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Gov: Cebu stays strong despite Covid-19
By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Thursday, August 6, 2020
Instead of the usual State of the Province Address, Gov. Gwen Garcia delivered a message of hope to all Cebuanos as Cebu Province commemorates its 451st Founding Anniversary while in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Lito Tecson)

On its 451st Founding Anniversary today, August 6, the Province of Cebu remains strong in spirit despite the threat of Covid-19.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, in her Message of Hope, thanked mayors of 44 towns and six component cities, Vice Governor Hilario Davide III, and the Provincial Board members for their support to the Capitol’s actions against the coronavirus pandemic.

“Even as we face this horrific challenge, we also saw an admirable unity amongst our leaders, crossing party lines, setting aside personal interests, knowing that only in joining hands and moving in one direction can we hope to face this challenge and one day perhaps, one day, prevail,” Garcia expressed.

“For as long as we have the support of Vice Governor Junjun Davide with our Provincial Board members that adopted our very own executive orders into ordinances, we are strong,” she added. 

Garcia emphasized that Cebu Province has not only survived the various challenges along its way, but also prevailed. 

“As we commemorate the 451st Founding Anniversary of our beloved province, we find ourselves facing yet another challenge; one of the most difficult challenges in recent memory. For even as the Cebuanos suffered during World War II, at least then we had a visible enemy. Since early this year we have had to contend with an enemy unseen and yet lurks in the most unexpected corners and crevices of the entire Province. Covid-19 continues to be a threat,” Garcia said.

“From the very first Covid cases reported in the Philippines and then in Cebu, we have had to flex our muscles and react accordingly as situations change from day to day,” she added.

The governor said imposing an enhanced community quarantine was the “most prudent thing to do” to keep the public at home when the pandemic started because of the lack of information on the novel coronavirus disease.

“This went on for a month or more as we focused on saving lives and setting aside the livelihoods that had to take the back corner. Businesses closed, jobs were lost. Local government units and the Provincial Government unit endeavored to support thousands upon thousands. We hope that there would be an end to the drastic measures we have taken but a month rolled on to the next, and the next, and the next, until finally today, we see ourselves still affected by Covid-19 six months later,” she further said.

She disclosed of having to go through sleepless nights doing her very best to gather data, research, analyze, and come up with decisions.

“We had gone through this torturous journey together with our mayors, with our barangay captains and most especially with the Vice Governor and Provincial Board members,” the governor shared.

She acknowledged the mayors for issuing executive orders that adopted the provincial executive orders. 

“These past five months and moving to the sixth, we have seen order in the province even as we continue to battle Covid-19, because we move in one direction,” Garcia said.

Meanwhile, Vice Governor Davide expressed appreciation to the governor’s message of hope to Cebuanos.

“Very inspiring ang message sa gobernador. Kadtong gi-mention niya nga unity – the only way really to defeat Covid-19 is maghiusa gyud kitang tanan. And kita sa Legislative Department we are always very, very supportive of the governor’s efforts. We cannot be a slave to the pandemic and I know the governor is doing her best and she’s doing the right thing,” he said.

The Province’s 451st Founding Anniversary was marked by simple rites. It began with a flag-raising ceremony attended by key officials of the Capitol and a simultaneous raising of the emblem of each of the 44 towns and component cities. (Eleanor Valeros)