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Governor Suarez is AFP Kapayapaan 2017 awardee

Quezon Gov. David Suarez’ chief of staff Webster Letargo (2nd from left, holding the award plaque), poses beside AFP chief of staff  Lt. Gen. Leonardo Guerrero, Quezon police provincial director Senior Supt. Roderick Armamento (right), provincial executive assistant Juanito Diaz (left) and provincial development council coordinator Maria Odessa Perez (2nd from right) (JOHN BELLO)

by John A. Bello

LUCENA CITY – Affirming an old adage that ‘when it rains it pours’, the provincial governor of Quezon was again the recipient of another award, this time the AFP Kapayapaan Award 2017 given by the Armed Forces of the Philippines during its 82nd AFP anniversary celebration at Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday.

The award is given to Gov. David ‘Jayjay’ Suarez “in recognition of his overwhelming support to the 2nd Infantry Division, Phil. Army, especially in the declaration of Quezon Province as Conflict Manageable and Ready for Further Development.” It further said that Suarez’ efforts and initiatives contributed to the AFP’s Development Support and Security Plan ‘Kapayapaan’.

The award, signed by Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, AFP chief of staff, was received, in behalf of the governor and Quezon province, by Suarez’ chief of staff Webster Letargo.

The Quezon governor, according to Letargo, was unable to attend the awarding presentation as he was not feeling well.

Letargo said that every year during AFP anniversary celebration, it recognizes partners and stakeholders who have contributed to the success of the AFP in its campaign against insurgency. This year, the AFP presented the Kapayapaan Award 2017 to Gov. Suarez of the province of Quezon.

Attending the award ceremony with Letargo were Quezon police provincial director Roderick Armamento, executive assistant Juanito Diaz and provincial development council coordinator Maria Odessa Perez.

On Sept. 8, 2016 at Bulwagang Kalilayan here, Suarez, together with Brig. Gen. Amador Tabuga Jr., of the 2nd Infantry Division; and police chief Supt. Valfrie Tabian, acting regional director of Calabarzon have signed a memorandum of understanding which formally declared the province as Conflict Manageable and Ready for Further Development.

Suarez had thanked the AFP, the PNP and other stakeholders for their sacrifices and dedication in the fight against communist insurgency and in their resolve to further sustain peace and development in Quezon province.

The declaration, according to the AFP, “opens another opportunity for the Province of Quezon to have a greater life that is geared towards our goal of attaining lasting peace and sustainable development”, adding that “the province now takes the lead role in the implementation of its socio-economic programs which will be supported by the AFP, PNP and other stakeholders”.

Last month, Quezon province was on a winning streak as it bagged successive awards from the Dept. of Tourism, Dept. of Health and earlier from the Dept. of Interior and Local Governments.

On Nov. 28, Quezon province was the recipient of the Green Banner Award from the Dept. of Health-National Nutrition Council (DOH-NNC).

The award said it affirmed the “efficient and effective management of the provincial, municipal and barangay nutrition program which resulted to the improvement in the nutrition situation of children and their families in the communities”.

Suarez has claimed that due to the establishment of the provincial nutrition action office and the barangay nutrition scholars he has reduced the malnutrition level of the province from over 17% during his first year as provincial governor in 2010 to 9.32% at present.

The day before, on Nov. 27 the Dept. of Tourism has awarded Quezon province with ‘Destination of the Year’ for having 6.3 million tourist arrivals last year.

The award, signed by DOT regional director Rebecca Villanueva-Labit, stated Quezon to have continuously recorded “an increasing number of visitors with its valuable commitment in the creation of more tourism activities, improvement of service standards for tourism, better accessibility and legislation and enhancement of its institutional governance.”

The DOT has recognized Quezon’s tourist destinations such as the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Mayohan sa Tayabas, Agawan Festival in Sariaya and Aranya’t Baluarte Festival in Gumaca, Kamay ni Hesus shrine and pilgrimage destination and ‘mother of all festivals’ in the province, the Niyogyugan festival, which is being staged and celebrated for almost a month every August and has drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors, both domestic and foreign, to the provincial capitol compound and Perez park, the site of the festival.

Earlier on Nov. 24, the provincial government of Quezon was conferred the 2017 Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) award from the DILG in Calabarzon region.

The SGLG is conferred by the DILG on local government units who passed the standards of accountability and transparency. Its 4 major core areas are social protection, disaster preparedness, financial administration and peace and order.

Seven municipalities of Quezon – Gumaca, Mauban, Mulanay, Pagbilao, Panukulan, San Antonio and Unisan – also bagged the SGLG awards for municipal governments.

Suarez received the award at The Tent, Grand Ballroom in Manila Hotel together with the Quezon municipal mayors of the winning 7 municipalities and other staff of the governor.


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