Presidential candidate Sen. Ping Lacson, the standard bearer of Partido Reporma, described the development of Sorsogon province as “amazing” as he lauded Gov. Chiz Escudero for his efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a Twitter post, Lacson praised Escudero’s sterling performance as local chief executive barely three years since he became governor of Sorsogon in 2019.
“Amazing Sorsogon! What Governor Chiz Escudero and his team have accomplished in just three years can easily surpass several others who have served in their provinces for at least three terms. Tito and I saw it for ourselves yesterday,” Lacson said.
The presidential aspirant and his running mate, Senate President Tito Sotto III, were in Sorsogon on Thursday as part of their tandem’s campaign sortie in Bicol region.
Escudero, who is seeking a new six-year term in the Senate in the May elections, personally welcomed the tandem and hosted a media conference for the visiting senators.
The Lacson-Sotto tandem, as early as October last year, has declared support for the senatorial candidacy of Escudero, who served two terms in the Senate from 2007 to 2019.
Escudero is the only incumbent governor running for a seat in the Upper Chamber.
Among Escudero’s key accomplishments as governor include passing the stringent requirements for certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). All units of the provincial government, including all the nine hospitals under the Sorsogon Provincial Health Office, are now ISO-certified.
Even at the height of the pandemic, the province has also successfully managed the spread of the virus that more than half of its 541 barangays were spared from COVID-19.
As the province closed its doors to local and foreign visitors due to lockdowns that followed because of the public health crisis, Escudero took it as an opportunity to implement construction and rehabilitation of various infrastructure projects, such as the new 5.52-kilometer Sorsogon Coastal Road which was inaugurated in August 2020.
Among the projects completed during the pandemic were the new offices of the Civil Service Commissions (CSC), the Provincial Veterinary Office and Animal Shelter, the Philippine Fiber Industry Authority (PhilFIDA), and the opening of the province’s first isolation and treatment facility for COVID-19 and other communicable diseases to strengthen the provincial government’s health capability and response.
The province is also set to start the construction of a “Home for the Homeless Gays” which will cater to abandoned members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, another first in Sorsogon. The haven will also have a livelihood training center for the LGBT to help them earn a living.
Sorsogon also saw the rehabilitation and beautification of its landmark tourist attractions, such as the completion of the American-era Provincial Capitol, the establishment of the Museo ng Sorsogon, the restoration of the 19th century Barcelona Church and the expansion of the Bulusan Natural Park, which is set to reopen this week.