Who’s your Governor? Re-electionist or Board Member

Gov. Roel Degamo raises the hands of his candidates for Board Member of the Second District (from left): Nichol Elman, Jose ‘Peiit” Baldado, Arturo Umbac Jr., and Nilo Sayson. (Photo by Choy Gallarde)


Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo criticized his detractors on Thursday for what he believes is a political propaganda to discredit him and put his life at risk, even as he expressed confidence this will not affect his candidacy for reelection in the May 13 polls.

At a hastily called for press conference at the Capitol, the incumbent governor disclosed what he described as the latest round of attacks against him that will put him in a tight spot either with the government’s uniformed services or with the New People’s Army (NPA).

“The one who thought of this propaganda may have in mind that if I say I am an NPA supporter, which I am not, the police and military will go after my head. And if I say I give my full support to the military, which I truly do, the NPA will punish me,” he said.

Degamo disclosed that on Wednesday, tarpaulins that bore two pictures of him with that of a young girl, Myles Albasin, who was previously arrested in Mabinay, Negros Oriental, with five others for being suspected NPA members, were put up across the province.

Showing one such tarpaulin to the media, he pointed out that the campaign material is deliberately meant to discredit him as it raises a question on whether he was pro-government or for the NPA.

He explained that the pictures, which showed him and the girl talking in a congenial manner, were taken during his visit to the Negros Oriental Detention and Rehabilitation Center (NODRC) several months ago for a medical mission.

According to him, he told the girl upon learning she was an alleged NPA member, not to carry guns but books instead.

Degamo reiterated that he is very much against the NPA and that he even had repeatedly said he wants them out of the province and has, in fact, supported the police and the

military for so long a time in their anti-insurgency campaigns.

“Throughout the years of my incumbency, my support to the PNP and the AFP has been unequivocal,” he pointed out.

While not mentioning names, the governor said that those in the opposition are allegedly behind this and are taking steps to ruin his reputation as they seek to edge him out of office.

Degamo admitted fearing for his life because he believes that this is the work of political candidates who cannot accept defeat.

“The only way to win is to kill me,” he said.
“This is a prelude to a more disturbing scenario of eliminating me by assassination; hence, they shall have an easy way to the Capitol,” he added.

He said the putting up of the tarpaulins has been reported to the police even as he admitted beefing up security.

“Let us play the game of politics fair and square,” Degamo said, addressing his political opponents and their supporters.

“We enter the arena as hopeful combatants; let us leave it with the heart of a warrior – win or lose,” he concluded. (Judy F. Partlow/PNA)


Imbued with the zeal for clean and honest provincial governance, Ikay Villanueva’s 5-point development agenda for the province of Negros Oriental is grounded on the core values that include integrity, transparency, accountability, creativity and culture, education, patriotism, and the promotion of sustainable quality of life. These core values are interwoven into the fabric of a provincial governance that is in compliance with the 1991 Local Government Code and pursues to build a holistic ecosystem for the following core areas of responsibilities:

Good governance, preservation and enrichment of culture promotion of health and safety, promotion of biodiversity preservation for a sound environment, promotion of self-reliant scientific and technological capacities, boost public morals, enhancement of economic prosperity and justice, promotion of peace and order, boost employment, promotion of inclusive and sustainable development for all

Under the battle cry Mag HIKAY na ta!, the Ikay Villanueva’s 5-point development agenda is epitomized in the call to action “HIKAY” – Health, Innovation, Knowledge, Access, and Youth development.


Promote higher standards, educate health care professionals and the public as well as collaborate with local organizations to promote health care reform. My goal is to improve the health care system, protect patients and ensure universal access to affordable health care.


Promote Innovation, as this is the reason our lives have improved over the last century. My government aims to support and to accelerate innovation. The public sector can be highly effective at enticing the private sector to invest in innovation.


