One Cebu Party ‘still strongest’ in province-A A +A
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
1. You’re running for Cebu vice governor in 2013 against a member of the Durano clan, your cousin Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale. Awkward but it also reflects the division of the family in Danao City where brother is pitted against brother, your father Ramon “Boy” Jr. and your uncle Ramon “Nito” III, in the race for mayor.
How will the rivalry in Danao and having a relative as your opponent for the VG seat affect the tenor of your campaign?
Any family conflict is always unfortunate and tragic. The conflict in Danao could have been avoided had the party of my opponent (Bakud) not initiated recall proceedings against my father almost immediately after the 2010 elections.
But I am not running to serve my family, or just Danao and the 5th district. I am running to serve the entire province. The tenor of the campaign will be dictated not by what is happening in Danao but by what Cebu needs at this time in history.
Our message is continuity of the progress Cebu has achieved under Gov. Gwen Garcia’s leadership and how I might contribute to that continuity.
2. In gist, tell us why you’d make a better vice governor than VG Magpale who has served longer at Capitol and has reached out to province voters more extensively than you’d ever accomplish between now and next May.
The vice governor has more experience at the Capitol but it has been one-dimensional, as a member or presiding officer of the Provincial Board.
My career in public service has provided me with a richer and more diverse perspective. I was a legislator, as Danao City vice mayor. I also served as city administrator with a direct hand in executing policies and programs. My experience as director of Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has given me broad experience in finance, both public and private.
My stint as director of Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC) gave me an idea on how Cebu
might achieve its dream of an efficient mass-transit system. Of all my experiences, I am proudest that I started my career in public service as barangay captain of Poblacion, Danao City. I have a deeper understanding of the problems of the barangay. Barangay officials don’t have to reach out to me. I AM them.
3. Some people say that whoever would win in 2013, a member of the Durano clan would’ve a high seat at the Capitol and succession to the governorship. They note that it could be a door to greater power at Capitol.
How do you see the political landscape in the province in next six or nine years?
As they say, in politics one day is an eternity. I doubt if there is a political analyst serious about his profession who’ll make a prediction beyond the next
But my family has been at the doors of the Capitol. My uncle Ramon “Nito” Durano III
was elected Cebu vice governor in early 80s with Eduardo Gullas as the governor. Then my aunt Beatriz Durano Calderon was also appointed vice governor in mid-80s.
4. What are the chances of One Cebu Party, under which you run, to retain political control of the province, given the cracks caused by recent realignments among congressmen and town mayors?
Their much-hyped-up “mass exodus” of leaders from One Cebu Party never materialized.
Sure, there were defections in some LGUs but One Cebu remains the party with most incumbents and, after the COC filing, the most number of complete slates in the entire province. Many of our ally mayors are running unopposed. I’m not worried about my party’s strength -- it is the strongest political party in Cebu.
5. We have seen how conflict between the governor and the Cebu Provincial Board could cause a squabble, even gridlock, between the executive and the legislators.
Should a split grow wider after the next elections, how would you propose to have a fruitful working relationship between the two departments without upsetting check and balance?
In all my years in public service, as those who have worked closely with me will attest to, I have always encouraged consensus instead of dividing the house. I have never sought to draw lines and, instead, have worked hard to find a middle ground.
Those familiar with Danao politics will tell you there was a time I sacrificed my own political plans to preserve the unity of the group. That has been my principle, and I think that is what differentiates me from others seeking the post.
6. As vice governor, how much could you influence the policies of the Capitol leadership on such issues as real transparency and true accountability?
Capitol this year was awarded the Seal of Good Housekeeping by DILG, by the late secretary Jesse Robredo, no less. That’s the clearest indication that its efforts at good governance, transparency, and accountability have been recognized.
My contribution would be my experience as chairman on corporate governance at DBP in 2006-2007 when we were awarded as Best in corporate governance among GOCCs and GFIs, and as chairman of audit at DBP in 2009-2010 to refine and enhance existing policies.
7. Aside from the One Cebu Party agenda, what are your advocacies that express your individual passion but fit in with the planks of the party platform?
As past director of MRT, I have a thing or two to contribute to the realization of mass-transport system for Cebu province. That, and the chance for a barangay captain to represent the hopes and dreams of the barangay as vice governor of the province.
Experience in public service that best qualifies him for VG: “Long and diversified experience in legislative and executive work, beginning with the most basic unit, the barangay.”
Slogan that sums up his politics: “Ma-barangay kapitan, ma-vice mayor, ma direktor sa bangko ka man, way posisyon nga gamay kon kinasingkasing ang trabaho.”
How the Durano name strikes province voters: “It’s a name that has been in Cebu politics for quite some time. But Cebuanos judge you not on the name that you were born with but the name you make for yourself.”
His lifestyle: “I never spend beyond my means, so I’ve kept it really simple.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 30, 2012.