A BANANA farmer in Cotabato prepares his harvest for delivery. — DAR.GOV.PH 

COTABATOS provincial government will be clearing out its financial obligations by October with a P404-million fund for debt servicing allocated in this years budget, the governor said. 

Governor Emmylou “Lala” TaliñoMendoza, in a report delivered earlier this month, said the goal to be debt-free is part of the local governments sound fiscal management agenda.  

She also announced that a surplus of P1.1 billion from the 2022 budget is still available.  

For the fiscal year 2022, we recorded a surplus of 1.1 billion from the general fund and special education fund,said Ms. Mendoza, who was reelected in last years elections. 

She won as vice governor in 2019 after serving the maximum three successive terms as governor from 2010 to 2019.  

When I assumed office as governor in 2010, I found out that the provincial government had millions of unpaid obligations, hence I prioritized sound fiscal management,she said.   

I believe that through good housekeeping, we cultivate the empowerment of government service providers. We promoted competency in our human resources. Provided ample support to enhance performance, which enable us to pursue accountability and transparency in our administration.”  

Among the priority projects of the provincial government of Cotabato, also referred to by its old name North Cotabato, are the revival of the Central Mindanao Airport and an agro-industrial park, both located in the town of Mlang.  

Meanwhile, 296 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in the provinces Pigcawayan town recently received their certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) covering a total land area of 696.306 hectares.  

In a statement on Monday, the Department of Agrarian Reform said the beneficiaries will also be receiving support services to improve production and increase the farmersincome. Maya M. Padillo