A new Provincial Government Center will soon rise in Balamban, bringing provincial government services to the countryside and establishing the clear identity of the Province of Cebu.
In a press conference Wednesday, November 4, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia shared that this has long been envisioned by previous governors, including Lito Osmeña.
“We are now seeing that it would be to the advantage of our provincial constituents that we develop a government center in one of our municipalities,” she said.
The P550-million site acquisition and development of a provincial government center is part of the proposed P15 billion annual budget submitted by the governor to the Provincial Board last week.
By putting up the provincial government center in Balamban town, Garcia said it brings development to the countryside which coincides with her administration’s goal of establishing Enhanced Countryside Development in the Province.
She also sees this as a step towards giving Cebu Province a “clear identity as truly serving the provincial constituents.”
“It is a statement of establishing the Province of Cebu’s own identity,” she said.
Balamban town was also chosen because of its strategic location being “more or less at the center of our northern and southern local government units,” Garcia added.
The midwest town is easily accessible from the north through the Hagnaya Wharf road down the Antonio Y. de Pio Highway that connects the municipality of San Remigio to other towns and cities.
The highway connects travelers from the northern towns to the southern towns passing by Tabuelan, Tuburan, Asturias, Balamban then to Aloguinsan.
From Aloguinsan, travelers can then access the southwestern and southeastern part of the Province, she added.
Currently, the Provincial Capitol is located at the heart of Cebu City, an independent chartered city not under provincial jurisdiction.
Built in 1937 to 1938, it was declared a national and historical landmark by the National Historical Commission in 2008.
Once the new government center is completed, Capitol services will also be transferred to Balamban for easier access to provincial constituents.
The Provincial Capitol in Cebu City will be preserved and kept as a museum.
“This is part of our Enhanced Community Countryside direction. Of course, we will continue to preserve the Cebu Capitol. This is already a national historical landmark and this will always be one of the most, if not the most, elegant and beautiful Capitol buildings in the entire country,” she said.
“We will maintain this, we will conserve this as this is already part of the proud Cebuano heritage,” the governor said. (Vanessa L. Almeda)