Peace and order key to progress of Misamis Occidental
Misamis Occidental, once grappling with crime issues in the Southern Philippines, has made substantial strides in peace and order, transforming itself into a regional development leader in Northern Mindanao, according to Governor Henry S. Oaminal.
This developed as Oaminal highlighted the significant progress achieved by the province in less than a decade, encompassing improvements in infrastructure, employment, economic growth, and labor conditions.
However, the governor vividly recalled a turbulent past marked by poor law enforcement, rampant crime, insurgency, and even acts of terrorism. He underscored that without robust peace and order initiatives, Misamis Occidental could have become known as the “drug and organized crime capital of Mindanao.”
In addition to grappling with the Kuratong Baleleng Gang, the area contended with rebel presence, making the region a volatile hotspot.
The governor credited the turnaround from crime and violence to the collaborative efforts of local government units (LGUs) in enhancing law enforcement and the work of the previous administration under President Rodrigo Duterte.
As a result, Oaminal asserted that residents in Misamis Occidental can now go about their lives without fear of harassment by crime groups. This achievement aligns with the core principles of his 5M platform, “Misamisnon Magpuyong Malinawon Malambuonug Malipayon” or “Misamisnon Live Peacefully, Progressively, and Happily.”
With criminal threats under control, the province is experiencing consistent progress. The governor proudly noted a rise in business establishments and an overall improvement in job opportunities.
Misamis Occidental, once one of the most impoverished provinces, exhibited remarkable progress in poverty reduction. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) indicated a drop in poverty incidence among families from 32.7% in 2018 to 23.3% in 2021, further decreasing to 18.30% recently.
He attributed much of the province’s development to investments in public infrastructure, particularly road improvements. He emphasized that during his three terms in congress, municipal, provincial, and national roads reached a 95% paved status. Through sound fiscal management, Misamis Occidental continues to establish additional health centers and enhance educational facilities for its residents.
The governor affirmed that peace and order initiatives will remain a priority for the provincial government, underlining the undeniable correlation between peace and development, stating, “When there is peace, there is development.”
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