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Better roads spur faster economic recovery
By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Saturday, November 21, 2020
Gov. Gwen Garcia led the inauguration and groundbreaking ceremonies of more road improvement projects in the 1st District of Cebu Province. (Junjie Mendoza)

Archie Dellica, 46, resident of Barangay Valencia, Carcar City is thankful that they now have better access to Buenavista, their neighboring barangay, where there are wholesalers of basic goods.

"Maka-deliver na man diri og tarong ang kanang mag-wholesale sa mall. Mas pabor sad namo ang Buenavista Elementary School kay duol na man since dia mi sa border namuyo," she said while sweeping debris off the newly improved road near her residence.

The six-meter wide, nine-inch thick concreted Valencia-Buenavista road worth P11.9 million was officially opened Friday, November 20 in a ceremony led by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.

This was immediately followed by the groundbreaking of the Phase 2 of the project worth P14 million.

Dellica said she prayed that the Valencia to Poblacion Road is next in line as it is a major road artery to the city's trading hub.

Her wish came true as Garcia announced that the said road stretch laden with potholes is already part of the road works for this year.

The governor shared that the clamor to have the road improvement has reached her. 

"Taga-i lang gyud ko ninyo og panahon kay apil na na sa atong gi-budgetan for this year. Gi-aspalto na na sa una apan wala man mamintinar. Kahibawo kaayo ko niana kay duna ma'y nakasulti nako nga gikan sila'g Aloguinsan makamata gyud sila ini'g abot sa Valencia kay tungod sa libaong,” she said. 

“Kanang sa Aloguinsan to Zaragosa hanoy-hanoy na man na. Kay giatiman ta man gyud na sa atong termino isip kongresista sa tercero distrito," she added.

After the opening and groundbreaking of the Valencia-Buenavista road stretch, Garcia proceeded to inaugurate the Calidngan-Balungag road section worth P23.8 million and groundbreaking of Phase 2 worth P56.2 million to the delight of the residents.

"Isip pasalamat sa inyong gihatag nako nga makabungog nga mayorya dinhi sa Calidngan, nga wala gyud mailhi ang kontra dinhi, nia ko aron itunol kaninyo ang dugay na ninyong gipangandoy. Nga mapaarang-arang ang inyong panginabuhi pinaagi sa lapad, bagâ, hamugaway ug kongkreto na nga karsada. Salamat sa inyong pagpabalik nako," she said.

An overjoyed Mayor Mercedita Apura told her constituents to be reminded that the governor has always been true to her promises. 

"Nahitabo na man ni ug karon nahitabo na pud nga gituman niya ang iyang mga saad. Natuman na ang inyong pangandoy nga siya molansar pagbalik. Kay si Gov Gwen ra gyud ang makatabang nato dinhi nga mahurot og pasemento, provincial ug barangay roads,” she said.

Garcia, in jest, replied "paspas ning atong pagpatrabaho bisan sa hulga sa Covid maong ayaw na gyud mo diha pagbarog-barog sa karsada kay basin maapil mo'g kasemento," which was in turn answered by peals of laughter from her audience.

First District Provincial Board Members Atty. Raul Bacaltos and Yolanda Daan, Vice Mayor Nicepuro Apura, and the barangay chairmen of Carcar City’s 15 barangays graced the event.

In Sibonga, afterwards, Mayor Lionel Bacaltos joined the governor in the opening of the Lamakan-Mangyan-Candaguit road section worth P11.9 million and groundbreaking of its Phase 2 worth P65.4 million.

Mayor Bacaltos said the governor continues to overwhelm Sibonga with projects as vital as roads and covered courts.

"Si Gov Gwen ra gyud ang nakabuhat niini dinhi sa Lungsod sa Sibonga. Maong magpasalamat gyud ko sa mga mejoras," he said. 

Aside from road improvements, all barangays in Sibonga will soon have their covered courts with bleachers. As of this writing, work on six of 25 covered courts is underway.

Garcia capped the day in Barangay Dugyan, Dalaguete for the opening of the Mantalongon-Dugyan road section worth P11.9 million and the groundbreaking of Phase 2 worth P55.1 million.

Second district Representative Wilfredo "Willy" Caminero told residents how familiar he is with Garcia's work ethics.

"Sayud na gyud ko sa pamaagi sa atong gobernadora. Dili gyud niya undangan ang gusto niyang mahitabo nga kaayohan. Busa niining nindot nga kahigayonan nga miabot niining atong suok nga barangay ato siyang pasalamatan. Kay mapadali na niini ang paghatod og mga produkto sa kamerkadohan,” Caminero expressed.

“Wala na gyuy rason nga magpabilin tang lisud kon nia na si Tubig, nia na si Kuryente, nia na si Dalan. Ug maglisud pa ta ana, tungod na gyud na sa atong katapulan," he added.

Second district Provincial Board Member Edsel Galeos, chairperson of the Committee on Infrastructure, shared that the said road projects are being funded by the 2019 supplemental budget worth P1.2 billion and of the 2020 annual budget worth P12 billion.

"Makalaum mo sa mas daghan pa unya nga infrastructure projects sa 2021 diin mogahin ang Kapitolyo og P8 billion sa P15 billion annual budget. Kay kon wala pa ning Covid, kada adlaw gyud unta mag-inaugurate tungod sa kadaghan sa atong proyekto," Galeos said.

The mayors of neighboring towns graced the event in Dalaguete in a gesture of solidarity and support to Garcia and to Dalaguete Mayor Jeffrey Belciña. 

They are Mayor Verna Magallon of Alegria, Mayor Michael Angelo Sestoso of Alcoy, Mayor Merlou Derama of Boljoon, Mayor Allan Sesaldo of Argao, and Mayor Jose Tumulak of Oslob. 

Aside from Daan and Galeos, 2nd District PB Member Jose Mari "Tata" Salvador welcomed the guests to Dugyan. 

Prior to these, Garcia was in Toledo City for the inauguration of the road sections in Barangays Poog and Bunga. 

A total of P10.7 million was allocated for the concreting or improvement of 11 barangay roads. These are in Tungkay, Loay, Bunga, Campo 8, Sam-ang, Bulongan, Canlumampao, Poog, Talavera, Media Once, and Ilihan.

Mayor Marjorie "Joie" Piczon-Perales along with Vice Mayor Jay Sigue and city councilors graced the ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Eleanor Valeros)