Surigao del Norte is the gateway to Mindanao. This second class province is made up of 20 municipalities, 1 city and 335 barangays. It is gifted with abundant natural resources as manifested in its major growth drivers consisting of agri-aquaculture, responsible mining and eco-tourism. Responsible Mining is a major industry and an economic growth driver. The province has huge mineral deposits, one of the largest in the Philippines. Mineral reserves register a total of 37,963.40 hectares. At present, there are eight mining companies which are operating and which produce nickel, nickel silicate ore and limestone. Other mineral products include gold, silver, chromite and ceramics. CARAGA Region, with Surigao del Norte, is growing faster than the rest of the country in 2012 with an average Gross Regional Domestic Product growth of 9.5%. Business and investments in the province grew rapidly in the last three (3) years with mining and tourism as major economic drivers. The province is also out of the poverty map. Figures from the National Statistics Coordinating Board revealed that from 47.9% in 2009, the province has gone down to 32% in 2013, still below the national average but targeting to further reduce it in the next three years. DEVELOPMENT AGENDA: H.E.A.L.S. Agenda - Health, Education and Environment, Agriculture and Aquaculture, Livelihood and Tourism and Social Welfare and Spiritual Renewal programs F.R.E.S.H. Principles of Governance - Principle of Focus, Responsibility, Efficiency and Effectiveness, Shared Vision and Holistic Development FISCAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: Giving attention on strengthening financial management where resource allocation and utilization provided maximum benefits derived from limited resources, through: • Implementation of the Electronic Tax Revenue Assessment and Collection System (E-TRACS) in the municipalities. • Close monitoring of royalty and excise tax payments of mining companies • Implementation of the counter-parting scheme between and among Municipal and Barangay LGUs and the Provincial Government • Adherence to the 10% reserve on MOOE as safety nets for possible unrealized income estimates. • Strict adherence to RA 9184 or the Procurement of Goods and Services. • Establishing constant linkages with national and regional officials and strong collaboration • Improved marketing and promotions schemes of economic enterprises. As a result, there was a significant increase in General Fund (comprising of Internal Revenue Allotment, National Wealth share and the local tax and non-tax revenues and other external sources), Real Property Taxes, Special Education Fund collection, and Share from National Wealth which facilitated good resource allocation and utilization. GAINS ACHIEVED: Improved Health Program • Establishment of the 50-bed state-of-the-art Surigao del Norte Community Hospital is nearing completion with a P187M grant from the Department of Health. Other hospitals, rural health units and birthing clinics were also improved including the Siargao District Hospital. • The Grassroots medical outreach program has served some 75,000 patients from all of the 20 municipalities of the province, including city barangays. • Decline of the Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM) in the province from 22.7% in 2007 to 14.2% in 2011 Improved Education Program • Built new school buildings, classrooms, established library hubs and speech laboratories • Employed additional local school board teachers and increased their honoraria • Expanded the scholarship program • Increased Participation Rate in both elementary and highschool Good balance between the sustainable management of ENR and the optimal utilization of its resources • Strengthened enforcement of environmental laws through the deployment of Environmental Enforcers to monitor and apprehend illegal activities • Local chief executives have played an active role in the implementation of the Shared Management of Quarry Resources which empowered them in managing resources in their respective areas of jurisdiction • Task Force Kinaiyahan was organized and the Provincial Mineral Regulatory Board was also activated to ensure strict adherence to environmental policies • Kalimpyo Kahapsay Surigao Program was implemented as a solid waste management advocacy program of the province • Agriculture and Aquaculture Programs were strengthened through trainings and technology transfer that generally improved the economic well-being of farmers and fishermen • Implementation of private-public-partnership with the mining companies which aims to provide livelihood, vocational and technical trainings to out-of-school youths and unemployed adults. THE WAY FORWARD: Barangay Empowerment - rise of barangay power as each barangay captain will be challenged to initiate barangay projects. Building a New Surigao, is building a strong and resilient Barangayanon. The pillars of progress are the leaders of barangays – where change and transformation begin. • Kapitolyo Sa Barangay Program, with focus on barangay-based program implementation on disaster preparedness, hazard mapping, solid waste management, and • Barangay development planning will be strictly required as a basis for program funding and implementation.