‘Choosing peace is always a better choice’


By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson during the weekend reiterated his call to “our Negrense brothers and sisters” that they are welcome to rejoin the mainstream society.

This is among the highlights of the governor’s inaugural speech, Saturday, during the inauguration of provincial government officials who were elected in the recently concluded elections.

Aside from Lacson, Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer and the provincial boards members of the five districts in the province also took their oaths.

Lacson said “we often say that the walk of peace is a long one, and that for peace to be real, we must address, preserve, and respect the core of humanity and human dignity, and it must be the kind that leaves no one behind.”

“To our Negrense brothers and sisters who are still active in the rebel movement, please know that we are eager to welcome you back as we vow to build a stronger and progressive Negros Occidental. Choosing peace is always the better choice,” the governor reiterated.

Lacson said the provincial government shall continue to work closely with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the military and police forces, civil-society groups, and multi- stakeholders to implement peace-building activities, particularly in the rural communities.

“We will continue to provide socio-economic interventions to our former rebels, including subsidies for the education and health cards of their dependents. We shall endeavor to capacitate them in handling and managing their own socio-entrepreneurial projects to make them sustainable and active partners in community development, ” he added.

The governor said the province will fully implement the Universal Health Care Program.

“We will expand and strengthen the existing Provincial Health Board through our 6 Inter-local Health Zones. The Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital will be converted from Level 2 to Level 3 to accommodate up to 300 in-patients.  It will be our premier hospital, fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities,” he further said.

On the other hand, the Lorenzo D. Zayco District Hospital in Kabankalan City and Cadiz District Hospital will also be upgraded from Level l to Level 2, to serve up to 100 inpatients.

“We shall continue to modernize the equipment and infra facilities of our 8 other district hospitals,” he added.


“Education remains to be our top priority.  We will continue to expand our scholarship programs to make it more inclusive and accessible to all sectors, particularly the underprivileged. For the next 3 years we will offer scholarships for the dependents of non-returning and displaced OFWs, barangay leaders, Barangay Health Workers, persons with disabilities, and children of former rebel returnees,” Lacson said.

The Negros Occidental Language, Information and Technology Center Global Campus in Talisay will be fully operational by next year.  It is expected to train more young college undergraduates and out-of-school youths to equip them for work in the Business Process Out-sourcing or call center industry.

The complex, the first of its kind in the province, will be offering special courses to cater to the demands of highly trained and competitive individuals of various specializations for work placements here and abroad.

“We will fully support the return to school program that will enable the students to cope with learning gaps caused by the pandemic. We will continue to repair the school facilities that were destroyed by Typhoon Odette and make it compliant to the standards of DepEd,” Lacson said.