Cebu Gov. Hilario P. Davide III welcomed back the Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 to a Capitol-owned lot on M. Velez St., Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City on Thursday, Jan. 17, where the agency used to hold office.
Davide, together with DA 7 Director Salvador Diputado, led the groundbreaking ceremony, which officially starts the construction of the DA 7 regional headquarters inside the DA Compound.
DA Undersecretary Roldan Gorgonio and officials of ML Construction, the private contractor that won the bidding for the project, attended the ceremony.
“I would like to welcome you all back here,” Davide said in a speech, which earned cheers and applauses from the DA 7 employees who also turned up for the ceremony.
“Gipahawa man ta dinhi hangtud nahimo ta’ng eskwater didto sa Mandaue Experiment Station nga mao na’y atong gigamit nga opisina hangtud karon, which is very uncomfortable,” Diputado said, who delivered the welcome address.
Diputado said that the DA 7 had held office inside the Capitol-owned DA Compound for at least 50 years since September 1959, through a usufruct contract with then governor Jose Briones, until they were told to leave the area on Feb. 19, 2010. This happened following the decision of the previous administration to rescind the usufruct agreement.
“Then gipapahawa ta niadtong Feb. 19, 2010,” Deputado said.
In June 2018, Davide and DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol finally signed a usufruct agreement allowing the agriculture office to use the 2,684-square-meter lot inside the compound.
The proposed new DA 7 regional office is a two-story building, with a budget of P79.590 million. It is expected to be completed within 360 calendar days, said Engr. Rachel Lumapas of the Department of Public Works and Highways 7.
“Suportado sad kaayo ni Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, pinaagi sa atong Sanguniang Panlalawigan nga nagpalabang og resolusyon nga maghatag og katungod ni Gov. Davide nga mopirma sa contract of usufruct,” said Diputado, who thanked the Capitol officials for allowing them to return to their “home.”