I believe in change.
I believe in my fellow Cebuanos.
I stood before you one year ago today, I promised change. I also promised hard work ahead. I asked all of you to sacrifice.
The challenge then, and now, demands sacrifice from all of us, the work ahead demands utmost diligence, skills, energy and determination from all of us, individually and collectively.
The burden is great. But not as heavy if shared among many shoulders.
The Honorable Agnes A. Magpale, Vice-Governor and Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Cebu; the Honorable Members of this August Body; Fellow Servants of the People; Ladies and Gentlemen:
Let us recall our first Stakeholders Summit we promised during our campaign.
On October 2, 2013, we saw very enthusiastic sectoral groups participating in designing our development roadmap. It was a humbling experience for me to hear people expressing their aspirations and sharing their ideas passionately – aspirations, ideas and very substantial proposals – long suppressed.
The sum of that Consultative Summit was: everybody wants a better life. We want adequate food; we want a healthy family; we want our children to attain an education higher than what we have; and, we want our homes to be more comfortable.
And so, we said: let us begin with what our people need the most, what we can do given what we have.
Trying Times, Unexpected, But Positive Results
While we were preparing and working on our priority programs, the 2013 triple whammy hit us hard, very hard, one after the other: two ships collided off Cebu last August, a major earthquake shook the region in October, and then super typhoon Yolanda swept the northern part of the province in November destroying lives, crops, livelihood and houses. These calamities tested the limits of our capacities to cope with them and survive as a community.
And yet, we never wavered in our belief that we can survive, and not just survive, but be better than we were before. We were fortunate to have the strong partnership with and support from volunteer groups, the private sector, civil society and non-government organizations, national government agencies, foreign governments, international development agencies, and other resource institutions.
In the just-concluded 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Thailand, UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction Margareta Wahlström said, and I quote: “Strengthening LGUs would put the Philippines in a very good space. Manila could also adopt some best practices by model local governments like Albay and Cebu. The city government of Manila and other LGUs should embrace disaster resilience programs at the local level by strengthening the role of women, children, the youth and persons with disabilities in disaster risk reduction planning and management.” End of quote.
With humility, this is a Grand Slam statement – a shining testament to the resiliency of the Cebuanos and effective performance of a rookie administration providing the enabling environment.
We have worked hard – creating unexpected, but positive change, here and abroad. This would not have happened without God’s guidance.
Padayon ta sa pagpalig-on sa atung mga panimalay ug mga barangay. Nalipay kita sa P12.2 Billion rehabilitation plan approved for Cebu Province by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery. Apan mas malipayon kitang tanan ug natukod na ang mga balay, nibalik na ang mga panginabuhi sa atung mga kaigsuonan, ug mas lig-on na ang atung pagbantay sa kalamidad nga dili kalikayan.
This is a work-in-progress that should inspire all of us to do better, create more opportunities, and share the benefits.
Our Road Map When We Started
Let us review the development agenda we have initially crafted.
Our ultimate goal is improved living conditions, especially for those in the countryside. We will accomplish this through the active participation of all sectors, amidst a culture of transparency and accountability.
The situation then – and now – calls for inclusive, more balanced growth. We must – as we are doing now – continue to reach out to the countryside.
Towards this end, we have been and shall continue to relentlessly address key concerns and issues of the different sectors and stakeholders.
We have provided P231 Million in financial assistance to our barangays and towns to fund their various priority projects such as the installation or repair of water systems; the repair or rehabilitation of barangay halls, barangay health centers, day care centers; and concreting of roads. The funds were disbursed directly to the barangays and towns. This is part of our desire to empower our barangay and municipal officials.
In recognition of the great spirit of volunteerism, we gave out P47 Million to the Barangay Health Workers, Nutrition Scholars, Animal Health Aides, Day Care Workers, and Barangay Tanods all throughout the province.
Highlights of Accomplishments
Health and Social Services
Last June, 2014, I issued Executive Order No. 10 creating a project team to fast track the renovation of hospital facilities and the acquisition of hospital equipment for the different provincial and district hospitals. We have started to partner with other local government units, like Pangasinan, to look for model hospitals and cooperate with the Department of Health, medical groups and the private sector in delivering efficient and effective health and medical services to our constituents, particularly the indigents in the countryside.
