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By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Thursday, June 18, 2020
Gov. Gwen Garcia calls on all town and city mayors of Cebu Province to take the lead in giving their constituents hope as the Province moves forward amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. (Lito Tecson)

The country went through a flu epidemic, but was there ever a shutdown of the economy? The Philippines experienced an epidemic of pneumonia that killed over an estimated 50,000 people yearly, but did we lock down communities?

Asking that, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia reiterated her point in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic in a manner that is based on data that already came in months after these all started.

In the Cebu Mayors Consultative Meeting last June 17, she told local chief executives how a commentary penned by Filipino activist and 2003 Right Livelihood Awardee Nicanor Jesus “Nick” Perlas substantiated Covid-19 as a “global fraud perpetuated on humanity.”

“Assuming the virus is contagious, so what? Contagion does not equate with ability to kill. One can easily catch the virus (contagion) but the virus may not be deadly,” this statement of his supported the position of Governor Garcia.

With this, Garcia called on mayors of the 44 towns and seven component cities to take the lead in giving people hope.

“Taga-i og paglaum kay mao ra gyud na ang ilang makuptan karon. Motuo nga aduna’y umaabot nga hayag nga kaugmaon. I know you can do that and that is now our direction in spite of the recent developments dinhi sa Cebu City, we cannot allow this to drag us down,” she said. 

“As a Province, with you dynamic mayors, kapila na ta mag-meeting crossing political boundaries, because this is a time that we must unite. Kuyog ninyo, ato gyud ning tabangan ang atong katawhan karon nga dunay katuhoan nga duna’y moabot nga hayag nga kaugmaon nato. Tagsa-tagsa mo, lain-lain ang inyong mga problema. Maningkamot ko nga makatabang ninyo,” the governor vowed.

Garcia assured that this year’s infrastructure, road concreting and water systems projects in the Province will continue as planned.

“Ang atong construction projects wala na nato gihikling. Wala na nato gi-realign. Nagpadayon ang tanan natong road concreting, we’re going to hit 250 kilometers of provincial roads nga atong i-kongkreto, for as long as dili madugay ang mga contractor,” she said.

The governor shared her visit to Barili on June 18 to inspect the completion of road works in the town. 

“Wala koy gi-realign nga pondo gikan sa atong infrastructure program. Wala pa ko hangtod karon mangayo’g supplemental budget. Gikaya ni nako tungod kay dili man ni ang Covid-19 ang be-all and end-all of everything hangtod nga mabangkaruta na ta kay Covid-19 na lang atong gitinan-aw. Dili. So rest assured we are handling our finances as prudently as possible,” she went on.

The governor also assured that the Cebu Provincial Government will assist the local government units on projects for economic recovery.

“Buhi-a ang inyong ekonomiya. If you should ask for help from the Capitol it should be for assistance para pagbuhi sa ekonomiya sa tagsa-tagsa ninyo ka lungsod,” she underscored.

“Tagai ko’g maayo nga plano og unsaon namo pagtabang,” the governor added. 

This is on top of the assistance that the Province will allocate to constituents working in Cebu City who are now affected by the IATF risk classification assessment reverting the city to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from June 15 to June 30.

Garcia instructed the mayors to provide Capitol with a complete list of the workers affected. (Eleanor Valeros)