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Cebu News

Tourism, economic productivity support Davide’s 6-point agenda

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Boosting Cebu’s tourism and its economic productivity on top of an existing six-point development agenda will be the key priorities of Governor Hilario Davide III if he wins for the second time.

 Speaking at The FREEMAN and Banat News' Know Your Candidate: Cebu Vote 2016 Roundtable yesterday, Davide promised to continue his six-point agenda on health and social services, countryside development, educational and vocational training, environmental protection and disaster risk management, infrastructure development, and law and order.

“My work is not done yet that's why we are seeking for reelection. We hope Cebuanos have seen the difference in the way we serve the provincial government. We believe daghan pa ta mabuhat. What we have started, we will finish. Three years is not enough. One more term and we will finish what we promised. With the support sa katawhan, we have no doubt we will accomplish that,” Davide said.

 Davide said he will also prioritize the construction of airports in Sta. Fe town in Bantayan Island and San Francisco town in Camotes Islands.

 The airports in the two islands are considered vital to the province’s tourism efforts since they provide tourists with easy access to Cebu’s top destinations and spur more investments.

 For the time being, it takes several hours to get to Camotes Island, which is reached by boat from Danao City, Pier 1 in Cebu City or other areas where there are boat services. The boat ride would take more than an hour.

 Travelling to Bantayan, on the other hand, would take four to five hours via bus or van from Cebu City’s North Bus Terminal to Hagnaya Port, which is also one-and-a half hour Ro-Ro ride to the island.

 Davide said his administration is committed to put out the proposed development, which he described as "doable" following talks with the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

 He said both agencies are willing to help in the implementation of the project.

 Aside from the airports, Davide said they are also looking at constructing a “coastal skyway” from Consolacion in northern Cebu to Minglanilla town in the south through the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.

  He said this is envisioned to decongest traffic in Cebu’s major thoroughfares, including in Consolacion where the international port will be established.

 The transfer of Cebu's international container terminal to Tayud, Consolacion next year is intended to address the increasing number of port calls and volume of shipments, which have already caused congestion in the base port in Cebu City.

 “We are in dire need of alternative routes and roads to accommodate the (increasing number) of vehicles,” he said.

 Davide said apart from the trans-axial highway they are currently studying, a railway system to help address the traffic problem is also being looked into.

 “This will also be convenient to transport cargo and people. This is feasible and cheaper,” he said.

 Hours prior to the roundtable discussion, Davide who was in Mega Cebu Candidates’ Forum, said his administration will also prioritize the trans-axial highway without disregarding the environmental impacts.

The proposed 280-kilometer Cebu trans-axial highway would connect Daanbantayan town in Cebu’s northern tip to Santander town in the south.

 It was first proposed during the term of governor Emilio Osmeña and was later championed by the late vice governor Gregoria Sanchez Jr. The cost was estimated at P46.31 billion in 2007 and increased to P93.72 billion in 2014.

If further feasibility studies would not allow its implementation, Davide said he would execute the plans outlined in the Roadmap Study for Sustainable Urban Development in Metro Cebu.

 Moreover, Davide said he plans to create more economic opportunities in the rural areas to mitigate the migration to urban areas, congesting the metropolis further.

 To achieve this, he said he would establish infrastructure and economic zones in the province to encourage investors to pour in investments in Cebu and provide more job opportunities to the countryside.

 He said he would also push for the development of a template for all local government units to standardize and facilitate business transactions with the help of the existing Provincial Investment Board.

 He added that he will support the agricultural sector with modern farming equipment and improved farming practices as part of his development agenda. 

No corruption

 Davide claimed the provincial government is free from corrupt practices, affirming the "Corruption-Free Institution" banner draped at Capitol's façade.

 “Yes, Capitol is corruption-free. We aspired for that and I promised that Davide administration is free of corruption,” he said.

 The yellow streamer is positioned below the inscription, "The authority of the government emanates from the people" and above the present administrations' advocacy campaign streamer "Kalambuan sa Matag Sugbuanon.”

 “Corruption-Free” is part his good governance advocacy, Davide said.

 “This is part of our good governance advocacy to remind everybody that is our aspiration. I have been accused of being corrupt. That is for emphasis,” he added.

 He said none of his employees at the Capitol are charged of graft. He admitted, though, that some were found guilty of tardiness that constitutes gross and habitual neglect of duty, while others faced morality issues.

 He said employees involved in corrupt practices will dealt with accordingly.

 “I am trying to emphasize that we are there to serve on that public office. Public office is a public trust,” Davide said.

Tourism

 If re-elected, the province will improve tourist spots to attain economic growth and stability, Davide said.

 With the help of Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, the chairman of the Provincial Tourism Council and who is also seeking re-election, they will boost efforts in developing areas in the province that have tourism potential, citing Aguinid Falls in Samboan as an example.

 The province will provide assistance to towns and municipalities to develop their tourist destinations, Davide said.

 “We will provide assistance, we will help this towns regarding ecotourism programs and if necessary ato silang pondohan,” Davide said.

 During the Mega Cebu Forum yesterday, Magpale said she will continue to develop ecotourism sites and empower LGUs. —/JMO (FREEMAN)

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