Because of the support of our Provincial Board and untiring efforts of our Provincial Health Office, the Department of Health has upgraded the status of ten of our sixteen province-owned hospitals to Level One. These are our hospitals in Bogo City, Danao City, Carcar City, Bantayan, Tuburan, San Francisco, Argao, Barili, Badian, and Sogod. The necessary hospital equipment, supplies and medical teams are now available to perform surgical procedures. Laboratory examinations and other medical services, such as ultra-sound and ECG, are also now available.
The DOH also provided P173.5 Million under the Health Facility Enhancement Program. Eight hospitals have been completely rehabilitated. The Badian District Hospital is 98 percent complete and the Isidro Kintanar District Hospital in Argao is already 75 percent complete. The rehabilitation of the six other district hospitals is ongoing.
A key component of our health service program is PhilHealth. Under this program, a total of 168,573 members have benefited during the period. We have enrolled all our barangay health workers, day care center workers, barangay nutrition scholars, barangay animal health aides and barangay tanods as our gesture of appreciation and in recognition of their volunteerism. Our less fortunate constituents in the province who are admitted as patients in our district and provincial hospitals shall be enrolled under the Point-of-Care program of PhilHealth. This is a major advantage we have gained in the upgrading of our hospitals and our partnership with PhilHealth.
We have provided new ambulances to six of our provincial and district hospitals: Balamban, Bogo City, Danao City, Carcar City, Badian and Oslob worth P1.2 Million each.
Thanks to the Office of the Vice-Governor and the Provincial Health Office, we were able to conduct medical missions in thirty-five towns. There will be more of these medical missions.
We are happy to report that dengue cases recorded between January and May this year dropped by over 70 percent compared to the same period last year. And we thank the various Rotary Clubs in Cebu for lending us their time, their resources, their skills, and their service to this most worthy cause.
We are also undertaking hospital personnel upgrading. When we came in, there was a total of 309 medical personnel. As of the end of June, 2014, there are now 542 medical personnel, including four medical consultants. We will hire more.
One of the difficulties we met when we came in last year was the absence of skilled medical personnel. This was the result of the policy of outsourcing of temporary doctors and nurses who come in and soon leave. The dysfunctional system destroyed succession and mentoring.
There shall be no more outsourcing of medical personnel.
We have committed to provide for the needs of the vulnerable sectors. We shall now be able to formalize our programs for them through the creation of specific councils. I thank the Provincial Board for the creation of the Provincial Senior Citizens Council. I now urge the Provincial Board to pass an ordinance creating the Provincial Youth Council to address programs specifically intended for the youth.
Education and Technical Vocational Training
We are working with the Department of Education and the private sector like the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. to build more and better classrooms and facilities for elementary and high school students in the different parts of the province.
We have also strengthened our cooperation with the business sector and the national government, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Department of Labor and Employment, in particular, for more vigorous and responsive vocational-technical training programs.
We are always reminded by our campaign promise: those wanting to learn – the youth, women, and persons with disabilities – shall have the opportunity to acquire skills, and those wanting to work, can make a decent living.
We appropriated P149 Million for education this year. This is for our scholarship programs, school buildings, books, and other learning materials. We also appropriated a total of P7 Million to 31 public schools damaged by typhoon Yolanda.
Over the past year, we have trained 421 out-of-school youth through skills training in cellular phone repairs, silkscreen painting, welding, sewing and food processing in coordination with TESDA. Today, 269 of them have already put up their own businesses or gone abroad, and the remaining 152 went back to school.
Our scholarship program supports education for the poor.
In 2013, 478 valedictorians and salutatorians were granted scholarships. The figure is expected to increase in 2014. Fifty-five valedictorian-scholars successfully graduated, thirty-seven of them graduated with high honors. All graduates received monetary rewards from your Provincial Government.
We have strengthened our partnerships with various private organizations to address the need for more jobs for the growing Cebuano workforce in the province. We have our regular local and international job fairs.
We have agreed with Bluewater Academy for a skills training program dedicated to workers and those wishing to work in the tourism sector. We expect this engagement to produce better qualified Cebuanos for this very important industry. The academy is accommodating trainees coming from the towns. This agreement shall be encouraged for more private-public partnership in scholarships.
