Davide assumes office

New Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III assumed office last Monday (July 1) and asked the Capitol employees to cooperate with his administration.

“We all have our duties and responsibilities. Ato kining isulod sa atong hunahuna kay dako kaayo ta og mga challenges nga giatubang karong tuiga ug sa uban pang umaabot nga mga tuig,” Davide said after the flag raising ceremony at the Capitol grounds.

The provincial employees were required to attend the flag raising ceremony every Monday at 8 in the morning as a policy under the past administration.
But Davide, who was the flag bearer on Monday’s flag raising ceremony, wanted to hold earlier with assembly at 7:30 a.m. so that by 8 a.m. they will already be at their respective offices. He said the heat of the sun might not be that painful at an earlier time.

At the Provincial Board (PB) session where he delivered a message, Davide also asked his fellow provincial officials to be guided by humble and sincere leadership as embodied in his platform of Good Governance. He said his vision for Cebu is ambitious but simple: “I want every Cebuano to enjoy equal opportunity to achieve his or her aspirations for a better life.”

Davide categorized his agenda in the following manner: Health; Education; Youth, Gender and Social Protection; Food Security and Agriculture; Economic Opportunities in the Countryside; Environmental Protection and Enhancement and Disaster Preparedness; and, Participatory and Comprehensive Provincial Master Plan.

On health, education, youth, gender, and social protection, Davide requested the board members to provide adequate funds to improve the Capitol’s delivery of basic services, especially to the more vulnerable sectors- the children, women and mothers, persons with disabilities and the elderly.

He saw an “inherent defect” in the policy of the Department of Health in devolving the supervision of district hospitals to the local government units to improve its equipment and services. The district hospitals, he said, are in shortage of permanent doctors and nurses. He noted, “There is no skills improvement program, and there can be no program without permanence and stability of tenure.”

He also reiterated that he will work with the national government for additional classrooms, teachers and facilities while establishing connection with the private and national government to establish a “more vigorous and responsive vocational-technical training programs in the countryside.”

The board members were also urged to create a Provincial Youth Council to prepare the youth to become responsible citizens, and the passage of an investment code. “Let this code firmly guarantee an environment attractive to investors both local and foreign, to stay beyond our terms, insulated from politics and selfish interest,” he said.

On food security and agriculture, Davide wanted to revitalize the Farmer-Scientist Training Pogram to empower the farmers. He also dreamed of improvement of farm to market access and strategic training centers between producers and consumers.

Davide acknowledges that Tourism is a key industry for economic opportunities in the countryside. He said he will help towns and component cities in their endeavors to attract and host visitors.

The governor also cited the Business Processing Outsourcing industries in Cebu City can be hosted as well in any of the towns in the province with the development of ports and commerce and a realization of the Trans-axial Highway that would give convenient access and trigger economic activities. Davide’s administration also committed to support the formulation of a 50-year development plan for a “Mega Cebu.”

On environmental protection and enhancement and disaster preparedness, he vowed to protect Cebu’s watersheds, mangrove areas, and marine sanctuaries. He also declared during the session that disaster risk reduction is a priority in his administration and urged the board members to integrate it into their policies and planning.

Finally, Davide wanted to convene a multi-sectoral partnership to draw Cebu’s development goals and strategy to achieve the above goals. It will be composed of government agencies, economic planners, the local business community, non-government organizations and the ordinary Cebuano in this program.
During the session, the PB gave Davide and Provincial Treasurer’s Office Officer-in-Charge Yolanda Cabando the authority to sign any and all checks drawn against the account of the province in the following depository banks: Development Bank of the Philippines, Landbank of the Philippines, United Coconut Planters’ Bank and Philippine Veteran’s Bank.

As a result of that action of the PB, the Capitol employees will now receive their salaries for the second half of June. The salaries of the Capitol employees had been withheld since last Friday because supporting documents lacked the signature of the Provincial Treasurer.

Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, and all the board members including those who were just elected in the last May election were present during the session.