A call for unity and cooperation resonated during the inaugural session of the 14th Cebu Provincial Board even as Gov. Hilario Davide III dispelled doubts about the Capitol’s integrity of its procurement process by declaring a failure of bidding in the planned purchase of heavy equipment.
“I declared a failure of bidding in the purchase of heavy equipment. This is to show to you that your governor is not beholden to anyone,” said Davide, drawing loud applause from the audience.
To show that his administration adheres to the principles of transparency and good governance, Davide invited anyone to observe the rebidding process, particularly his critics and members of the media.
“Under the law I’m authorized to declare a failure of bidding. This is for the higher public interest. To dispel all doubts about the integrity of the Capitol’s procurement process, I rejected all the bids and directed the BAC (Bids and Awards Committee) to call for new bids,” said Davide in an interview after the inaugural session.
The planned purchase of heavy equipment was derailed because of malicious accusations of overpricing, he said. The purchase of heavy equipment became a continuous issue during the campaign in the May 9, 2016 election.
“Importante kaayo kini kanato ang heavy equipment labi na nga niabot na ang La Nina,” he added.
Meanwhile, the governor and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale both asked members of the 14th PB to cast aside politics and buckle down to work as the executive and legislative branches join hands in their collective goal of providing “Kalambuan sa Matag Sugbuanon (Progress for every Cebuano)”.
“The person who was seen as enemy yesterday, because there was war being waged, will now be seen as a friend, because life goes on,” said Magpale in her inaugural speech, lifting the lines from the novel, Manuscripts Found in Accra.
The vice governor opened her speech by thanking the governor and citing the formula to their success in their first term by working together as a team.
“Trusting each other and making room for each other’s strengths and weaknesses; acting in agreement and accountability. Even as we belong to different departments playing different roles, I am sincerely elated to work with him (Davide) again,” Magpale said.
She enumerated some major accomplishments of the past PB such as the passage of the Investment and Incentive Code as well as the Environment and Revenue Codes. The Tourism Code will follow soon, she added.
Magpale, who champions the welfare of women and children, said the Children and Women Codes need to be revisited as new crimes are invented.
In response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to combat illegal drugs, the 13th PB has created the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drugs Abuse Office, Magpale said.
Moreover, Davide laid down his priorities and legislative agenda and requested support from incoming and new PB members.
These include the upgrading of hospitals, construction of more classrooms, and the continuation of the farmer-scientist training program (FSTP), all of which are in line with his six-key agenda.
Davide also requested support for his flagship programs including the trans-axial highway, a freeway that connects the north and south of Cebu, the Bantayan and Camotes airports and the construction of a 12-story resource center at the Capitol compound.
“Kung di man kini mahuman sa karon na administrasyon, nanghinaut ko na masugdan na unta kini,” said Davide, referring to the trans-axial highway and the planned airports in Bantayan and Camotes islands.