Between July, 2013 and June, 2014, our Public Employment Service Office, or PESO, found employment for more than 70 percent of over 15,000 applicants who sought help.
Over 1,600 students were provided financial assistance under the Special Program for the Employment of Students. Under Republic Act No. 7323, the Provincial Government pays 60 percent of their wages, while the Department of Labor and Employment assumes the remaining 40 percent in the form of Education Vouchers payable to the schools they are enrolled in.
We have revived and expanded the Farmer-Scientist Training Program to increase yield per unit area of farm. Sukad pas una ug hangtod karun, aku mituo nga anaa sa mag-uuma nanukad ang kaugmaran sa kalungsuran. Sustainable development begins with ensuring food.
As of now, over 26,000 farmers have undergone trainings under the FSTP. Lilia Abear of Barangay Vive in Ronda could barely harvest enough to feed her family until the next harvest season. Today, she says, “mahimo na ko kabaligya.” She produces more than the family can consume and she is able to sell the excess. The Provincial Agriculturist reports that FSTP graduates in San Fernando, Danao City and Borbon enjoy up to 400 percent increase in corn yield per hectare. This means from the average 800 kilos per hectare per harvest to as much as 2.5 tons per hectare per harvest.
We are working on interventions in farming and fishing communities to increase income, to ensure food on the table and a decent shelter, and to be able to send their children to school.
We are preparing for our participation in the P27.5 Billion World Bank-funded Philippine Rural Development Program managed by the Department of Agriculture.
This program seeks to increase productivity, lessen risks and vulnerability, and enhance and protect the environment where subsistence farmers and sustenance fisherfolk make a living; to guide small and medium sized farmers to diversification and better market access; and to help small commercial farmers reduce their cost of doing business and effect change in institutions and regulations that distort the market.
I will propose to the Provincial Board to allocate P1 Million in financial assistance to each LGU for FSTP farmers’ training, production and marketing by next year.
The Province is also cooperating with The Asia Foundation and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry on a road investments development study that seeks to identify strategic road links in the towns, connecting towns, and connecting communities in the rural areas. The study seeks to find more convenient and efficient links between producers, processors and consumers.
Product-to-market, raw materials-to-processors, processors-to-final consumers. These shall be our strategic road links toward a more progressive rural community.
We hosted the very first Aqua-Marine Trade Fair last May, 2014. It showcased a variety of marine products ranging from dried fish and squid to seaweed extracts, decorative shells and aqua marine feeds from Santa Fe, Bantayan, Cordova, Danao City, Consolacion, Daanbantayan, Alcantara, Sibonga, Minglanilla, Balamban and Talisay City.
We are working on strategies to encourage organic agriculture, and to raise consumer awareness of the advantages of organically-grown fruits, vegetables, poultry and swine.
Our Provincial Veterinary Office has brought missions to 34 LGUs, assisted 28 LGUs in the implementation of animal welfare programs, and continuously conduct meat inspections in 35 LGUs. It provided more assistance in the establishment of forage nurseries, in dairy development and in rabies eradication.
Our Artificial Insemination Program has helped 2,500 farmer cooperators, spread out in 45 LGUs, and produced almost 3,000 large cattle worth P43.15 Million.
We have also adopted the countryside programs of cooperatives as a pilot collaborative project. We are currently supporting their initiatives in the cacao production program benefitting the small farmers in the countryside.
This is just the beginning.
Infrastructure Development and Private Sector Cooperation
Progress can be sustained only if there is a clear vision and a detailed plan. The Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, is working with the private sector and the local government units on the east coast of the Province, from Danao City in the north to Carcar City in the south in the Mega Cebu Project. The objective is a long-term plan for urban development. This covers roads and transport, gateways to the neighbouring islands, land zoning, drainage and sewerage, waste management and other concerns of urbanization.
This visioning reaches out to the year 2050. We do this because we want the future Cebu to be better than today. Because we want the future mayors and the future provincial officials to look back and thank us for today… dili ta balikason.
We have undertaken various infrastructure projects including school buildings, agricultural and health facilities, and waterworks. By far, more than 170 kilometers of roads have been rehabilitated and/or repaired.
