“Ang kanang pagka Mayor hindi yan pinapangarap, that’s destiny,” Tuburan Mayor Democrito “Aljun” Diamante emphatically said last Friday night as he delivered his State Of The Municipality Address (SOMA). Back then, he never dreamed of leading the MOL 80,000 Tuburanons as he left their town in 1983 after he finished high school in the far flung area of Barangay Marmol. His first job to sustain his college education was being a “dish washer in a Cebu City establishment.
From then on, he hopped to other jobs menial included and became successful despite his experiences of hardships and as they say, the rest is history, as he became Mayor of the town of his birth. The decision to run as Mayor in 2009 was because some of those he had helped in his scholarship program as a private citizen saw in him the capacity to lead. He obliged saying the Mayorship was an opportunity to be of service to his fellow Tuburanon. He did won in 2010 with a resounding majority and got reelected in 2013 and 2016.
So before he vows out of office on June 30, Diamante reported on his 9 year performance to the people in the jampacked Tuburan municipal gymnasium.
From having an annual income of P9 million in 2010, the town now has almost P40 million. He said the amount increased through the years as businesses started to came in when he assumed office. “Ang atung lungsod paglingkod namo 2010 gamay kaayo ang income. Nag income ra ta ug average ug 9 milion but tungod kay gi-open nato sa tanang negosyante nga gustong musulod sa atung lungsod sa Tuburan nagtaas-nagkataas karun mu-income nata ug almost 40 million.”
The Mayor said he established a Business One Stop Shop (B.O.S S.) which served as the express counter for business opening and business renewals. For the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSME) the town also had a DTI Negosyo Center. The Mayor also said that their two-storey new public market is a work in progress. He said the project will be financed through the Municipal Development Fund Office (MDFO), a government financing agency run by the Department of Finance (DoF).
The Mayor said that through their Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), their municipal wharf will be converted into an international port. Other than the local income, the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the town has already reached P191 million.
Believing that education is the key to success, the municipality have a yearly scholarship program since Diamante assumed in 2010. Tuitions and allowances are provided to the scholars and some of them are already working after their college graduation. Each year, 10 scholars are screened rigidly through written examinations and panel oral interview. Under the Diamante administration, it also established the Kaugmaon sa Kabataan sa Kabukiran (KKK) where it constructed and established three national high schools in its three strategically located mountain barangays.
The three are in the barangays of Kansi, Kalangahan and Kabkaban hence KKK. Aside from its student scholarship, the town also has scholarship for teachers. The teacher-scholars are those who will pursue their Masteral degrees in the Cebu Technological Univesity (CTU) in the town. They are given an amount equivalent to fifty-percent of their tuitions which already produced a lot of masteral teachers out of the 800 teachers in the municipality.
To also extend help to CTU, the family of Mayor Diamante is donating a lot in Barangay Mag-alwa where the extension school of the government subsidized university will be constructed. In the elementary level, the local government also allocated budget for the rehabilitation and repair of many classrooms, among others.
OUTREACH PROGRAM/HEALTH SERVICES/SANITATION
Every Tuesday of the week, the LGU goes to the barangay even to the remote areas.
With the theme “Bringing Closer To The People”, the services also attracted private organizations which gave assistance and when incumbent Vice Mayor Danilo Diamante actively participated, the out-reach program became more extensive.
“Ang atung outeach program ang tema niini bringing services closer to the people wherein ang atung local government unit every Tuesday muadto sa barangay para serbisyuhan ang atung mga kaigsoonan,” Mayor Diamante said.
The entire Rural Health Unit (RHU) and its doctor to the barrios is very active in the program doing medical/dental services.
The municipal landfill is modernized under the Diamante leadership. Its garbage collection is also very effective as it also included a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). It also did “zero open defecation programs” in many mountain barangays since many residents there have no toilets.
The town also have purchased ambulances which are for free to residents in times of emergencies and situations which need immediate hospitalization and medical treatment.
