Remembering Rep. Maximo Dalog Sr.

>> Thursday, June 22, 2017

By Gina Dizon

Everyone will remember Congressman Maximo Dalog Sr. as the Father of Lang-ay Festival when he started the province’s celebration of the annual held event in 2005 in joint observation of the province’s founding anniversary held first week of April.  
And so it is during every 7th of April,  the province’s constituents come together and celebrate the day when the Provincial legislative Board in 1967 passed the first resolution declaring the birth of a new district and separate Mountain Province followed by Proclamation 144  signed by former president Fidel Ramos declaring April 7 as the Mt Province Foundation Day. 
During the festive Lang-ay Festival,  the five major tribes-Kankanaey and Aplai from western and southern Mt Province, Bontoc from the northern part of the province, Balangao and the Baliwon from the eastern part congregate to celebrate their diversity as cultural tribes and oneness as one people of the province.
This is what former governor of Mountain Province and Congressman Maximo Dalog wanted to happen -- unity of the people of Mountain Province, economy to flourish amidst a peaceful community, educated children and youth, living in a healthy and sound environment. 
Clean and healthy households  was what the former governor wanted and started a program to have each house installed with a toilet bowl. This was an advocacy which the provincial government in 2007 did by then partnering with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) who provided 6,366 free toilet bowls for distribution to households without sanitary toilets 2007 won to 2008. 
The capital town of Bontoc then had 1,307 households without sanitary toilets; Bauko, 1,282; Paracelis, 998; Sadanga, 826; Natonin, 509; Sagada, 374; Tadian, 283; Sabangan, 249; Besao, 233 and Barlig, 229.
Intensive campaign was then conducted by concerned agencies and a memorandum order was issued by Dalog to government employees and local officials to construct their own sanitary toilet. It also required all provincial government department heads to convince households without sanitary toilet to construct their own, and for all provincial government employees to help in the sanitary toilet construction campaign.
Each household was given one toilet bowl and these were given only after a septic tank has already been constructed and after the health worker has inspected this.
Dalog pursued this program during his years as solon of the province in 2016-2017 before his death on June 3 due to sepsis secondary to pneumonia.
Dalog wanted bus companies not to collect fees from passengers who use toilets in bus stations. His House Bill 725 obliges bus companies to provide free use of toilet for passengers in bus terminals.
S for Social Services
Dalog’s advocacy for sanitation was an S for Social Services in his program PRESTIGE which started during his years as governor in 2004-2010. He became governor of the Province in 1992 and re-elected in 1995.
As congressman in 2010-2017, social services  was one of the solon’s major directions. Dalog filed Bill 282 to increase the bed capacity of Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital (LHMRH) to 200.  The LHMRH has 100 beds.
Establishing the nationalization of secondary schools to become independent high schools is a favorite of the solon having been a teacher in schools Mountain Province State Polytechnique College (MPSPC) and Baguio City High School.
He finished bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and pursued Bachelor of Laws.  
Dalog in 2010-1017 authored House Bill 721 establishing the Mabalite National High School in Tadian. His other Bills pursued to become Republic Acts 0839 and 10840 converting the Sadanga NHS and the Saliok NHS into technical-vocational high schools.
Republic Act 10583 which aims to convert the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College into a state university was filed by Dalog. A law which intends to see MPSPC a University and which every constituent of the province surely would like to have a university to let other educational programs reachable within closer access among college students of the Province.
Dalog’s competent administration skills was noticed in his PRESTiGE’s  R which stands for Reliable-responsive-efficient-and-effective-leadership and G for Good Governance. 
His administration implemented peace and order in the province.
P for peace is in acronym PRESTIGE.
As governor from 2004-2010, the province was awarded Best Provincial Peace and Order Council for five consecutive terms.
As presiding chairman of the PPOC, he wanted membership of the council to include elected municipal mayors, all heads of national offices and semi-government as well as non-government agencies and heads of offices in the provincial local government units; and sectoral representatives to include religious groups, women organizations, council of elders, senior citizens, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, youth and the business sectors.
The cooperation of each member and the PPOC as representative  body made  the  Mountain Province PPOC adjudged 2nd  in the national search for the best provincial peace council for the year 2006 among  the first to third class provinces category.
The national search is an annual activity of the National Peace and Order Council chaired by the Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary to strengthen peace councils in all levels in effectively coordinating public and private sector involvement towards the attainment of peace and order in the country.
The province being a  national awardee as best PPOC was not only achieved during his term in 2004-2010 but also during his earlier term as governor in 1996. The PPOC was a hall of fame awardee under the fourth to sixth class province bracket after it consistently placed first since 1996.
The Mt. Province PPOC won the award from 1996 to 2001 and was a consistent national finalist for the 1st to 3rd class category since 2003.
It was selected as the best council in 2004 when it first joined the upper category then was among the five national finalists the following year.
Town meetings were then conducted and issues raised were given immediate attention. The role of the PPOC was crucial in handling problems like tribal conflicts.
E for Environment and a Million Trees
Dalog, as governor in 2004, wanted a sound environment and wanted  every individual  to plant at least 10 fruit bearing or forest trees in a year through his 1 Million Tree Project.
He initiated planting of a million trees to help sustain the province as watershed cradle of the northern Luzon. Mountain Province hosts headwaters of Chico, Agno, Abra and Ibulao and Siffu rivers. These rivers supply irrigation systems of the province on for the rice fields downstream of Tabuk, Kalinga and Cagayan and lowlands and headwaters from the province powers the electric dams in Northern Luzon.
He filed a bill in Congress to reforest 50,000 hectares of deforested, denuded and open bush lands and grasslands in six towns of the province.
House Bill No. 2760 sought to reforest and rehabilitate denuded mountains, forests and open grasslands and bush lands in the municipalities of Paracelis, Natonin, Sagada, Tadian, Besao and Bauko.
I for Infrastructure
His program on infrastructure was highlighted in the building of the provincial capitol in 2007 which houses provincial government  offices. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan building built during his term in 2005-2006  now houses legislative office and commercial building co- built with  Bontoc local government in 2006. Provincial roads were also built during his term after he filed bills in the 15th Congress like road conversions from local to national roads to include HB 722 converting the Mountain Province-Aguinaldo Ifugao Road into a national road; HB 723, converting the Maba-ay-Abatan Road into a national road, and HB 285 converting the Sagada-Besao-Quirino Ilocos Sur Road into a national road.
T for Treasury and Finance 
The province was elevated to third class category during his term in 2005- 2008 from a persistent fourth class.
Former governor and congressman Maximo Dalog Sr. led, administered, and legislated for the people of Mountain Province with his leadership slogan “Gawis ay Mountain Province (Good Mountain Province)”. -- With reports from Juliet Saley, Andrew Doga-ong, Angel Baybay, and Erlindo Agwilang


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