MANY things have been said about Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, some of them downright nasty and some of them true, but there’s one thing I can assure you.
She doesn’t mince words and she doesn’t back away from a problem. Oh, and did I mention that she is also a workaholic?
This would explain why, on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, she arrived at the Capitol using a walker.
I’m pretty sure her personal physician had a conniption when she told him that she would report to the office despite injuring her hip during a fall in her house over the weekend.
But, as Capitol legal consultant Rory Jon Sepulveda said, no one could stop the governor from carrying out her scheduled meetings and out-of-town engagements.
After all, Garcia’s work ethic is, dare I say it, legendary.
I should know. I had the privilege of working for her during her second term as governor back in the late 2000s. If you couldn’t catch up with her, then you’re not cut out for the job because she demands, no, she expects everyone else around her to be on the same wavelength.
I’m pretty sure some employees of the Provincial Government are missing the good old days when they could sneak out during office hours to have a quick drink across the street. But why talk about the past when the present is more important, right?
After all, Cebu, as a whole, is in the middle of a sink-or-swim situation. The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic has seen to that.
In fact, the local tourism industry has just been roused from four months of slumber caused by the lockdowns to contain the spread of the disease because Garcia knows that many Cebuanos rely on tourism for their livelihood and that the sector is one of the economic drivers of the province.
However, the governor is also aware that she is dealing with a potentially fatal and highly infectious disease. That’s why she deemed it necessary “to slowly resume tourism activities while making sure health and safety protocols are in place.”
It’s a tightrope that Garcia has been forced to tread. And very carefully, too, especially now in her current condition.
Since the beginning of the health crisis, the governor has always been in touch with the people who elected her to lead them. Many tuned in to her live press conferences on Facebook to get the latest news on the pandemic.
She might have had a few stumbles along the way, but, as I’d like to remind all of you, the path was quite dark in the early days and everyone was groping for answers.
But one thing is clear, for many in the province, Garcia has become their beacon of information and hope. And a beacon, folks, is of no use if it cannot be seen.