To improve and maintain these roads and to open new ones, we would need new heavy equipment. And we shall be acquiring P200 Million worth of heavy equipment this year.
The future expanded Mactan Cebu International Airport will bring in more passengers, domestic and foreign, and more commerce into Cebu. A third Mactan-Cebu link is currently being studied spanning Barangay Pilipog in Cordova to Shell Island. This P15 Billion project is expected to start next year and should be operational by 2018. This will allow more convenience for travellers from the southern towns of the province to access the airport.
Both the airport and the third bridge shall be funded by the private sector.
We are now studying how we can make more convenient, faster and more economical travel time north to south. On the macro level, efficient transportation and the mobility it confers have positive impact on production outputs, employment and incomes and the economy in general. On the micro level, it speeds up inter-action in the complex web between producers and consumers and opens up economic opportunities.
We can widen and improve the coastal highways encircling the island, we can push through with the Trans Axial Highway running through the middle of the island. We can even consider railroads. These options are being studied.
As in the airport and the bridge, we will engage the private sector in this proposal.
I have requested the Department of Transportation and Communications thru the Board of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority to conduct feasibility studies on the Sta. Fe and San Francisco airports. We hope to have these airports built and operational before our term ends.
We support the private sector in their initiatives to develop tourism. We see tourism as a key industry and an effective trigger to economic development.
We will continue to institute well-organized programs to showcase Cebu’s arts and culture. Our own Capitol, will be beautified and be part of a Heritage Walk. We will continue to banner our natural advantages, and enhance and protect our ecology.
The choice of Cebu as the host of the recent “Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions 2014,” which was a segment of the 23rd World Economic Forum’s East Asia Regional Summit held in Manila last May, is yet another milestone in fostering cooperation with the private sector and bringing Cebu to world attention.
I thank the Provincial Board for enacting the 2014 Investments and Incentives Code for the Province of Cebu that seeks to provide improved investment climate and bring development and jobs to the countryside.
Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Reduction
We will continue to protect Cebu as our home – our land resources, the watersheds, the mangrove areas, our marine sanctuaries. The fisherfolk and farmers depend on these for their livelihood. There shall always be a sustainable, prudent and responsible use of our natural resources. We shall strengthen our coastal and marine resources conservation and protection services. We shall be embarking on our Barangay Agro Forestry greening program with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
We have a Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office focused on capacity building of LGUs and barangays and climate change adaptation. This office is tasked to formulate and undertake disaster preparedness and risk management programs, including production of hazard maps and the formulation of disaster contingency plans. All plans shall be conscious of and adapted to climate change. Our Task Force Paglig-on and PDRRMO will monitor the P12.2 Billion rehabilitation and recovery program in northern Cebu.
We are proud of our PDRRMO. The Office of the President cited our efforts related to typhoon Yolanda. The quick assessment, the coordination with the private sector both here and outside the country, and the programs and project proposals, including their implementation, monitoring and evaluation to ensure transparency and accountability, were described by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Recovery and Rehabilitation as “the template” to be used by the Office of the President for the rest of the country.
Atong gi siguro nga ang matukud nga balay, tungha-an, ang bag-o unyang masugdan nga panguma ug panginabuhi, mas lig-on ug dili sayon nga mapuhag, simbako lang, sa sunod nga katalagman.
Law and Order
Part of the effort to mitigate natural disasters is environmental protection. We have intensified our efforts to stop illegal quarrying and the wanton destruction of our shores and river banks.
Just before we came in, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office collected P1 Million in fines and penalties from illegal quarrying and hauling of sand and gravel. This doubled to P2.2 Million in 2013. As of end June, 2014, PENRO collected P2 Million in fines and by year-end, we expect figures to double that of last year.
Simultaneous with these operations, are our efforts to provide alternative livelihood to “pala-pala” operators. Our cadre of community organizers work with the PENRO to encourage them to start small backyard integrated farm systems.
Our Provincial Task Force on Illegal Fishing caught seven fishing boats illegally plying municipal waters, and apprehended over 30 trucks of illegally caught fish.
We are seriously and acutely aware of the need to protect our natural resources and our community.
Do not trifle with our intents.
