Davide reports on his first year

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014


TEN of 16 Province-owned hospitals were upgraded to Level One facilities, meaning they now have the equipment and medical teams to perform surgeries and laboratory tests, Gov. Hilario Davide III reported Monday.

In a report to mark the start of his second year in office, Governor Davide said his administration hired 233 additional medical personnel and will hire more.

“There shall be no more outsourcing of medical personnel,” Davide said. He described the system employed by the previous administration under Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia—that of hiring an agency to fill health care workers’ positions in district hospitals—as “dysfunctional”.

Davide delivered his Report to the People, what used to be known as the State of the Province Address, during the Cebu Provincial Board (PB) session at 2 p.m. yesterday. All the PB members were present.

SO MUCH MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE.
The Governor's Plans. Infographic by Sun.Star Cebu.


He outlined his plans for the rest of his term, including the construction of a public-private partnership resource center that will house training facilities, office spaces and a command post for the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).

“We are proud of our PDRRMO. The Office of the President cited our efforts related to typhoon Yolanda,” the governor said.

Resiliency

Three disasters struck in the first five months of the governor’s term: the collision of two ships off Talisay last August, a powerful earthquake last October and super typhoon Yolanda last November.

Yet a recent assessment by the United Nations Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlstrom, provides “a shining testament to the resiliency of the Cebuanos and effective performance of a rookie administration providing the enabling environment,” Davide said.

He referred to this statement, attributed to Wahlstrom during a recent Asian ministers’ conference in Thailand on disaster risk reduction: “Strengthening LGUs (local government units) would put the Philippines in a very good space. Manila could also adopt some best practices by model local governments like Albay and Cebu.”

He said that Capitol’s Task Force Paglig-on will monitor closely the implementation of a newly approved P12.2-billion rehabilitation plan for communities in northern Cebu that Yolanda damaged severely.



Davide thanked the business community, particularly the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for being “an active partner in Yolanda rehabilitation efforts”, as well as the development of tourism services and rural road planning in the south.

It took the governor 40 minutes to deliver his report, which filled 18 pages and ranged from countryside development and infrastructure development to climate change and disaster reduction.

The department heads, regional directors, mayors and other officials present gave him a standing ovation.

Larger net

Among the points the governor reported was the Capitol’s appropriation of P149 million for education programs this year, including P7 million for the repair of 31 public schools damaged by typhoon Yolanda.

Davide also said the net revenues as of May this year have “more than doubled from 2013 levels” and that the Capitol now has a cash balance of P751 million.

He credited more efficient tax collection for a 42 percent increase in the Special Education Fund (SEF) as of May 2014, compared to May last year. (The SEF represents one percent of real property tax collections and is used to fix or maintain schools, among other education-related projects.)

The Capitol, Davide said, has also distributed P231 million in financial assistance to the towns and barangays to fund various projects, including water systems, barangay halls, health centers, day care centers and road concreting.

Davide said he plans to ask the PB to allocate P1 million for each local government to join the Fartmer-Scientist Training Program to increase farm yields.

“Sustainable development begins with ensuring food,” he said.

The governor also announced that the Province will acquire P200 million worth of heavy equipment this year to improve and maintain roads.

Airports

He said he has also requested the Department of Transportation and Communications, through the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority, to conduct feasibility studies for the airports in Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island and San Francisco, Camotes.

He said he hoped the airports would be built and operational before his term ends in 2016.

But while he intends to pursue these airport projects that date back to the previous administration, Davide again distanced himself from two ventures that Garcia (now congresswoman of Cebu Province’s third district) first pursued.

“I assure the people of Tinaan and of Naga City that I will not allow their neighborhood to become a dumping ground of coal ash or any pollutant,” he said.

He referred to one of the plans for the former Balili property, which the Province had purchased for around P98 million but which later led to a case before the Sandiganbayan.

‘Not a centavo’

Davide also said “not a single centavo more will be spent to reconstruct or repair” the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City. Among the options being considered is selling the facility, which was damaged by last year’s calamities, to the Mandaue City Government.

Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes, who heard the governor’s report, said that since there is a difference in the assessments by the City and the Province, they may look for a third party to appraise the building.

In the early part of his report, Davide recalled that among the first things he did in office was create a project team to speed up improvements in the district and provincial hospitals.

The hospitals the Department of Health (DOH) upgraded are those in Bogo City, Danao City, Carcar City, Bantayan, Tuburan, San Francisco, Argao, Barili, Badian and Sogod.

The DOH has also provided P173.5 million under the Health Facility Enhancement Program, which paid for the rehabilitation of eight hospitals. The rehabilitation of the district hospitals in Argao and Badian will soon be completed, while work on six other hospitals is ongoing, said Davide. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 09, 2014.

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