Balamban dad backs transfer of provincial Capitol offices

Le Phyllis F. Antojado (The Freeman) - November 7, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Balamban town in midwest Cebu is ready to become the seat of the provincial government.

So said Mayor Alex Binghay said as he backed Governor Gwendolyn “Gwen” Garcia’s plan to transfer the seat of power there in a bid to propel sustainable growth and to spur development in the countryside.

“It’s a welcome development. If there’s an opportunity, we grab and overcome it. It is a challenge for us and we welcome it,” he said.

"The municipality cannot take progress if it will not take the risk,” he added.

Garcia has lobbied for the approval of P550 million for the site acquisition and development of the Cebu provincial government center in Balamban. The budget is included in the proposed P15 billion annual appropriation for 2021.

The plan is to transfer both executive and legislative offices of the provincial government there.

Once Cebu's seat of government is transferred to Balamban, Capitol building in Cebu City will be converted into a museum and a mixed-used development.

If the project comes into fruition, Binghay said, the industry will improve and will generate more job opportunities for Cebuanos.

"Ang kanindot ana kun moari na ng Kapitolyo, industry will start booming and will create job opportunities for our people,” he said.

The mayor said he already knew about the plan even before Garcia made it public.

Binghay recommended three locations for the government center. He, however, refused to divulge the locations pending the approval of the project.

Balamban, a first-class municipality, is located approximately 53 kilometers west of Cebu City and is home to 283-hectare industrial estate, the West Cebu Industrial Park. It is also the country’s shipbuilding capital.

Moreover, the impending transfer of provincial offices to Balamban is causing worry among employees from Cebu City.

Garcia said the province is planning to construct a housing project for its employees from Cebu City and other areas in metro Cebu.

“If you are a Cebu City resident, you will have to relocate…Between a constituent of the province and non-constituent, mas tagaan nato og priority pag hire ag gikan or tua nagpuyo sa probinsya sa Sugbo,” she said. — KQD (FREEMAN)

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