Governor hits back at critics
Liv G. Campo, Michael Vencynth Braga (The Freeman) - August 19, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - In his second “Report to the People” yesterday, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III repeatedly lashed at critics who said he has not done anything during his first term in office.

This, as two members of the Provincial Board, who are not allied with the governor, commended him for his “realistic report.”

One Cebu Party’s Sun Shimura said Davide was able to support his report and accomplishments with data, which he was personally privy to as a member of the legislative body.

Board Member Alex Binghay, also of the One Cebu Party representing the third district, said Davide was able to dispel doubts that his administration has done too little, by emphasizing his flagship programs and projects in his speech.

Aside from reporting what his administration has done so far, however, Davide also took the opportunity to hit back at those who belittled his accomplishments.

“Some of our fellow Cebuanos — those who wish for us not to succeed — complain we have done too little. When we do our job with pure and sincere intentions, we do not need the cameras to roll while we plant the seeds of change,” he said during his 56-minute RTTP, which was his own version of the State of the Province Address, held at the Capitol Social Hall.

Davide repeated the same line nine times throughout his speech, which was delivered before several allied mayors.

The first-term governor also made a verbal jab at the Cebu International Convention Center, the controversial project of the former administration, saying it was a “mistake” he inherited.

“The Cebu International Convention Center is an P840-million-peso mistake that we inherited. Subject to investigation on suspicion that its construction in 2006 was tainted with corruption, CICC was never a priority…We cannot afford extravagant mistakes,” he said.

The CICC was a project of former governor Gwendolyn Garcia for the ASEAN Summit in 2007. It is now the subject of a case filed against her and several others for alleged overpricing.

At the start of his report, Davide highlighted the awards Cebu has reaped since the time he assumed his post, negating allegations that failure of his administration pushed Cebu down to third in terms of competitiveness compared to when Cebu was number one when Garcia was governor.

Davide mentioned the Seal of Good Local Governance he received from the Department of the Interior and Local Government, with Cebu ranking third among all provinces in the country.

He also reported that the province increase its revenue by 40 percent, resulting to the Department of Finance recognizing Cebu as the “most efficient in revenue collection” in the entire region.

He said that in just six months, there were already 556 walk-in patients who availed of the Capitol’s PhilHealth’s Point of Care program in various hospitals all over the province.

He said the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center-Department of Health Botica ng Bayan also provides drugs and medical supplies to the hospitals within seven days since it is ensured that stocks don’t run out.

He said additional doctors and nurses were also hired for the provincial and district hospitals of Cebu. From 77 doctors and 180 nurses, the province-run hospitals now have 399 nurses and 177 doctors, 50 of whom are medical specialists. Their number, he said, does not include the new batch of dentist, medical technologists and others.

On infrastructure, Davide mentioned the P1.6 billion that the Department of Public Works and Highways had incorporated in the national annual budget for Cebu next year.

For education, Davide said Cebu has increased the Special Education Fund from P155 million to P188 million.

He said the Capitol was also able to distribute more than 8,000 armchairs to public grade schools and built 64 additional classrooms.

He said the scholarship grants for salutatorian and valedictorian graduates have also been enjoyed by 64 graduates, with P850,000 earmarked for their education. For this year also, the province granted P5,000 each to 43 cum laudes, and P20,000 each to five magna cum laudes.

On peace and order, Davide reported that Cebu’s campaign against drugs has led to the arrest of 1,151 persons from 2013 to 2015, which is a 60-percent increase from the 2010-2012 period. During the same period, authorities seized 5,731 grams of shabu, which is 300 percent higher than the previous administration’s achievement.

The governor said the number of drug-related cases filed also rose by 138 percent, or 2,520 cases.  – (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BOARD MEMBER ALEX BINGHAY CAPITOL SOCIAL HALL CEBU CEBU GOV CEBU INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER DAVIDE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT ONE CEBU PARTY
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