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House Deputy Speaker Oaminal bares massive infra projects, gears up for SODA

Updated: Oct 31, 2020

OZAMIZ CITY (29 October 2020) – House Deputy Speaker Henry S. Oaminal, now on his 8th year as Representative of the 2nd District of Misamis Occidental in Northern Mindanao, is on full throttle as he prepares for his eighth public address set for Friday, October 30, 2020 in Tudela town in Misamis Occidental, aimed at providing an accomplishment report to the public through the 8th State of the District Address (SODA).

Every October of each year, the Congressman prepares a reportorial, highlighting district accomplishments including his activities as Deputy Speaker of the House of the Representatives. The annual SODA has been known as a festive event in this part of the province – a gathering of key leaders, public officials, and local community stakeholders.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic this year, the annual gathering marks a unique series of events expanded into a weeklong localized celebration in several locations within the district.

As in the past, the event is not a mere representation of bureaucratic milestones but has become a tradition of festivity and entertainment in a jampacked venue. This time, small packets of localized activities were organized in all seven local government units (LGU) within the district, composed of five municipalities and the cities of Ozamiz and Tangub. In coordination with barangay and LGU officials, health protocols are strictly imposed in these events limiting attendance to up to 50% of venue capacity. For the main event in the Working Congressman Gymnasium in Tudela, attendees are required to submit themselves into antigen swab testing including all guests and officials.

A series of inauguration activities were organized since Friday, October 23, in Don Victoriano Chiongbian and culminating in the Deputy Speaker’s delivery of his report in Tudela. The second district of Misamis Occidental covers the cities of Ozamiz and Tangub, and the municipalities of Don Victoriano Chiongbian, Bonifacio, Clarin, Tudela, and Sinacaban.

On October 24, the official convoy of the Deputy Speaker travelled to Bonifacio town unveiling the grand plan of the Bonifacio Boulevard comprised of major improvements in infrastructure which includes a fish port, flood control, and an esplanade overlooking the bay. The development area further interconnects the barangays and municipalities through a road construction for the Boulevard. For all phases of this project, the Deputy Speaker had lobbied a total allocation of 430 million pesos for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.

On Sunday, October 25, a six-classroom school building was inaugurated and turned over to the administration and teaching force of the Clarin National High School. Congressman Oaminal’s mother, was a teacher in Clarin and as a tribute to a hardworking and dedicated teacher, the school building was named after her, Felisa Sevilla Oaminal. In a new addition, a number of new roads and multipurpose buildings were inaugurated and turned over to baroy local government units. Local townsfolk expressed their appreciation to the projects that are directly impacting lives of people from interior barangays in the district.

For decades, people have been longing for significant change in their lives and many were not expecting that they would get to enjoy such massive impact brought about by the enormous infrastructure projects.

Since he took office in 2013, the Rep. Oaminal who, for 8 years now, has kept up with the title of “The Working Congressman,” has allocated approximately 21 billion pesos in project funds for the 2nd District of Misamis Occidental. In Tangub City alone, more than 7 billion pesos worth of infrastructure development projects have been implemented. In Ozamiz City, the year 2020 has seen more than 1 billion worth of projects.

In the city of Ozamiz, Mayor Sancho Fernando Oaminal joined the Deputy Speaker in the inauguration of several road projects and school buildings, among other big ticket projects. For 2021, the city’s priorities will include a 1-billion peso airport development project.

In the whole district, the projects of the Deputy Speaker range from water systems to barangay and bypass roads to school buildings, bridges, barangay multipurpose buildings, flood control and slope protection projects, clinics, among others.

On his first term as congressman, Deputy Speaker Oaminal had only secured a total of 400 million pesos in projects and through diligence and hard work, he was able to secure more than 4 billion in projects for the 2nd District in 2018. On top of efficient work attitude of a determined leader, the Congressman also learned the ability to do research and committed representation for his constituents by understanding budgeting and project management processes during his term. Until his term as Representative of the district ends in 2022, the Congressman continues with such commitment to bring massive support to the people.

According to COOP-NATCO Partylist Representative, Congressman Sabeniano ‘Ben’ Canama, who joined the Deputy Speaker in the localized events, the energy and dynamism of Congressman Oaminal caused the unprecedented deluge of infrastructure projects in the district. He said most congressmen would only get approval for annual project funds of up to 100 to 500 million pesos. The ability of Congressman Oaminal to bring huge infrastructure projects in remotest areas is by far the most successful in recent years.

“Dili basta-basta ang pagkuha ug pondo gikan sa kauluhan. Apan swerte gyud kaayo ang katawhan dinhi sa ato kay tungod sa kakugi ug pagpaningkamot sa atong Deputy Speaker, daku kaayo ang nakuha sa Segundo Distrito nga mga proyekto nga nakatabang gyud sa tanan,” said Rep. Canama.

The congressman added that if not of the support and encouragement of Deputy Speaker Oaminal, he would not have been elected into office as party-list representative for local cooperatives.

Residents of Sinacaban town greeted the 8th SODA convoy on October 26 where school buildings and other major road projects were inaugurated. On October 27, the people of Tangub City headed by Mayor Jennifer Tan witnessed the turnover and ribbon cutting of road projects amounting to more than 300 million pesos. The Dimalooc Bridge in Isidro D. Tan and Migcanaway River Control in Maloro provided safety and comfort to residents who are now sheltered from damage caused by floods prior to the construction of the bridge. Further expanding roads to tourist destinations in the area, the Cabangcalan to Villaba Road, Banglay Road and Fertig Hills Road successfully interconnect several locations in the province.

The mountain roads, collectively known as the Mt. Malindang Eco-Tourism Highway, provides connectivity of interior municipalities and barangays which now allow easy access to potential tourist spots and accessibility of farm products. Even the farthest barangays of Clarin town and the farthest mountain view locations of Don Victoriano Chiongbian are now accessible.

Local officials including provincial board members, mayors, and barangay leaders provide support in the series of events by accompanying Congressman Oaminal in the pre-SODA events. People from all walks of life filled the highways expressing their support and appreciation to the drive and energy of their local leaders demonstrated by the father of Segundo Distrito.

In the end, one may infer that the 62-year-old legislator is loved by people and community not only because of his approachable and flexible demeanor of a politician but also by the enormous impact his diligence brought to the lives of ordinary citizens in this part of northern Mindanao which no other politician has ever done before.

In his upcoming State of the District Address, people look forward to what is to unfold. While the year 2021 may be the final year for the Congressman’s display of prowess and charm in bringing home high-impact projects from the House of Representatives and the national government, people will continue to remember the Deputy Speaker and what his strong, innovative leadership may continue to bring in the future to empower more communities and bring this golden age of infrastructure development to greater heights.

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