Magpale: Our Cebu program will be fair, free of politics

Vice Governor Agnes Magpale assured that the Our Cebu program will be fair and free of politics.

This as the program embarks into another season this year.

The vice governor served as program manager of Our Cebu since its inception in 2009 in partnership with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI).

But in 2012 she lost the job. When the new administration took over in 2013, she was tasked to handle the program again.

Now on its sixth year, the program continued to command interest from the local government units (LGUs).

The program is a wholistic approach aimed at developing Cebu’s environment as an “ideal place to live, play, work, invest and do business.”

At least 45 program focal persons from the component cities and towns met Magpale and program evaluators last March 9 for post implementation assessment.

The program evaluators also presented the amended 2015 program criteria anchored on the seven pillars of sustainable development: spiritual, human, social, cultural, political, economic, and ecological.

Magpale said the assembly was called to receive the suggestions and concerns from the ground. She said the inputs of the focal persons are needed to improve the scorecards of the program.

She also promised not to change the scorecards at the course of the evaluation just to accommodate a particular participating LGU.

LGUs that obtained the highest scores are given rewards. The grand prize is P1 million.

Earlier, Governor Hilario P. Davide III told the program evaluators to spend more time in the cities and towns and make a thorough evaluation.

Thus, instead of holding three rounds of assessment, this year there will be only two evaluations to be conducted.

The Our Cebu program was institutionalized through Provincial Ordinance No. 2013-03. It was not implemented in 2013 during the change of administration.

After a one-year hiatus, the program was implemented again. The municipality of San Francisco still emerged as the overall winner since 2009.

The municipality of Liloan also won the Most Exemplary Local Government Unit award. It is also a second placer of the Most Outstanding Local Government Unit in Cebu and Green Champion Local Government Unit in Cebu.

Our Cebu program has been credited for bringing the towns to the country’s tourism map.

San Francisco Tourism Officer Leslie Criste Gok-ong said, “San Franciso is just a small town but when it started winning the Our Cebu program, many national and local tourists visited us.”