No fanfare, guv's Sopa on Capitol's 451st anniversary

LEADER OF THE PACK. Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia leads a pack of ATVs (all-terrain vehicle) driven by members of the Provincial Tourism Task Force in the southern town of Barili as part of the reopening of tourism activities in the province. (Contributed, Provincial Information Office)

THE 451th founding anniversary of Cebu Province on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, will be a simple affair.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia made the announcement during a press conference in the southern town of Barili on Sunday, Aug. 2.

“We can’t call it a celebration actually because we are still in the midst of this pandemic. Cebu City is still (on) GCQ (general community quarantine) and there are still restrictions on gatherings. Our plans will just be a one-day affair,” Garcia said, referring to the health crisis caused by the highly infectious coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The governor said that there will a flag ceremony on Thursday that will be attended by Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III, Provincial Board members and Capitol department heads.

In past celebrations, different mayors of local government units would raise the flag, but this year that task has been assigned to Capitol employees.

After the activity, a thanksgiving mass will be held followed by a small get-together at the governor’s office.

“We decided not to ask the mayors from the towns and cities to come to the Capitol and after that there would be a mass at the Capitol Social Hall,” Garcia said. “The offices may probably may come up with their own lunches but in a very, very sparse and spartan way.”

Since Cebu City was placed on GCQ on Saturday, Aug. 1, only half of the Capitol’s entire workforce have reported to their offices. That means fewer people will be able to attend the activities on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Garcia has yet to decide whether to deliver a State of the Province Address.

“You know I’m ambivalent about that, delivering at this point in time, the state of the province, while we are in the middle of this Covid-19 challenge, which we continue to assess and continue to find ways managing in order that we may move forward to a better normal,” she said.

However, Garcia said she will deliver a message that she hopes will inspire Cebuanos, especially those affected by the health crisis.

“I am not inclined to deliver a state of the province at this time when everybody knows what state we are in. I will say a few words though. I will have a message for all Cebuanos for the Province of Cebu and it will be a message of hope,” she said.

The Province is currently trying to revive its flagging economy and has focused on the tourism industry, which employs thousands of Cebuanos.

Garcia formally relaunched the Province’s tourism activities on Friday, July 31, with the reopening of whale shark watching in Barangay Tan-awan in the southern town of Oslob.

As of Aug. 2, Cebu Province recorded a total of 1,856 Covid-19 cases of which 835 were active. It also logged 936 recoveries and 85 deaths.

The Capitol continues to urge the public to abide by strict quarantine protocol to prevent infection. (ANV / PJB)


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