Cebu is a gateway to the global opportunities and challenges. Managing development in a broader perspective, where diverse participation is the guiding principle of governance, requires collective participation at all levels.
Governor Hilario P. Davide III expresses simple participatory and collaborative style of enabling leadership. He believes in restoring the public’s trust through good governance.
With its mandate to serve the best interests of the people, a Stakeholders’ Summit, which gathered various sectors, was able to formulate the roadmap for long-term development goals for the Province of Cebu.
The summit was anchored on building sustainable and resilient communities. Through this, the Governor’s Six-Key Development Agenda was crafted.
- Health and Social Services
Health and social services program has become the face of the Governor’s agenda to provide a better quality of life for the Cebuanos. The provision of basic social services is an essential part towards economic development. The Cebu Provincial Government aims to ensure that everyone receives adequate basic services in the community.
This agenda emphasizes a comprehensive and holistic well-being for individuals, families and communities by increasing the provision of basic services especially to the poor and more vulnerable sectors – the children, women and mothers, and the elderly.
The upgrading of facilities and improvement of infrastructures in the different provincial and district hospitals will ensure that full and easy access to high quality and professional healthcare services is delivered. In addition to the hospital renovation and acquisition of equipment, the government pushes to instill capacity building and training development to fully professionalize the healthcare industry services in Cebu.
Together with the PhilHeatlh, the introduction of the Point-of-Care enrolment program provides easier access to healthcare services to the poor members of the society. The program will automatically include all the indigent families in the DSWD’s poverty list known as Listahan ng mga Pamilyang Nangangailangan.
With its full commitment to provide for the needs of the disadvantaged members of the community, the establishment of specific councils will formalize the social programs addressing the needs of the people. The delivery of health and social services to the poor and vulnerable sectors is a high priority of the government.
- Countryside Development
A balanced growth is much desired between the needs of the urban core, and those of the countryside, between the limits of nature and the demands of a rapidly increasing population.
The rapid urbanization in the cities creates disparity and thus the need to alleviate congestion in the urban core and to trigger development and economic opportunities. In pursuit of inclusive growth for economic development, this agenda seeks for an equitable development in the countryside to unlock the potential of rural areas.
The Cebu Provincial Government is working on farming and fishing interventions in communities to spur more economic activities in the locales so that people will no longer move to the big cities. The government is encouraging the locals to adopt technological innovations that will ensure food production and provide decent shelters in the rural areas.
The revival and expansion of the Farmer-Scientist Training Program aims to improve farming operations, boost productivity and increase competitiveness. 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.
Collaborating with the Department of Agriculture, the P27.5 Billion World Bank-funded Philippine Rural Development Program seeks to increase productivity, lessen risks and vulnerability, and protect the environment. This program enables subsistence farmers and sustenance fisherfolk make a living.
By providing infrastructure support and better market access, the program reduces the cost of doing business and brings more income to the farming and fishing communities.
To fast track the development in the countryside, the construction of a strategic road network will link the towns and connect the communities in the rural areas. Creating access to market roads and efficient links will create value chains between producers, processors and consumers. Such initiatives will lower costs and open more market opportunities in the countryside.
Cebu will continue to host local and international trade fair shows to showcase local products from the different municipalities. Recognizing the need to encourage organic agriculture, strategic initiatives such as consumer awareness on the advantages of organically-grown fruits, vegetables, poultry and swine will be instituted.
The ultimate goal of this agenda is to improve living conditions, especially for those in the countryside. To accomplish this, it needs active participation of all sectors, through a culture of transparency and accountability.
- Education and Technical Vocational Training
Education plays a vital role in national development as it contributes to the economic growth of the communities. The Governor believes that education is one effective way of eradicating poverty.
This requires collaboration with the national government agencies and private sector to ensure adequate classrooms, competent teachers, and an environment conducive to instruction and learning. The construction of school buildings, better classrooms and facilities for elementary and high school students in the different parts of the province is a priority. Scholarship programs, library kits, sufficient books and learning materials will be available to provide quality education for all.
The K- 12 Program, which aims to rise up to global standards and emphasizes on technical vocational training, is the latest innovation of the Department of Education towards a better, more suitable education to this generation of school children.
Cebu will continue to provide more responsive vocational-technical training programs with the cooperation of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Department of Labor and Employment. Skills training programs will be given especially to the vulnerable sectors of the society. Private-public partnerships for education will open more learning and employment opportunities for the Cebuano community.
- Environmental Protection, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management
Cebu is endowed with rich natural resources – the watersheds, the mangrove areas, the marine sanctuaries. However, recent disasters brought by natural hazards and man-made calamities have damaged thousands of lives, properties, infrastructure and income opportunities.
