Gov. Edgar Chatto has strongly supported the national allocation to help rehabilitate the city roads pursuant to the country’s KALSADA program, of which he has been the recognized primemover.
Now known as the Conditional Matching Grant for Local Road Repair, Rehabilitation and Improvement, the program was crafted during the past set of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP).
It has since been adopted and continued by the national government, although the present administration has given it a new name.
KALSADA funds are needed also by the component cities, like Bohol’s Tagbilaran City, even if the program was originally intended for provincial roads, Chatto said.
The governor cited the limited resources of the component cities which are not enough to keep up with the infrastructure needed to enhance mobility in the growth areas.
The past governors’ league in the country then created a technical working group (TWG) led by Chatto not just to craft the KALSADA mechanics.
Chatto has been the influential league’s national secretary-general.
The Chatto-headed TWG likewise led in the staunch lobby for the program’s approval and adoption by the national government.
Chatto also pushed for the allocation of more funds for the municipal and barangay roads leading to the tourist sites, ports and seaports.
This type of support has been provided for under Republic Act 9593 or the National Tourism Act of 2009, which Chatto also principally authored while he was in the House of Representatives.
Sen. Richard Gordon was then Chatto’s counterpart author in the Senate.
In a parallel legislation unique to Bohol, Chatto, then still congressman, authored RA 9446 declaring the whole island-province of Bohol as an eco-cultural economic zone.
The law has effectively qualified all the roads in the province, regardless of their classifications, as tourism roads.
Chatto’s road-building laws further include the nationalization, by separate republic acts, of more than 100 kilometers of provincial roads, which are now wide concrete national highways.
All these have helped the local government units topped by the province to save yearly road improvement and maintenance budgets.
The substantial funds saved annually have instead been used for other vital programs and projects, including the delivery of essential socio-economic services.
All these also fall to what Chatto referred to in his State of the Province Address (SOPA) as “thinking outside the box.”
He meant exploring new innovations addressing concerns and solving problems by going beyond the traditional ways thru legislation.
“The executives can only do much within the box, but the legislators can create a new framework by the laws they enact,” Chatto said. (Ven rebo Arigo)