Faster results, 6th voters told-A A +A
Monday, July 23, 2012
RESIDENTS of Cebu’s sixth district will get to test their congressman’s view that projects, whether local or national, get done faster in a district whose political leaders are united.
“At the end of the day, we will all be united from Cordova, Mandaue City and Consolacion, and we will all work together for progress,” said Rep. Luis Gabriel Quisumbing, who recently joined the Liberal Party (LP).
Asked if their belonging to the administration-led coalition will ensure all their projects get approved, he said, “Projects are all based on necessity, and the administration has been praised for providing projects not just (to pay) for political favors.”
Congressman Quisumbing and Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes now both belong to the LP and, they said, share priorities like the drainage projects in some of the city’s problematic areas.
After the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) declared it was not feasible to build a flyover on Ouano Ave., at the junction of the Cebu International Convention Center and Park Mall, the P188-million national fund intended for it was realigned to three infrastructure projects.
Quisumbing and Cortes both recommended the realignment.
In another example, the DPWH approved P45 million worth of drainage projects on A.S. Fortuna and Hernan Cortes St., and the mayor commended the congressman for coordinating with City Hall in implementing these projects.
These are the ongoing drainage work near Rolling Hills, LH Prime and another one in Subangdaku, said Mandaue City public information officer Roger Paller.
Bidding has started for Quisumbing’s project to build a 25-bed hospital in Cordova town, said Jessie Perez, Quisumbing’s district manager.
“We are all united and working together toward one direction,” said Quisumbing, in a phone interview moments after he arrived in Manila a day ahead of the State of the Nation Address.
Being LP members, he said, all of them now share a common vision aligned with the President’s goals.
Several farm-to-market roads in Consolacion were also initiated through the congressman, said Perez, as Mayor Teresa Alegado and the congressman are partymates.
Asked if being with the LP hastens projects in the district, the congressman said administration leaders will definitely help them in following up on their projects.
In the previous years, Mayor Cortes had complained that then congresswoman Nerissa Soon-Ruiz did not coordinate with his office in implementing her projects.
Soon-Ruiz used to be allied with One Cebu, then the Nacionalista Party. Cortes recently hired Soon-Ruiz, a medical doctor, as his consultant on public health.
The height of their previous conflict was when the mayor asked a police Swat team to stop DPWH from using jackhammers on a newly asphalted 50-meter stretch on J. Colina St. in Barangay Estancia-Ibabao last Jan. 5, 2010. That work was in preparation for a concreting project proposed by the then congresswoman.
Similar complaints about the lack of coordination were also aired against Quisumbing, a former Cebu Provincial Board (PB) member who replaced Soon-Ruiz as district
representative after the May 2010 elections. He also used to be with One Cebu.
Last May 2012, Quisumbing left One Cebu and joined the LP. Just last Friday, PB Member Thadeo Ouano, a former three-term mayor of Mandaue, also left One Cebu for LP.
Ouano’s son Jonkie ran for mayor against Cortes in 2007 but lost.
With the latest developments, the LP now counts as its allies in the district Mayor Cortes, Consolacion Mayor Alegado, Quisumbing and PB Member Arleigh Sitoy.
The latter’s father, Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy, will not join his son Arleigh in LP.
“Ila kong gi-kumbinsi pero wala ko mosugot (They persuaded me but I declined),” said the elder Sitoy, who attended Mayor Cortes’s birthday party last July 20.
The mayor remains the only One Cebu party officer in Cebu’s sixth congressional district.
In the 2010 elections, the number of registered voters in Consolacion, Cordova and Mandaue was 264,348 or about 10 percent of the registered voters in the province, according to government records.
Asked if there are still positions in the district to accommodate “newcomers” in the LP, Quisumbing said, “We all feel that we can work together and contribute toward one goal.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 23, 2012.