in the path towards its bright future.
Political observers have indeed noted that he was one of the key players in making Bohol become what it is today so that many are now enjoying the fruit of his labors. “We have not arrived yet but looking back, we’ve certainly come so far. We ought to be expecting more progress and golden opportunities not only for the first district of Bohol but for the whole province in general.” he said.
It was Cong. Relampagos who improved, renovated and modernized the Capitol Commercial Complex in Tagbilaran City. He was also the one who constructed the Garcia Provincial Memorial Hospital in Talibon, and the Bohol Detention and Rehabilitation Center at Cabawan District in Tagbilaran City. As Governor, he also made the Provincial Capitol Annex Building, and completed the Provincial Health Office.
As incumbent first district representative, Cong. Relampagos exerted efforts with Gov. Edgar M. Chatto in making the new Bohol International Airport project become one of the priority projects to be implemented under the administration of Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III. Relevant to this is Cong. Relampagos’ allocation of funds for road widening projects, such as the Dauis-Panglao Central Road and the widening and concreting of the Panglao Island Circumferential Road. He has also been coordinating with Gov. Chatto and government agencies like the Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs, Department of Transportation and Communication, including the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in making direct flights to Tagbilaran from countries like South Korea possible soon.
Relampagos added that the province of Bohol has been in good hands under the leadership of Gov. Edgar M. Chatto. “Way back when I was the Governor and incumbent Gov. Chatto the Vice Governor, he and I would often talk about our dreams for the province and we both knew we were going to materialize them as much as we could,” he said.
Cong. Relampagos said that he is personally satisfied with his performance as the first district representative of Bohol and specifically in the promotion of tourism. In fact, in the most recent survey done by the HNU Research Center, the first district of Bohol gained a performance rating of +62 in Tourism Promotion. He explained further that his vision will hit many birds with one stone. First of all, it would cultivate the rich cultural heritage that Bohol has because it will encourage the locals to showcase their talents. “If a culture is shared and appreciated, it becomes richer and more alive in the hearts of the natives,” he explained. It would also allow tourists to enjoy the tourist destinations in Bohol without compromising the environment. He emphasized that if given another term, he would continue to make sure that the environment is not compromised amidst the rise of the tourism industry in the first district. He also emphasized that one of the most important reasons why tourism has to be prioritized is its ability to generate more jobs and livelihood opportunities for the people. “It would therefore help the economy and alleviate poverty,” he said.
He added that he hopes to contribute to the President’s efforts at increasing the number of tourists coming to the Philippines in the future. He reiterated some statistical facts made public by the President regarding the economic advantage the tourism in the Philippines has brought. According to the said statistics, there were 40.7 million domestic travelers in 2012 and 4.2 million were foreign tourists. Almost P1 Trillion has been earned by the Philippines through tourism. Cong. Relampagos hopes to help the Philippines make 6 million tourists come to the Philippines in 2016.
He said that he is one with the President and one with the incumbent Governor Chatto in the realization of this vision. “The boom in the tourism industry in Bohol will not only benefit the Boholanos but the entire country. This vision has been coupled with strategic plans, some of which have already been implemented. If you pass by the roads of the first district, you will either experience a smooth ride because of the cemented roads or witness an on-going road improvement project. Just try to avoid the streets of Tagbilaran because you will be stressed out by the crazy roads,” he said with a laugh. “It is sad that our incumbent city mayor Dan Lim doesn’t probably prioritize tourism or even convenience for the people because he has obviously neglected the bad roads in Tagbilaran. It is unthinkable that the chief executive of the capital city of a developing province like Bohol would disregard such a thing as this. It makes eyebrows raise considering that Dan Lim was given almost a decade’s worth of chance to do it,” he said.
“But such is not the case for me. My vision for making the first district progressive by making it contribute to making Bohol become the prime eco-cultural tourism destination in the country has been consistent ever since I was given the chance to serve the Boholanos. This is why I have been banking on making the roads better and sustainable for tourism development to ultimately improve the economy in my district,” the congressman remarked.
When asked what the first district can expect from him besides tourism development if he is given another chance during the upcoming election, he said with a smile that they could expect G O O D H E A L T H for the first district which is actually an acronym of his platform which means Golden Opportunities Of the District in Health and Sanitation, Education and Environment, Agriculture, Livelihood and Jobs, Tourism, and Human Resources Development.
“I am confident that I could do even a greater job if given another term because my vision is clear and strong; I have developed strategic and workable plans and my actions are consistent,” the representative of the first district of Bohol stressed.
Author: Jill Christianae R. Robinson