Rain or shine, Bantayanons welcomed with excitement and joy the arrival of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia as she set foot again in Bantayan Island for the inauguration and groundbreaking of about P200 million worth of road projects on Saturday, October 17.
This is the governor’s third visit to the island dubbed as “Paradise of the North” and adjudged the 7th most visited place in the country and Number 1 in Visayas in 2019 by the Department of Tourism.
Garcia inaugurated a total of P65,003,196.03 road concreting projects in Barangay Sulangan, Bantayan town (P11,908,450.34); Poblacion, San Agustin in Madridejos town (11,908,450.34), Ticad-Sillion road section in Bantayan town (P11,908,450.34), and Maricaban road section in Sta. Fe town (29,277,845.01).
At least P40,082,490 is alloted to Barangay Sulangan for the second of the road concreting projec while Cogon-Kabac road in Bantayan gets P41,790,399, and Bunakan road section in Madridejos gets P21,612,145.26 for a total of P103,483,034.26.
These projects are part of the 250 kilometers road projects under the pipeline for this year, the governor said.
By 2021, the Province of Cebu will be concreting about 400 kilometers of provincial roads and 100 kilometers of barangay roads.
“Ayaw og paghuna-huna nga kutob ra ta diri, dili. Kay basta na pay dalan nga wala pa ma semento, sementohon. Tagai lang ko ninyo og gamay’ng panahon kay bisan gani dunay pandemya padayon gyud ang atong mga trabaho kay kinahanglan nga kamo matagaan og paglaum,” the governor said.
“Ang Cebu Provincial Government wala gyud moundang sa paningkamot alang kaninyo kay pinangga kamo,” she added.
The ever energetic first lady governor of the Province spent the second day of her visit in the island with breezy but fulfilling activities from an inspection of the first island airport to the round-trip string of inauguration and groundbreaking activities to six barangays scattered in the island’s three towns of Sta. Fe, Bantayan and Madridejos.
When she arrived at the first stop in Barangay Sulangan, health workers, tanods and residents cheered as the governor arrived in the area to inaugurate the newly-concreted road section in the barangay.
“Mao ni akong gisaad ug kung musaad na gani ko, tumanon gyud na nako. Salamat kaayo sa inyong pagsugat namo dinhi, makita sa inyong mga maanyag ug gwapo nga mga naw’ng ang kalipay ug mao sad na ang makalipay nako nga sa atong paningkamot, pasalamatan sad nato ang Provincial Board kay sila nag aprubar sa budget, sa paningkamot sa Provincial Government of Cebu, ang inyong mga kinabuhi ma-arang-arang kay manindot na gyud ang dan,” the governor told the cheering crowd who were all oblivious of the drizzle that Saturday morning.
She later stepped on the police mobile car as she went on to inspect the 1-kilometer newly concreted road in Barangay Sulangan. She was joined by her daughter Carissa Garcia and Provincial Board Member Glenn Soco.
As she inaugurated road projects in the three towns, people welcomed her with the same fervor and warmth. Women, young and old, children and men from all ages, waved colorful flaglets as she passed by.
Some gave her roses, while others took photos of her using their smart phones as she passed by, some waving and carrying their welcome banner using a cartolina with handwritten greetings, while others simply just cheering and greeting her with “Maayong hapon, Gov,” and “Salamat Gov!”
Her security team later scrambled to cordon her when in the middle of her caravan ride in Sulangan, Garcia stopped and disembarked from the mobile patrol to greet an elderly woman standing under a tree.
It was an iconic and heartwarming scene as it turned out that it was the first time the elderly woman to see and shake hands with a governor of the Province. Neighbors who witnessed the scene told the governor that she had been waiting for her since 8 a.m.
It was also a historic event for everyone as the events that unfolded was least expected in this time of pandemic.
Whilst government projects may have been put on a standstill because of the current situation, the Garcia administration continued to banner its battlecry of “Dili sulti ang pabuhaton. Buhat ang pasultion. (Walk the talk)” (Vanessa L. Almeda)