CARCAR resident Jiolito Manansalay thanked the Capitol yesterday afternoon for a program that allowed him to undergo surgery in a public hospital and receive medication for free.
His videotaped testimonial was one of several clips aired when Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III delivered his Report to the People or State of the Province Address.
Like he did in last year’s speech, Davide mentioned health services and free medicines first among the Province’s priority programs.
Eight times in his 54-minute narration of accomplishments, the governor answered critics. “Duna kita’y mga kaigsoonan nga wa mahimoot ug moingon si Davide way nabuhat (Some of our brothers and sisters still say that I have done nothing),” he said.
Davide said P2 billion has been earmarked for roads and other infrastructure projects. Of that P421.5 million will be through the World Bank-funded Philippine Rural Development Program and P1.6 billion from the Department of Public Works and Highways in 2016.
Unlike last year, when Davide delivered his report during the Provincial Board’s (PB) regular session, this year he addressed a larger audience in the Capitol’s social hall. They included 12 of the 14 PB members, Capitol officials, 30 mayors and Rep. Wilfredo Caminero (Cebu Province, 2nd district).
Also present were Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Rep. Raul del Mar (Cebu City, north) and former Cebu City south district congressman Tomas Osmeña.
Davide mentioned that when he assumed office in 2013, the district hospitals had 77 outsourced doctors and 180 outsourced nurses. Since then, the Capitol has directly hired 117 doctors, 50 of them specialists, and 399 nurses.
“In barely six months, we covered 556 walk-in patients in our provincial and district hospitals under PhilHealth’s point-of-care program,” Davide said.
Ten of the district hospitals, including those in Bantayan and San Francisco in Camotes Island, now have obstetrics and neo-natal facilities, he reported.
By October, digital X-ray and ultrasound will be available in provincial or district hospitals in Argao, Balamban, Bogo, Carcar and Danao. He also promised dialysis machines for the provincial hospitals in Carcar and Danao cities.
“While we upgrade our hospitals, we continue to reach out every Sugbuanon, including the vulnerable sectors,” said the governor.
At least 2,859 patients were provided with medical assistance during medical missions since June last year.
Oslob resident Deogracias Ventic then spoke up in another video clip presented as part of the speech. The farmer from Barangay Manlom said his corn harvest has grown from 800 to 1,000 kilos to at least 3,000 kilos as of the end of 2014, because of what he learned from the Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP).
He said his additional earnings enabled him to buy a motorcycle, five more cows (from only two), 14 more goats and one carabao.
Davide said that 3,498 farmers like Ventic have been trained under the FSTP.
To support farmers and provide clean, potable water, the Capitol will embark on waterworks projects in Argao, Alcoy, Carcar, Danao, Ginatilan, Moalboal, Oslob, Samboan, Santander and Toledo.
This year, Davide added, the Province released P204 million for various projects in the barangays and towns.
He thanked private organizations that helped build classrooms destroyed by Yolanda in 2013, and said that the Province “facilitated the disbursement” of P3.56 billion from national agencies to help towns still recovering from the super typhoon.
Governor Davide also thanked the PB for passing the ordinance that created the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
“We have shown a resilient Cebu,” he said.
Davide thanked Mayor Rama of Cebu City, Mayor Jonas Cortes of Mandaue City and Mayor Paz Radaza of Lapu-Lapu City, as well as the Cebu and Mandaue Chambers of Commerce, for their help in preparations for the APEC meetings in Cebu, which will begin this weekend.
“Let us work hard and show the best of Cebu,” Davide said.
Toward the end of his speech, the governor reiterated his position on the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC), which the Province finished during then-governor Gwendolyn Garcia’s first term.
It is a “P840-million mistake that we inherited,” he said. Davide, added, however that he is hopeful that next year, the Department of Trade and Industry will start fixing the building so it can be used as an exhibition center.
In his last State of the Province Address before he runs for reelection, Davide thanked Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale for “supporting, guiding and protecting” him, and said he hoped she wouldn’t change her mind about being his running mate in 2016.
“When we do our job with pure and sincere intentions, we do not need the cameras to roll while we plant the seeds of change. We do not need edifices to glorify ourselves. And so I implore you, challenge you, to support the programs of your Provincial Government. Be one with us. Help us. Pray for us,” Davide said.