Education remains one of the most important duties of any government: it is a public responsibility to provide access to high quality education for everyone. Therefore, my government need to ensure a good educational infrastructure for lifelong learning.


Constant access by citizens to important government information, referred to as government transparency, is vital for good governance as well as the perception by citizens that the government is trustworthy. However, current government suffer from a lack of transparency.


The youth of any society constitute the promise of the future – by focusing on youth and youth-related programs our government ensures a more prosperous future for our province and it’s economy.

Health for quality of life for all.

  • Enhance and widen coverage of free hospitalization and medicines by eliminating selective beneficiaries due to strong politicking.
  • Empower hospital units of the province that should be appropriately manned by qualified personnel and equipped with the mostly needed amenities to save lives.
  • Empower barangay health centers by hiring the right people for the right job to boost preventive health management of the people in the far-flung barangays.
  • Fully implement instituted lenses by government authorities to boost the financial health of the provincial government to promote a sound fiscal management.
  • Boost people’s health by the promotion of appropriate food production out of doable agricultural and aquatic programs that are climate-change-responsive by introducing modern techniques and farm inputs accessible to farmers/producers/raisers that will improve livelihood opportunities.

Innovation for a dynamic provincial governance.

  • Reinvent provincial government within the ambit of the 1991 Local Government Code by capacitating the provincial government in the use of known business solutions and technology-based tools to hasten the delivery of public services and increase provincial government employees’ productivity like the streamlining of provincial computerization program.
  • Institute initiatives and advocacies that will assist the provincial government comprehend, appreciate, and ultimately take part in the digital transformation journey of the Philippine government.
  • Improve efforts that can foster harmonious and enticing climate for private-public partnerships to upgrade or assist in the institution of innovation ecosystems in the province – design thinking culture in academe, infra development, industry-creation, eco-tourism, and capacitated people.
  • Create programs to establish linkages in academia to harness the generated solutions as byproducts of research and development and to support and promote community-based problem-solving and solution-generation through exhibitions, fora, and conferences.

Knowledge for a steadfast delivery of public service.

  • Develop doable programs that enhance proper knowledge management in the provincial government in order to achieve preservation of significant knowledge for the preservation of culture, the arts, creative thinkers, and even for the promotion of an investment-friendly climate.
  • Enhance initiatives that shall improve formation of knowledge in the provincial government as a work force for the people by putting systems that shall innovate work and delivery of public services.
  • Capacitate public servants with the knowledge that aid in mandate execution with the end in mind of promoting social justice, climate change resiliency, and nurture quality of life.
  • Institute programs for the promotion of knowledge for public awareness on the call for patriotism, women and children’s rights, care of the self and the environment, care for local government, and care for provincial economic development.

Access to services for a balanced opportunity for all.

  • Institute initiatives in the provincial government and the province in general, the promotion of the advocacy “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth” (Pres. Abraham Lincoln).
  • Eradicate extreme politicking that deprives people from equal opportunities for the services from the provincial government highlighting basic health care, social welfare, infrastructure development, quality education, and economic opportunities.
  • Admonish a sound fiscal management to backup for the realization of equal opportunity through banner programs in health and wellness, infrastructure development, innovation and technology, agriculture, eco-tourism, economic opportunities, and climate change mitigation infrastructure support initiatives.

Youth development for an inclusive and sustainable future.

  • Institute programs for out-of-school youths in far-flung areas that will open their doors to future opportunities by providing skills trainings and access to technologies to address the digital divide thereby paving the way for them to acquire digital citizenship and become digital natives.
  • Enhance efforts through programs that develop optimum skills of youths in sports, music and the arts, cultural heritage, climate change resiliency, disaster risk reduction management, care for the environment and life, peace and order, sustainable and inclusive development.
  • Institute programs to reach out youths in academia to become partners in the sustainable development and appreciate the value of developed innovative solutions to impending problems in the community by constituting exhibitions, research and development fora, and scholarship grants.