The Province of Cebu is already the envy of the neighboring provinces in Central Visayas and the entire nation after it earned the rank of the wealthiest province in the country with assets approximately amounting to P215.27 billion in the 2021 survey by Statista Research Department.

Under the current stewardship of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, the Province of Cebu could still break its current barrier of more than P200 billion assets once all the prime lots in Cebu City would be reacquired. The governor is presently in negotiation with the National Food Authority (NFA) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Visayas Command in Apas, which are both located in the province-owned lots in Apas.

Governor Garcia has offered the NFA to relocate its regional office, which is located on the busy Gov. Cuenco Avenue, either to Sudlon, Barangay Lahug, or to the DA compound along M. Velez Street, Cebu City. NFA 7 Director Maria Fe Evasco is very much amenable to the idea because of the traffic congestion in its current location.

I don’t see any reason for the NFA national officials not to agree to the proposition of Governor Gwen since it would be the Province that would shoulder the cost of the construction of NFA’s new regional office building and the warehouse.

On the other hand, the Capitol and the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Visayas Command are in the process of getting back the prime lot occupied by the military, and the governor had promised she won’t give up an inch until the Province reacquires these prime lots.

Governor Garcia was quoted as saying: “I will not give up any square inch. The Camp Lapu-Lapu, we will develop it together with the private sector to realize even more revenues for the province of Cebu, and further, it might become a city within a city. But mind you I will be very, very conscious about maintaining, mga greenery centers, like Singapore mao man na, because I will be insisting that portion of that naa gyud tay mga parks.”

These two prime lots, the Army camp and the NFA, which are located near the property of Ayala that is now IT Park, would definitely be sought after by the other developers if Ayala would no longer be interested. I wonder if the governor would still go after the other lots which are now home to the informal settlers in Cebu City.

Tuburan Mayor Aljun Diamante has welcomed AFP to move its command camp in his town. If my memory serves me right, I think Mayor Diamante offered free of rent the parcels of land for the AFP’s use.

That Cebu is the richest province in the country is now beyond doubt with Governor Garcia at the helm of the provincial government. This is the difference with a governor who has entrepreneurial skills. Being the richest province, what the people would expect is that all the provincial roads are paved and all the towns could also benefit from the abundance.