We have a little Pnoy in Cebu, and by little B.S. Aquino I do not mean an Executive Secretary of sorts or a little President in the locality. We have a Capitol occupant, Governor Junjun Davide, who will step down and go down in history in a downward spiral. His inactive governance disgraces, in a way, the name of his father, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide.
His contribution in the province will only be an additional name to be posted in the Provincial Capitol wall on the roster of governors and nothing else. Aside from smoking like Pnoy, who keeps promoting his own housecleaning of the local bureaucracy, he also has contributed insignificantly to Cebu during his term.
Cebuanos have never been impressed by his passive style of governance. Before he assumed office in 2013, Cebuanos were expecting that Gov. Junjun, as Malacanang’s anointed, would give much to the province, but until today his Palace connection has not helped him deliver what Cebuanos expected of him.
Next year will see a three-cornered fight for the gubernatorial post. While former Governor Gwendolyn Garcia will no longer seek a comeback at the Capitol, she would like to continue serving as a legislator representing Cebu for a second term, to give way to her younger brother, former GSIS General Manager Winston Garcia.
Meanwhile, Cebu’s best selling author, Lito Osmeña, will soon be launching his political comeback. He is a man of foresight and imagination, however, his being a septuagenarian casts doubts on his physical capability.
I do not know Winston Garcia personally, but I was quite intrigued by his announced vision for the province: the transformation of Cebu into a budding Singapore. I researched his background, as I needed convincing that he, indeed, is capable of turning his vision into reality.
Like me, Winston Garcia was a former seminarian who earned a Philosophy degree at the University of Santo Tomas before his admission to the Bar in 1982. He also holds an Associate of Arts Degree from Southwestern University in the US.
He envisions turning provincial hospitals into world-class hospitals and socializing all health services.
Allow me to present part of the “road map” he intends to follow should he be lucky enough to kick the present occupant out of the Cebu Provincial Capitol next year. Garcia intends to provide the following:
1. Full employment for Central Visayas;
2. For his first term, 600,000 direct-hire jobs for Cebu and 2.4 million for Central Visayas;
3. Transformation of Cebu into a major transshipment point for cargo and passengers;
4. Addition of a parallel runway at the Mactan Cebu International Airport, making it the only international airport in the Philippines to have a parallel runway;
5. A railway system;
6. Development of Mactan in Cebu into a major tourist destination in the country to lure foreign investors; and
7. A mass transport system to decongest traffic in Cebu.
In summary, Winston Garcia would like to have Cebu back on the Asian and even the world map as one of the top livable provinces.
However, some cynics predict that like many other political animals, Winston and his development agenda would remain a blueprint once he assumes office in 2016. Our caveat to him is to beware of today’s honeyed tongues demanding, like Shylock, ‘compliance’ after victory at the polls.