Feature: A grateful Cebu will always remember PGMA
Cebu City (29 June) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may be unpopular as she ends her term. But to the Cebuanos, she will always be the beloved President who gave so much to the province.
In her last visit to Cebu yesterday as President of the Republic, Pres. Arroyo was left a bit teary-eyed upon watching the 10-minute audio-visual presentation prepared by the Cebu Provincial Government in a tribute to Her Excellency.
The presentation showcased the various visits of the President to Cebu during her nine years in office where she was seen either inaugurating projects partly funded by her administration or attending events of international significance.
Included in the video presentation was the highly successful 12th Asean Summit last 2007 which Pres. Arroyo specifically chose Cebu as the venue.
Mrs. Arroyo was hailed as the President who placed Cebu in the nation's history by taking her oath here as President of the Republic back in 2004 and established the Malacaņang sa Sugbo in the South.
"Madam President, as you proudly end what you have gloriously began here, a proud and grateful people thank you. Daghang salamat sa imong talagsa-ong pagpasidungog sa atong pinalanggang Sugbo," Gov. Gwen Garcia stressed in her inaugural address as a rousing applause from the crowd cheered on.
The event at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) in Mandaue City was attended by an estimated 1,000 mayors, vice-mayors, councilors, members of the Provincial Board, some Cebu congressmen and their families allied with the ?One Cebu' party of Gov. Garcia.
From Ubay, Bohol where Pres. Arroyo inaugurated the Ubay Port Project, the President flew to Talisay City, Cebu for the formal inauguration of the P136.4M Macapagal-Gullas Port largely funded by her government.
Cebu 1st Dist. Rep. Eduardo Gullas briefed Mrs. Arroyo on the port and how this will help the fishermen of Talisay City, a coastal fishing village, and nearby towns augment their income by saving on transportation costs by bringing their fish products to the Talisay fish port instead to Pasil in Cebu City. Pasil is the major wet fish market in the province.
The fish port houses an ice plant, ice storage, administration building and a public toilet.
Gullas told the President that the people of Cebu especially the Talisayonons and his constituents from the 1st district will forever be grateful to her because without her funding support, the Macapagal-Gullas Fish Port would not have materialized.
Pres. Arroyo also interviewed a construction worker of the fish port and a fish dealer on how the port project provided them with livelihood.
"Kini na akong last trip sa Cebu Province isip presidente. Magpasalamat ko kaninyong tanan sa mga landslide victories nga kanunay gihatag ninyo kanako sukad sa akong pagkandidato pagka senador, pagka bise presidente ug pagka presidente," a relaxed and smiling Pres. Arroyo told the crowd that included the city's local officials and mayors of the different towns of the 1st District.
Pres. Arroyo then administered the oath taking of Gullas as the re-elected congressman and the mass oath taking of the city officials and the town mayors of the 1st district allied with Gullas' Alayon Party.
From Talisay City, the President motored to the CICC where she likewise administered the oath of office to re-elected Gov. Garcia, his father 2nd District Rep. Pablo Garcia and brother 3rd District Rep. Pablo John Garcia at the CICC. Two other congressmen who took their oath before Mrs. Arroyo were 4th District re-elected Rep. Benhur Salimbangon and 6th District Congressman Luigi Quisumbing.
After the CICC event, Mrs. Arroyo proceeded to Danao City to lead the formal inauguration of the President Diosdado Macapagal Park and Boardwalk together with Danao City Mayor Ramon "Nito" Durano III, 5th Dist. Rep. Ramon "Red" Durano VI, Danao City Vice Mayor Ramon "Boy" Durano Jr. and Tourism Sec. Joseph Ace Durano.
Mayor Durano in his welcome remarks said the park may have been built solely on city funds but that it could not have been realized without the funding support from the Presidential Social Fund of Mrs. Arroyo which provided the P24M budget to reclaim the area where the park is situated.
"Your kindness and generosity will forever be remembered by the Danaoanons," according to Mayor Durano.
Rep. Durano in his message said he wanted Danao City to be the industrial hub of northern Cebu and cited two infrastructure projects of Pres. Arroyo to make this vision closer to reality. The infra projects were the Macapagal-Durano Fish Port located just beside the park and the RORO (roll-on roll-off) port in Danao City that witnessed a tremendous rise in tourists visiting Camotes Island.
Durano also cited another project funded by the Arroyo Administration --- the Cansaga Bay Bridge, a component of the Cebu North Coastal Road Project, that traverses from Mandaue City to the town of Consolacion and exiting in the Municipality of Liloan and vice versa significantly cutting time travel time by at least half an hour.
Durano said the two projects (fish port and RORO port) alone have increased economic activities in his area while travel town to the north has made more accessible because of the bridge.
"The people of Danao and the 5th District will forever be grateful for the numerous projects you gave to Cebu, "Rep. Durano claimed.
Before departing to Manila, Pres. Arroyo first swore into office newly-elected Lapulapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and administered the mass oath taking of the city officials at the Most Important Person (MIP) Lounge inside the Mactan International Airport.
She also accommodated requests for souvenir photos from government employees and local officials. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]