Big challenge

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Saturday, December 28, 2013


TYPHOON Yolanda and other calamities that hit Cebu this year have been a big challenge to Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, who hopes next year will be kinder.

“We hope to be really better prepared for disasters. Mao sab na akong gi-emphasize sa mga barangay captains, prioritize disaster preparedness,” Davide told reporters last Friday, the last working day in Capitol for 2013.

He wished there will be no more calamities next year to distract him from implementing his projects on health, food security, education, livelihood, support for small business enterprises and tourism.

Despite typhoon Yolanda, some of these projects were implemented, he said.

His health program ended the practice of outsourcing doctors and medical staff. On food security, he and agriculture consultant Dr. Romulo Davide started distributing high-yielding vegetable seeds last month.

Also last month, Davide approved an initial P6 million for the agriculture rehabilitation plan, as seeds were distributed to farmers in some towns.

Rehabilitation of school buildings, through foreign assistance, is ongoing in typhoon affected areas. The Cebu Provincial School Board has released funds to each local government unit for the project.

“The calamities that we faced this year posed a big challenge and an opportunity for us,” said Davide.

Hundreds killed

Major disasters hit Cebu this year, starting with the collision of Sulpicio Express Siete and m/v Thomas Aquinas off Talisay City last August, killing hundreds.

This was followed by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked Cebu and Bohol in October, and Yolanda on Nov. 8.

Doctors who were outsourced and assigned in 16 provincial hospitals all over Cebu will be absorbed by the Province starting Jan 1, 2014.

Davide also sees the need the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) especially during Christmas season and other big holidays.

As contracts of Capitol casual employees and outsourced cleaners will expire this month, arrangements are being done to extend the janitors’ term in Capitol for another month, or until Jan 31.

Governor Chief of Staff Ramil Abing said they will post the names of casual employees who will be re-hired next year.

“Those whose names are not in the list are advised not to report for work next year,” Abing told Sun.Star.

The six-month contract of Capitol casual employees will expire on Dec. 31.

Human Resource and Development Office (HRDO) acting head Malou Comendador said Capitol has 564 casual employees until Dec. 31 this year.

Rehired

Abing said only 80 percent to 90 percent of them will be rehired.

Davide’s basis for re-hiring is performance rating and recommendation by the head of office where they were assigned.

He said some department heads already submitted lists of their recommendees.

Provincial General Services Office (PGSO) head Eva Encabo also retired yesterday.

Davide said they already have candidates for her replacement.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 29, 2013.

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