Outgoing Bicol Regional Development Council chairman Joey Sarte Salceda announced during the last council meeting at the National Economic Development Authority office on Friday he was given the position of senior vice chairman of the committee on appropriations in the 17th Congress while Camarines Sur 1st district Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. will be the chairman.
The choice for Salceda and Andaya for the positions is part of the agreement reached by the multi-party coalition.
The outgoing Albay governor considers the committee posts as big deal because the House appropriations committee was also held by a Bicolano during the time of former president and now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of Pampanga.
Asked if projects would again flood the Bicol Region, Salceda just smiled and said he will give his full support to Andaya.
He said that once he sits in Congress, he will make sure that the Bicol International Airport will be completed next year as well as the South Luzon Expressway from Lucena City to Matnog, railway system from Tutuban to Matnog, and the connecting roads of Guicadale (Guinobatan-Camalig-Daraga-Legazpi City) and Don Picaso or Daraga, Donsol, Pilar, Castilla connecting roads plus Ma or Manito (DONPICASMA), which are needed for the continuous development of the tourism program of the region.
Salceda will employ as chiefs of staff two losing vice-mayoral re-electionists of Legazpi and Daraga.
Legazpi City vice mayor Vittorio Roces will be the chief of staff in his district office in Manila while Daraga Vice Mayor Carlito Baylon will be the chief of staff in his Albay office.