A total of P32 million in financial assistance from the Cebu Provincial Government was turned over to the seven municipalities in the second district of Cebu in a ceremony Tuesday, December 15, led by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.
Alcoy Mayor Michael Angelo Sestoso and Oslob Mayor Jose Tumulak Jr. of Oslob each received cheques worth P6 million while Boljoon Mayor Merlou Derama, Santander Mayor Marites Buscato, Argao Mayor Allan Sesaldo, Dalaguete Mayor Jeffrey Belcina, and Samboan Vice Mayor Emerito Calderon Jr. received P4 million each.
Buscato announced to the crowd in a turnover ceremony in Barangay Bunlan that the assistance is for the construction of a tourist information office and a senior citizens building.
Sestoso also shared in a gathering of constituents in Barangay Poblacion that the amount is for the restoration of the old municipal hall and the development of a heritage park.
The financial help is on top of the road concreting projects inaugurated and the groundbreaking of the second phase of certain road sections carried out in Alcoy, Oslob, and Samboan as well as the inauguration of waterworks in Oslob and Santander on the same day.
Vice Mayor Calderon, in his speech, asked that he be “allowed to give praise and gratitude publicly to the governor for having disregarded political color and affiliation even if the leadership of Samboan was of a different party.”
He said that Garcia remained true to her words, which said “for beyond the political divides and narrow interests, there will be and should always be the bigger, nobler goal of doing what is best for Cebu and the Cebuanos.”
“She has been instrumental in allowing not only the Samboanons but the whole province to survive the difficulties incurred during the pandemic. We have received a lot of help and support from the Provincial Government that has allowed us to withstand and overcome the pandemic,” Calderon expressed.
“It is but appropriate that we, the people of Samboan, express our deep sense of gratitude for even up to now, as we make our way to economic recovery, our governor stands beside us, behind us, and in front of us. And as we look up to you Madam Governor, the stateswoman of Cebu, Gwen Garcia, as our leader, you have our utmost respect,” he added.
The seven mayors demonstrated support for each other by gracing the inauguration of road projects and groundbreaking of waterworks in their respective towns.
The ceremonial groundbreaking started in Alcoy for the Poblacion to Nug-as Road Section. “Details of which will be revealed later as procurement is ongoing,” Provincial Engineering Office Chief Hector Jamora said.
The 11-kilometer road is expected to connect Barangay Poblacion to Barangay Nug-as, known for its vegetable produce and protected area which is home to the “siloy” (black shama) that has transpired to become a symbol of the town.
The second stop is the groundbreaking for the 1.5-kilometer Guiwang-Cabalongan Road Section, worth P12 million, expected to connect to Barangay San Agustin.
Second district Rep. Wilfredo “Willy” Caminero said that the project will meet halfway a circumferential road supported by his congressional funds expected to connect Barangays Atabay, San Agustin, Nug-as, Guiwang, and Daanlungsod.
In Oslob, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place that opened the Poblacion Oslob-Canang Road Section Phase 1 worth P11.9 million and the groundbreaking of its phase 2 which costs P55 million.
Opening of the Canang Road, traversing upland Oslob to upland areas of Samboan, took place after. The project is worth P19.7 million. Groundbreaking for the Samboan-Canang road Section (Bulangsuran-Canang) worth P67.3 million followed.
Caminero described the area to be a “rendezvous” where those who need and aspire for better roads and those who deliver basic public services meet.
“A place for rendezvous, kay dinhi man ang panag-abot sa nanginahanglan, sa nangandoy, ug sa naghatod sa serbisyo nga mao ang atong hepe de navigador or chief navigator nga mao si Gov Gwen kauban ang iyang mga ayudante,” Caminero expressed.
More roads will be concreted in 2021, according to 2nd District Provincial Board (PB) Member Edsel Galeos who chairs the Committee on Infrastructure.
He said that around 400 kilometers of provincial and barangay roads will be funded by the P8-billion allocation for infrastructure projects from the P15-billion annual budget next year.
“Niadtong December 7, Lunes, atong gi-approve ang P15-billion budget nga wala gyuy daghang mikwestyon kay labing tinuod kaming tanan sa Junta Provincial nakasabot man ni Gov. Gwen nga para ni sa kaayohan sa tanang Sugboanon,” Galeos pointed out.
As for water service, the Level III waterworks system in Oslob’s Barangay Mainit was inaugurated as well. The system is set to deliver potable water flowing from every household’s faucet.
The water system is to benefit residents of Barangays Lagunde, Can-ukban, Manlum, Mainit, and Cansaloay.
“Ako gyud ning gipaningkamutan nga mahatagan og tukmang atensyon ang panginahanglanon sa patubig - dalan ug tubig. Kini tungod kay ang tubig is a basic human right,” Garcia pointed out.
“Gani natandog kaayo ko didto sa lungsod sa Carmen sa reaksyon sa mga tawo sa pag-inaugurate nato sa ilang waterworks system tungod kay dugay na kaayong panahon nga nag-antos sila sa kakuwang sa supply sa tubig. Apan sila maoy nag-supply og tubig sa Metro Cebu og 35 milyones litros matag adlaw gikan sa ilang Luyang River,” she shared.
A time capsule was also laid in Barangay Bunlan, Santander to mark the construction of a production well which will run a total of five water pumping stations in Bunlan, Kandamiang, Upper Bunlan, Upper Looc, and Salay.
Also present during the event are 2nd District PB Member Jose Mari “Tata” Salvador, Alcoy Vice Mayor Jimmy Abajon, Alcoy Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) President Violeta Sestoso, Samboan ABC president and former Mayor Raymond Calderon, 7th District Rep. Peter John Calderon, and 7th District PB Member Jerome Librando, as well as members of each of the towns’ councils and barangay volunteers, among others.
Barangay volunteers such as health workers, tanods, and animal health aides are also set to get their cash gift and Christmas goodies by Friday, December 18 in Carcar City.
Governor Garcia announced that only their presidents will represent them in a ceremonial distribution as the funds from the Provincial Treasurer’s Office will be downloaded to their respective Municipal Treasurer’s Office to make releasing more convenient for them. (Eleanor Valeros)