These threats to the increasing populace and growing businesses are getting more serious, thus a dire need to adopt concrete and stable solutions to address these issues. Part of the effort to mitigate natural disasters is environmental protection. Vulnerability assessment reports are developed at the provincial level to identify hazard prone areas. The province has adopted the integration of disaster risk reduction plans with the development plans and policies.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office currently focuses on the capacity building of LGUs and barangays and climate change adaptation. The 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. Information, education and campaign at the community level are now intensified to develop a culture of safety at all levels and develop adoptive capacities to climate change among communities.
To strengthen coastal and marine resources conservation and protection, the programs will be instituted to encourage sustainable, prudent and responsible use of the natural resources. One of the initiatives is the Barangay Agro Forestry greening program in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The environmental and disaster risk reduction agenda aims to call for local participation in creating proactive actions making communities resilient and sustainable.
- Infrastructure Development, Tourism and Investment Promotion
The competitiveness of a community can be determined with its infrastructure development. The rapid urbanization of Cebu is causing prominent problems such as narrow roads, traffic management issues, and sewage and seepage problems. The current infrastructure of Cebu is technologically and industrially outdated thus needs for concrete solutions to address the issues of congestion, mobility and efficiency.
The development agenda pushes for a more balanced approach to ensure a more efficient place for work, a more convenient area for leisure and a livable environment to raise families.
Recognizing the need to find alternative solutions, the Cebu Provincial Government is working with the private industries and the academe in creating a framework plan for the development of Cebu. The alliance requires participation of the local government units in making decisions and providing support to this project.
The expansion of Mactan Cebu International Airport will bring in more passengers, domestic and foreign, and more commerce into Cebu. This future expansion will require a third Mactan-Cebu link that will allow more convenience for travelers from the southern towns of the province to access the airport. Furthermore, a construction of major road will connect all existing road networks at both ends of the island with convenient access to the shoreline. A study has been conducted to provide a more convenient, faster and more economical time to travel north to south.
Off-farm income opportunities that have started to fuel up the economy in the countryside have included tourism. Tourism is a key industry and an effective trigger to economic development. Urban tourism has its spillover to the countryside where natural resources like a natural white beach, magnificent waterfalls, a beautiful mountain peak or world class diving sites have attracted tourists, foreign and domestic.
The enactment of 2014 Investment and Incentives Code for the Province of Cebu by the Provincial Board pushes to establish an improved investment climate, job generation opportunities and development in the countryside areas.
To attract more investors and establish a business-friendly environment, the government is gearing up for implementation of programs that will further improve the ease of doing business with Business Permits and Licensing System of the Department of Trade and Industry. Streamlining of processes and adopting innovations at the local level will create a more positive experience for investors and businessmen.
The Center of Investment and Promotion Office of the Province of Cebu is working with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Tourism and Department of Trade and Industry in creating a community-based, eco-friendly and sustainable tourism in Cebu. This tourism program will train locals to conserve, preserve, and develop the potential natural resource to operate and own the benefits the tourist site can generate.
By March 2016, Cebu will be known as a top travel destination for tourists and a premier hub for international investors.
- Law and order
The promotion of peace and order is a shared responsibility. While there are national government institutions tasked to address lawlessness, the local government units are equally accountable in maintaining peace and order among their communities as provided for under the general welfare provision of the Local Government Code.
Cebu Province works in close and functional coordination with the law-enforcement agencies to have a unified and strongly coordinated mechanism in carrying out programs to address the current problems in criminality, illegal drugs, human trafficking, child pornography and disruption of public order.
Aggressive campaigns against illegal drugs have been sustained. The Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CPADAC) has been working with all sectors of the community in a broader effort against illegal drugs. Anti-drug abuse programs are actively implemented among the youth in the municipalities. Close partnership with the regional office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Justice and the Cebu Provincial Police Office is maintained to support anti-illegal drugs campaign.
Guided by the principle of human transformation, the Cebu Provincial Government ensures that inmates at the Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center are given opportunities to reform. Aside from the provision of basic needs in terms of better food and living quarters, inmates are recipients of livelihood projects and access to education through the Alternative Learning System. Besides the dancing inmates, the CPDRC now has boxing teams, bakeshop, and auto repair. It is hoped that these reforms will turn the inmates into responsible and useful citizens when they’ve served their sentence and return to their communities.
The government’s ability to facilitate peace and order has direct impact on the sustained and inclusive development of the country. Peaceful and productive communities attract both foreign and local investments which in turn translate to vast employment opportunities for the people.