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Opinion

Dumanjug showing leadership in disaster preparedness

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

Today, the clean, beautiful and progressive town of Dumanjug, 74 kilometers southwest of Cebu City, is celebrating its town fiesta in honor of the original advocate for nature's fauna and flora: Saint Francis of Assisi. Prior to the pandemic, I happened to facilitate a two-day leadership seminar for Dumanjug public officials and personnel and one of our modules focused on the town's preparation for disasters and calamities.

The town mayor, Efren Guntrano Z. Gica is a young visionary who has a clear vision for his town and people. He is passionate, focused, and hardworking. He is ably supported by the town's legislative body led by the vice mayor, Erwin Z. Gica, the mayor's brother, who is also dynamic, action-oriented, and very close to the constituencies.

From February 20 to 21, 2020, the mayor required all members of the legislative body, all barangay captains, and all department heads in the municipal government to attend the two-day capacity-building program called the Dumanjug Leadership Seminar. It was graced by the congressman of Cebu's 7th District, Peter John D. Calderon and the mayor of the neighboring town of Ronda, Terence Mariano Y. Blanco.

Dumanjug has a total land area of 85.53 square kilometers and a population of 57,823, as of 2020. It has 37 barangays and its population density rate is 680 people per square kilometer. Based on annual income, Dumanjug is classified as a third-class municipality. Its annual revenue in 2020 was ?193,771,315.15 and its assets have been assessed to be worth, ?1,400,077596.99. Its expenditures in 20220 amounted to ?225,647,395.42 and liabilities in the amount of ?804,124,707.44. Its poverty incidence as of 2018 was 22.3%.

Under the leadership of Mayor Gica, the poverty situation is expected to improve. Dumanjug is building a beautiful and modern public market with the help of Governor Gwen Garcia.

Dumanjug is developing its tourism and among the tourist attractions include the Dona Josefa Paras Garcia Heritage Park, the monument of Governor Dionisio Jakosalem, the old and beautiful St. Francis Parish Church, the Cantarini Art Gallery, the Julian Macoy (a popular basketball player) photo exhibit, the heritage house called Casa Melgar, the Liloan Falls and Rock Formation, the Camboang Marine Sanctuary, the Tubod-Bitoon Farms, and the Camboang Spring.

There is also a monkey-watching attraction in Barangay Kabalaasnan Natural Habitat overlooking the beautiful valley in Pawa and Kanguha. Dumanjug is also blessed with large quantity of high-quality dolomite and large phosphate reserves in Kanghumawod, Balaygtiki, Kabalaasnan, Matalao, and Kabatbatan.

Under the leadership of Mayor Gica, the local residents have been properly oriented to and trained in disaster preparedness. They have formed rescue and emergency assistance teams and are organized down to the village levels. The bigger barangays with more population are Tapon with 3,499 residents; Cogon, 3,051; Bitoon, 2,979 (this is where the late Governor Pablo P. Garcia grew up); Tangil, 2,886; Lawaan, 2321; Panlaan, 2,190; Tubod-Bitoon, 2129; and Balaygtiki, 2,016. The poblacion used to be the biggest but it has been divided into Central, Looc, and Sima. Dumanjug is famous for its native manok and for its many famous professionals, sports icons, and political leaders. The Garcias Pablo and Jesus grew up and finished their basic education in this town.

The fourth governor of Cebu, from 1907 to 1912, Dionisio A. Jakosalem was born in Dumanjug. He was later appointed as member of the Cabinet. He was a professor of Law and was an expert in labor laws and social legislations. Dumanjug has produced three governors, namely Jakosalem, Pablo Garcia, and Gwen Garcia, the incumbent governor. There are thousands of Dumanjuganons all over the world, mostly in California, New York, the Middle East, and Asia. Let us greet them all. Happy and blessed fiesta to all.

DISASTER

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