Dynamic Province of Surigao del Sur Focusing on Sustainable Development
The forward-thinking provincial government of Surigao del Sur has put innovative measures in place to ensure the province’s sustainable economic growth. Johnny T. Pimentel, Governor, explains, “Surigao del Sur offers outstanding growth potential in many sectors, especially eco-tourism, minerals, agriculture and food-processing. Tourism, agriculture, healthcare, social services and infrastructure are our top priorities.”
Surigao del Sur’s administration has won a number of awards. Mr. Pimentel says, “One of my big accomplishments is winning a Galing Pook award in 2011, one of the country’s most prestigious awards. It recognizes local government units that are role models of governing in their areas.”
In 2008, Governor Pimentel won an award as one of the outstanding public servants in the Caraga region, and he has also won a national award for implementing projects and programs to increase the area’s rice-growing productivity. Surigao del Sur is the second-largest producer of palay (Eng. rice) in the Caraga region, producing 120 million tons last year.
In 2012, Mr. Pimentel received a National Kabalikat award from TESDA because of his technical-education program. He says, “We are offering vocational education to help students find jobs such as heavy-equipment operators, electricians, dressmakers, masseuses, manicurists and food-processing professionals. Around 1,000 students have graduated from these programs since I launched them in 2010. After graduation, graduates get support in tools and equipment. Many are working in the mining and other industries and some are working abroad.”
In addition to exemplary leadership, Surigao del Sur has vast iron and other minerals resources, thriving agriculture and aquaculture sectors, and a high-potential tourism industry. Governor Pimentel says, “We want to brand Surigao del Sur as the next eco-tourism destination. Our tourism arrivals have already grown from around 8,000 in 2008 to around 54,000 in 2012. We are stepping up our promotion of our tourism attractions, including through our website, where visitors can get practical information.”