STO. TOMAS, Pampanga–Mayor John Sambo of this town has challenged beneficiaries of his scholarship program to prepare themselves to the subsequent influx of investment and employment opportunities here.
Sambo met for a dialogue with his scholars studying at the Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University (DHVTSU) campus here on the eve of his birthday. He was assisted by campus directress Anna Dayrit in listening to the birthday wishes and requests of the scholars.
The mayor, who is pushing for the constru
ction of a new North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) interchange at Barangay Sto. Rosario Pau here said development plans in town will spur active economic activities generating livelihood and employment for Tomasians.
“Few years from now dapat professionals na kayo para pagpasok ng mga investor, prepared na kayo,”
Sambo told the scholars who shared words of gratitude as their birthday gift for Sambo.
Once realized, the new NLEx interchange will make this town more accessible to investors who will find it easier to reach the famed industries of Sto. Tomas like pottery, casket-making and galvanized jeepneys.
The interchange will be accessible via a proposed connecting road that will run as far as Barangay San Bartolome, the town’s western tip.
Sambo bared his dream to make this town the next “Singapore of Pampanga” where business and jobs are abundant for both locals and visitors.
“We are a small town, and we intend to capitalize on this size because it is very manageable. Development is not far-fetched as long as we have sound planning,” the mayor added.
As preparation to the entry of more investors, Sambo explained, the town leadership has made processes in the issuance of business permits simple.
“Hindi natin pinahihirapan ang ating mga investor. Tanging hinihingi lang natin ay dapat 70 percent ng kanilang nagtatrabaho mga Tomasian,” he said.
At the start of his term last year, a giant fast food chain opened shop here employing dozens of local residents.
“While job opportunities within town are still insufficient, we help workers by providing transportation for those needing to travel to and from Sto. Tomas everyday,” Sambo said.
The mayor vowed to provide P500 per month in allowance to around 80 scholars in DHVTSU until they graduate from their courses or should they decide to pursue masteral degrees.
Beneficiaries, however, need to maintain a minimum grade of 80 percent to remain as recipient of the scholarship program.
Scholars who will be among the top 10 of their classes will receive an additional P1,000 per semester. –Albert B. Lacanlale