MALAPASCUA Island may be affected by an ongoing rift between Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Daanbantayan Mayor Ma. Luisa Loot.
Under a memorandum of agreement, Cebu Province will manage Malapascua, home to close to 50 resorts.
When the conflict between the two women officials broke out, Loot admitted to Sun.Star Cebu she does not know what will happen to Malapascua now.
The popular resort island is under the jurisdiction of Daanbantayan but the town has since turned over management of it to the Province because it cannot cope with the cost of development.
“Unsaon na lang ang Malapascua? Dili nako moduol niya (What will happen to Malapascua now? I am not asking her for help again),” Loot said in a recent interview.
After Garcia allegedly insulted her for asking for financial assistance for their fiesta celebration, Loot promised never again to ask for help from the governor.
Provincial Attorney Marino Martinquilla, however, said Daanbantayan and Capitol already entered into a memorandum of agreement, and Capitol will continue with the development of Malapascua as agreed upon.
Loot said Daanbantayan can revoke the agreement, citing local autonomy.
Martinquilla, however, explained both parties must agree, for the memorandum to cease taking effect.
“It should be mutual,” he said.
Martinquilla also said the Province has invested so much for the development of Malapascua, as a tourist destination.
Garcia mentioned that Capitol will also spend for a circumferential road and solar lighting, as well as the development of another port in Malapascua.
When asked about the possibility that Daanbantayan will revoke the agreement, Garcia said it is up to Loot. But she also reminded the mayor that she even turned over responsibilities over the island, because of the costs.
The relationship between the two allies suffered when Daanbantayan failed to enter crowd-favorite Haladaya Festival in the recent Pasigarbo sa Sugbo competition.
A couple of days later, Loot went to Garcia’s office to ask for financial assistance for their fiesta and Haladaya Festival on Aug. 29 and 30. This irked the governor, who refused to give the financial assistance and declined an invitation to the festival.