Our inmates at the Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center have been provided better food and opportunities in education through the Alternative Learning System, livelihood options, and counselling. Besides the dancing inmates, we now have a boxing team in the CPDRC. It is hoped that these reforms will turn them into responsible and useful citizens when they return to their communities. We have intensified our efforts to protect our communities and fight crimes, especially against women trafficking and child abuse. Through the Cebu Provincial Women’s Commission, 114 cases involving violence against women and children have been filed. The PWC has provided psycho-socio-medical-legal services to 495 victims of violence, and given shelter to 14 victims of abuse and sent them to school.
We remain dedicated to the campaign against illegal drugs.
We should all unite against this insidious menace. Drug addiction ravages human beings, breaks up families, destroys our society.
I am asking the municipalities to duplicate the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council and involve all sectors in a broader effort against illegal drugs. All component cities and municipalities must allocate a budget solely for anti-drug programs as mandated by Section 51 of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. This is not a problem solely of the police, or of the local government officials. This is a problem of communities, of neighbourhoods, of families.
Next month, the CPADAC will start an anti-drug abuse program among the youth in the municipalities. We have given incentives to the regional office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Cebu Provincial Police Office to support their anti-illegal drugs campaign.
Everyone must be involved.
Usa sa dakong isyu in 2010 mao ang pagpalit og katunggan dinha sa Barangay Tinaan sa dakbayan sa Naga. The Balili case involved almost P100 Million of provincial money. The case remains pending in the Sandiganbayan. However this case turns out, I assure the people of Tinaan and of Naga City that I will not allow their neighbourhood to become a dumping ground of coal ash or any pollutant.
The graft-tainted Cebu International Convention Center is another issue pending in the Office of the Ombudsman. I assure the Cebuanos that not a single centavo more will be spent to reconstruct or repair this building.
Sustaining the Gains
This administration believes in empowering our human resources. It is imperative that we continue to improve our systems and structures to achieve our development goals.
Our Provincial Administrator’s Office has initiated an aggressive human resource program to professionalize the Capitol workforce. We have installed competency-based human resource management systems, while establishing a service-oriented technical pool for the Provincial Government.
We have launched a comprehensive employee development program starting with trainings and wellness activities for our employees’ professional and personal growth.
We will utilize our sisterhood or twinning agreements, like the Busan (South Korea)-Cebu Sisterhood Program, which provides bilateral assistance such as scholarship grants for permanent Capitol staff, international training support, and cultural exchanges.
Just as we provide space and facility for growth, so shall we now demand from ourselves and our co-workers in the Provincial Government higher standards of discipline and work ethic, aligned with the values of honesty, transparency, and accountability.
Our development planning processes have now been made participative, integrated, comprehensive and strategic.
Participative – through continuing summits and consultations;
Integrated and comprehensive – through establishing databases and the installation of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
And strategic – through long-term planning based on your needs and objectives.
We envision that soon our Provincial Planning and Development Office can, at any given time, advise municipalities on where the Province’s water supply is, where we need to build more schools or bridges or roads, where our disaster prone areas are or where to locate our vulnerable sectors.
We have taken advantage of technology and automated our processes. For instance, we have computerized our Payroll System. Thanks to the Provincial Accountant’s Office, employees of the Provincial Government are guaranteed a take home pay of at least P5,000.00 every payday.
In the long run, we shall become a paperless office to reduce costs and shorten processing time.
Among the computerized systems we have implemented are: 1) the Expense Management System – an application that integrates all departments, taxpayers, and vendors that will fast track payment processes; 2) the Legislative Record Tracking System – an extensive detailed tracking system for all types of ordinances and resolutions; and 3) the Document Tracking System. All of these innovations shall contribute to improved efficiency in our office operations to serve the public better.
Our net revenues have more than doubled from 2013 levels. We now have a cash balance of P751 Million. Moreover, the Special Education Fund increased by 42% as of May, 2014, compared to last year. This was due mainly to more efficient tax collection, better fiscal management and significant increase in private-public partnerships. This substantial increment in our coffers can now fund our aggressive plans, projects, and activities for the coming years.
We were awarded by the Bureau of Local Government Finance as the No. 1 Local Government Unit in Region 7 in terms of Real Property Tax Collection for 2013 in recognition of our efforts to strictly impose Provincial Ordinances and Laws on Taxation.
