THE charisma, wits, exuberance can instantly be seen.

Governor Susan Yap of Tarlac radiates those attributes as if she is not bothered at all by the weights of running the affairs of the provincial government. The pandemic, notwithstanding.

At the Balitaan media forum of Capampangan In Media Inc. (CAMI) last week, the governor obliged us despite her busy schedule. We did not mind her getting late as officers and members who were present at Bale Balita (and online) understood perfectly well how she is pulled from one meeting to another.

And it was so worth the wait, with all the inspiring developments. Her thoughts came out so well as she shared views on many aspects affecting not just Tarlaquenos but many people. It was an inspiring discussions.

What was so meaningful is how she did not mind being out of her own turf but be with media practitioners in Pampanga, the neighbor province. Of course, she has shared how Pampanga is considered as a “kuya” (big brother) – proof of how the respect, admiration and cooperation that is taking place between her and Gov. Dennis Pineda (and the provincial governments).

During my time as Comms head at CDC, I have seen them both work and discuss matters of mutual concern under the auspices of Metro Clark Advisory Council where I skippered its secretariat. Together with the member mayors like Mayor Pogi Lazatin and Mayor Cris Garbo, they have had that enviable trait of understanding, kindness, cooperation which cascade to other member LGUs.

No wonder why she is seeking her third term, unopposed! Who would dare go up against someone who has been doing a lot of wonderful things for the province.

CAMI also congratulates Gov for doing magnificent job for the SMEs, especially in time of pandemic where the no interest soft loans keep them afloat.

The group thanks the province’s trade and investment officer Frances Canlas for bringing Gov to Bale Balita.

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The beauteous Tarlac governor had incisive views, discussed with authority and sincerity.

Here are but some of them.

POGOS. Governor Yap of Tarlac has called for clear policies that should cover companies in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs) in the country.

“What does it benefit us? Yap said when asked for her comments on having POGOs.

The governor reiterated that there has to be clear rules and regulations in allowing the POGOS to operate, particularly in taxation.

“Taxation is not clear yet. Once it is cleared and income for government (is assured) then it is fine,” Yap said.

She said that under current rules only the lessor stand to benefit in allowing the multi-billion peso industry to operate.

She also called for well-defined rules on employment where locals must always be considered.

“What job generation does it have. 90 percent of (their) employees are not Filipinos,” the governor added.

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SOCIO-ECONOMIC POINTS. From her discussions, Governor Yap, one can see how she has been pedaling for the improvement of the province’s socio-economic standing by moving from traditional agriculture-based source of income to high value products and industries.

Yap said that she has implemented programs that call for planting, harvest, trade and even exports of high value crops.

“We are developing the other crops like sweet potato, squash but our biggest export is still okra,” Yap said.

The governor said that she still wants a balance between agriculture and industrialization. Two of its 17 municipalities are known to produce power from solar farms. Concepcion and La Paz a have unique set-up where panels are arranged in a way that can enable farmers to plant crops.

“During the pandemic, we did not scramble for food unlike in Metro Manila. We were calm,” she said.

The province is also slowly developing bird watching as one of its tourist attractions.

Yap said that migratory birds, usually known of Candaba, Pampanga, have started to flock Canarem Lake in Victoria town.

“We are moving towards the protection of the bird habitat and making it a preserved area,” Yap said.

The town’s mayor Christian Yap has approved ordinances passed by the municipal council that call for protection of migratory birds that are present during the cold weather months.