The Philippines’ newly elected governors including Cebu Governor Hilario P. Davide III received a “Peer to Peer Orientation” on Friday, August 16 held at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel.
Sponsored by the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) headed by Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali, this was the third time the event was held in Cebu.
The country’s youngest Camarines Sur (Camsur) Governor Miguel “Migs” Villafuerte of Camarines Sur, 24, was also in attendance. His father and predecessor Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte joined him as one of the speakers.
Agusan del Sur Governor Adolf Edward Plaza, Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. and Laguna Governor Jeorge “ER” Ejercito Estregan were also part of the speakers in the later part of the orientation.
After his presentation, Davide shook hands with the elder Villafuerte outside Manila room of Marco Polo while Villafuerte was interviewed by the media.
Davide called the peer as the legendary governor of Camsur, who engineered its metamorphosis from being the second poorest province into the county’s 10th richest province in 2007- the year when the province’s income reached P1.56 billion.
In his presentation, three-termer governor said that while most local government units (LGUs) focused on the traditional modes of acquiring revenues through taxes, he focused more on the LGUs’corporate power embodied in the local government code.
He said the increase in revenues was due to the economic enterprise that he ventured into and was mostly anchored on the tourism industry in the province. In 2009 and 2010, Camsur became the top tourist destination, surpassing Manila and Cebu Province in the year 2009 and 2010.
Camsur is famous for its beaches and sports activities such as wakeboarding. It also hosted the country’s top triathlon Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines in the year 2009-2011.
At the start of his governorship, he said he always looked up to the top tourist destination in the country like Cebu as his model. He added exercising the corporate power of the LGUs involved risks but with caution. Luckily, for Camsur, he said his investment in infrastructure and economic enterprise worked. (Xerxes Alkuino)