Also, our Provincial Assessor was recognized as 2nd in Region 7 for garnering an increase of 10% in Taxable Assessed Value for real properties in the province.
We have instituted reforms in the procurement process at our Bids and Awards Committee. As a result, we have reduced the procurement costs of various supplies. For example, one transaction involving the purchase of schoolbooks alone saved the Province almost P10 Million. Similar price changes in medicines and fuel, among others, have been negotiated in favour of the Province. All these savings translate to more resources and services going to the people.
In the services sector, providers are now subject to more stringent evaluation procedures. I have learned my lesson in the recent security agency issue. The evaluation system is yet a work-in-progress and subject to closer scrutiny and inquiry – both from within and from you – the public, the media in particular.
The journey of reforms in this area has definitely not been easy. Detractors and critics perversely wish us to fail. As we go through the pains of drastically cleansing our highly vulnerable procurement process, let me assure you that we are moving in the direction of transparency and will always welcome your continued vigilance in this most critical service.
Restoring Public Trust in Public Service Through Good Governance
The pillars for good governance require awareness, cooperation, determination, and sacrifice from all of us.
It starts with me and the people on my team.
We have restored the people’s faith in public service through good governance.
The business community, particularly the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is very much an active partner in Yolanda rehabilitation efforts, in the development of tourism circuits in the north, and in skills and entrepreneurship training for those in the industry with a P5 Million grant from the Canadian Government through the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Local Economic Development Program. The Chamber also assists the Province in the rural road planning in the south with the Australian-supported Asia Foundation. We must thank the Chamber and their key officers for their willingness to lend us their time, their patience, their skills and their resources.
Pagtambayayong Foundation, Inc. and the Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative are engaged with the Province in developing the cacao industry. Several cooperatives are now working with us to channel Central Bank’s micro-lending facility for the rural businessman. We have increased private sector participation in the Provincial Development Council.
We have an ongoing partnership with InnoPub Media and Smart Communications for digital tourism that promotes easy and timely access to information about Cebu for the convenience of visitors.
We have asked the Provincial Government of Saitama, Japan, through its partnership with the University of San Jose- Recoletos, to assist us in skills training for our technical students. The government of Busan, South Korea, has committed to sponsor a scholarship program for the Provincial Government. The Province has also engaged Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Stiftung for a three year program to bring together local government units and the private sector to cooperate for integrity and a transparent, effective and efficient small business registration and promotion procedures.
I will seek the Provincial Board’s approval to establish in our Capitol grounds a public-private partnership multi-storey resource centre that will house revenue generating units, office spaces, an operations and command post for the PDRRMO, and meeting and training facilities. This is one of the centrepieces of our revitalized economic enterprise program during our term.
So much more needs to be done.
Until the subsistence farmer and fisherman can properly feed their families and send their children to school, we cannot rest.
Until we all realize our vulnerabilities and are prepared for natural disasters; until we realize that taking care of Mother Nature is everyone’s concern, we will not rest.
Thank you, fellow public servants, particularly our hardworking department heads.
This journey to make our Cebu better is not about me; it is not about you. It is about us.
It is about working together, doing our own share in building a prosperous community for the present and future generations.
Join us and be counted.
And the foundation for all of these and any effort towards improving the lives of our people is always Good Governance. Without Good Governance, all effort is doomed from the start.
Dili ta makatukod ug balay ibabaw sa lapok. Bisag unsa kalig-on ang haligi, ug dili maayong pagkahanig ang foundation, dali ra kining matumpag.
This was our campaign platform. This was the message of my inaugural address.
Mao kini itanum sa atong hunahuna. Mao kini batunan sa atong kasing-kasing. Mao kini lamdag sa atong pagtuman sa pagsalig nga gitahas kanato.
As the Vice-Governor called out, “let us be comrades” in this mission.
Let us work together and build a solid gateway to progress.
Finally, let me quote President Noynoy Aquino. He said: “We will start to make these changes first in ourselves – by doing the right things, by giving value to excellence and integrity and rejecting mediocrity and dishonesty, and by giving priority to others over ourselves.”
In this journey to a better life, there is no other time for us to join hands but now.
Daghan gyud kaayong salamat. I wish all of us success in our endeavours. God bless us all. God bless Cebu.