Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Korean peace icon cites growth of Nueva Ecija

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija – A peace and development icon from South Korea has heaped praises on the political leadership in Nueva Ecija for steering the province to economic growth and development over the years.

          Dr. David Yoo, president of the Global Peace Festival Foundation Korea (GPFFK) told Filipino and foreign contingents that their group has noticed the massive development works being done in the province by the provincial government under the leadership of Gov. Aurelio Umali.

          “The Global Peace Festival Foundation of Korea has gone to Nueva Ecija no less than 40 times where we launched our project in 13 villages. We saw development and we were very impressed,” Yoo said in a speech during a dinner banquet at the Sierra Madre Suites here hosted by the provincial government Monday night.

          Yoo, along with other GPFF officials, visited the province for two days where they launched its “All Lights Village (ALV)” project by donating dozens of solar lamps to impoverished families in remote communities in the province.

Yoo noted that the province, the Philippines’ rice granary, has also been providing quality rice to Korean people. He said Korea has been helping the Philippines in its development efforts.

He noted that the Philippines is the only country in the world which persuaded the international community not to invade Korea six decades ago during the Korean war.

He added that Filipinos have shared knowledge with the Korean people, including in the construction of buildings in his country. “It is now the turn of Koreans to return the favor. That’s why we are building ideal communities,” he said.

He added that 80% of communities all over the world live in poor conditions. “Once we build ideal communities in Nueva Ecija, we can spread it all around the world. Let us make a better world together,” he said.

          Yoo, along with GPFF Philippines president Dr. Michael Zablan, Habitat for Humanity Philippines president and chief executive officer McCharlie Ayco (HHP) and Global Peace Foundation (GPF) founder and international chairman James Flyn made a courtesy call on Umali at the old capitol in Cabanatuan City Monday morning where the governor presented to them the symbolic key to the province.

Aside from Umali, the visitors were welcomed by provincial administrator Alejandro Abesamis, Board Member Edmund Abesamis and officials of the Department of Education led by Region 3 director Dr. Isabelita Borres and Nueva Ecija schools division superintendent Dr. Edna Santos-Zerrudo.

They then proceeded to the nearby Nueva Ecija High School gymnasium to grace the regional peace camp and leadership seminar. The school has been chosen as pilot school in implementing the character-based education and service learning program.

Afterwards, Yoo’s group launched the 4th ALV internation service project 1 (ISP1), a housing project for residents of sitio Cabiao, Barangay Bagumbayan, Llanera through partnership with GPFF, HHP and the municipal government led by Mayor Lorna Mae Vero.

They then proceeded to sitio Pulong Uway, Barangay Marcos Village in this city for the inauguration of the 13th ALV together with Mayor Rianne Cuevas. They also planted trees in the two areas.

On Tuesday, Yoo’s group participated in the Global Peace Advocates Assembly (GPAA), a walk for peace from the Palayan City central School to the Nueva Ecija Convention Center.

The assembly, which carries the theme : “”One World, One Family, One Celebration,” was participated in by thousands of GPFF volunteers from the Philippines and various nationalities, local officials and students.

The ALV, a component of the global peace leadership exchange project (GPLEP) of the GPFF Philippines and GPFF Korea, has been helping the Aquino administration in lighting up sitios through donation of safer, less expensive, healthier and environment-friendly solar lamps in place of kerosene lamps.

Yoo said the ALV complements the electrification project launched by President Aquino in Malacanang on January 21 last year where he announced that 30,000 sitios in the country were being targeted for electrification.

Through this LED lanterns, children can study their lessons at night and other family members can do their household chores during nighttime and spare them the risks of using paraffin lights and kerosene lanterns which pose as fire hazards aside from posing health risks such as respiratory illness for women and children due to indoor air pollution.

           Last year, over 300 families in this city and in the municipalities of Laur and Gabaldon received the solar lanterns while ALVs were launched in three big sitios. (Manny Galvez)

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