PEACE AND ORDER
Before Diamante assumed office in 2010, the town got a bad monicker called “Shaburan”, a play of rampant shabu in the area. But Diamante immediately waged a strong anti-drive campaign which was heightened during the start of the Duterte presidency. In coordination with police authorities it lauched “Alsa Droga” where its members would coordinate with police authorities to arrest known drug pushers and users in the town.
The LGU also conducted surprise drug testing to town employees to weed out drug users from its ranks. Drug symposia in schools were also conducted and lately an anti-drug summit was held. The town also constructed a holding center for Women and Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) while their police station already has a separate building as it only used to be a mere office within the municipal hall
Even as it is already known for its “Tuburan Coffee”, the town is also embarking on an agricultural program that is aimed in reducing poverty incidence in the town. It is anchored on the Farmer Scientist Training Program (FSTP) championed by Dr. Romulo Davide where the farmers in the town would be taught on how to raise high yeilding crops.
The program which got Davide the Asian equivalent of Nobel Peace Prize, the Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, is also aimed in doing a research with CTU to produce a crop which could alleviate the lives of 4,000 poor residents in Tuburan who are recipients of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s).
To that Diamante boldly declared, “Ang taga Tuburan wala na unyay myembro sa 4P’s, wala na unyay pobre.” The coffee growing program which has already benefited a lot of local farmers through “Convergence”, an inter-agency coordination of various government agencies, it will also have “bee farming” to give additional income to participating farmers. As it is organic since it not using synthetic fertilizers, Tuburan coffee is so in demand that even if about 500 hectares of land in the town is already planted with it, the produced is still not enough, Mayor Diamante revealed.
Also a canning plant for fish is being eyed to reinforce the community fish landing centers which are already operational in select coastal barangays. Local fisherfolks are also being assisted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), a program which Mayor Diamante himself initiated owing to his personal closeness to BFAR Director Undersecretary of Agriculture Eduardo Gongona.
The Diamante family also donated another parcel of lot for the establishment of Provincial Skills Training Center in the town and if this materializes, its residents will be the priority in acquiring new technical and vocational skills to give them a means of livelihood.
INFRASTRUCTURE/ELECTRICITY PROGRAMS/DISASTER PREPAREDNESS/SPORTS PROGRAMS
Farm to market roads as well as new road connections in its mountain barangays is also a priority program under the Diamante administration. The new road openings and rehabilitation covered 232 kilometers for the last nine years and its recent ambitious project is the Tuburan-Catmon road to shorten the travel time from the town to Cebu City. Traversing from Barangay Daanglungsod to Catmon, it wil be a 32 kilometer road, Mayor Diamante said, cutting the distance from Cebu City to Tuburan by at least 20 kilometers.
According to the Mayor all its 54 barangays have electricity already as they put up at least 1,280 new electrical posts which the Cebu Electric Cooperative (Cebeco) have used to install electricity in the households. In the disaster preparedness aspect, its Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) held disaster preparedness trainings up to the barangay level called “Andam Tuburan.” Their Purok system is also doing good for a systematic delivery of services to people.
All the barangays have evacuation centers which also served as their gym in ordinary days. Its fire station is equipped and so the town of Tuburan have it all even including their sports and recreational activities and since 2010, the man at the helm is – Mayor Democrito “Aljun” Diamante. Diamante is barred from re-election this May 13, 2019, but his brother Danilo, will try to fill the void.
Mayor Diamante who is running as Vice Mayor said thus,” Sulod sa siyam ka tuig kami naningkamot para sa kalambuan sa atung katawhan, dili lang sa katawhan kung dili sa atung pinalanggang lungsod. Manghinaot ko nga unta ang atung katawhan sa lungsod sa Tuburan malipay usab sa atung gihimo.
Kining akong State of Municipal Address para ni natong tanan walay gipili…Manghinaot ko nga ang akong State of Municipal Address mahimong parte sa inyong kinahuhi nga ang among nahimo mapahimuslan sa katawhan sa lungsod sa Tuburan.” That is it, the inclusive growth formulae of Tuburan under Mayor Democrito “Aljun” Diamante, “Tuburan growth for all Tuburanons.”