Editorial: Bickering in the Capitol

JOSELITO “Boboi” Costas is a late comer as far as efforts to promote Cebu province’s tourism is concerned, but Gov. Hilario Davide III and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale must admit that his appointment as head of the Tourism and Heritage Council and as provincial tourism officer has infused the needed dynamism in the said area of Capitol’s governance.

For some time now, the face of Cebu province’s tourism sector has been the vice governor, by virtue of her being head of the Committee on Tourism and International Affairs of the Provincial Board (PB) even when she was still an ordinary member of the said legislative body. But Costas’s aggressiveness in his task has in the past months had Magpale taking the back seat.

Apparently, Costas has been too aggressive for Magpale’s comfort, as shown in the latter’s recent admission of a misunderstanding with the former. Magpale has accused Costas of making his own tourism programs without following Capitol’s policies and ordinances that incidentally she has a big hand in crafting. One small matter: Magpale frowning on her exclusion from the recent issue of the 1521 magazine that Costas handles.

The problem is obviously communication. Costas, under the Provincial Government’s organizational structure, is under the governor. It would be a no-brainer to say then that all of his programs and actions were cleared with the governor—which could have made him believe that that would suffice. That the governor may not have talked with Magpale, who is with the legislative branch, about these can also be an issue.

But that is a problem that can be considered minor and can be solved with the governor, Costas and Magpale communicating with each other often. This should not be a problem with Costas because he is not known to be harboring any political ambition. After all, dealing with a non-politician is easier than doing so with a politician.

The important point there is that Magpale and the governor would continue to lean on Costas’s youthful zeal and dynamism while Costas would lean on Magpale and the governor for guidance. Note that the current setup led by the three of them has the potentials of raising the bar of tourism promotion in the province higher.
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