LEGAZPI CITY, June 3 (PNA) -- Though President-elect Rodrigo Duterte did not fare well in the Bicol Region in the last elections, for him and his followers, this is not a reason to deprive two Bicolano congressmen of the chairmanship and senior vice chairmanship of the powerful House committee on appropriations in the next Congress.
Outgoing Bicol Regional Development Council chairman Joey Sarte Salceda gladly announced this during the last full-council meeting of regional economic development body at the National Economic Development Authority office on Friday.
Salceda said he was given the position of senior vice chairman of the committee on appropriations in the next Congress while fellow Bicolano lawmaker, Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. of Camarines Sur, will be the chairman.
He said the choice for him and Andaya to hold their respective assigned positions is part of the agreement reached by the multi-party coalition formed in Congress.
The outgoing Bicol RDC chairman and Albay governor said this is a big deal for the Bicol Region because the House appropriations committee was also held by a Bicolano during the time of former president and now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of Pampanga.
Asked if projects would again flood the Bicol Region, Salceda just smiled and said he will give his full support to Andaya.
He said that once he sits in Congress, he will make sure that the Bicol International Airport will be completed next year as well as the South Luzon Expressway from Lucena City to Matnog, railway system from Tutuban to Matnog, and the connecting roads of Guicadale (Guinobatan-Camalig-Daraga-Legazpi City) and Don Picaso or Daraga, Donsol, Pilar, Castilla connecting roads plus Ma or Manito (DONPICASMA), which are needed for the continuous development of the tourism program of the region.
Salceda also announced that he will get as chiefs of staff the two losing re-electionist vice mayors of Legazpi and Daraga.
Legazpi City Vice Mayor Vittorio Roces will be the chief of staff in his district office in Manila while Daraga Vice Mayor Carlito Baylon will be the chief of staff of his district office in Albay.
He plans to have the Albay district office in Legazpi City. (PNA) LAP/FGS/JH/CBD/rsm