Cebu leaders cheer railway push, ‘no lockdowns,’ OFW aid in Sona

·3 min read

CEBU leaders praised President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for his first State of the Nation Address (Sona), which they said was comprehensive and offered concrete plans.

“PBBM’s first Sona was very comprehensive,” said Rep. Daphne Lagon (Cebu, 6th district), hours after Marcos delivered his Sona on Monday, July 25, 2022. “It covers every pressing need of the country at this time from the health crisis to economic recovery, independent foreign policy, job creation, infrastructure development, improving government services, agriculture and land reform and education, among others.”

Lagon said what was important to her was Marcos’ concern for the overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

“The law creating the Department of Migrant Workers has only recently been approved, and yet he was not satisfied,” Lagon said in Cebuano. “He wants to create a One Repatriation Command Center so that our OFWs oppressed in other countries can immediately be given assistance. This is very important, especially in life and death situations when just a little delay in our response can result in death.”

“Aside from this, he also wants to give appropriate attention and assistance to the families of OFWs to minimize also the adverse effects and social costs of families being separated from each other because we really can’t avoid this since many go abroad for greener pastures,"Lagon added.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia described Marcos’ Sona as “very comprehensive, short on motherhood statements and long on concrete plans. Candid about our situation but hopeful and focused on the way forward.”

“More importantly, for Cebu, we are topmost in his mind in terms of infrastructure. The President's overall plans are in synch with Cebu's direction. Finally, I applauded the loudest when he stated emphatically: ‘No more lockdowns,’” the governor said.

Cebu City South District Rep. Eduardo “Edu” Rama told SunStar Cebu that the Sona gave a clear path to move towards the economic development of the country.

Rama praised Marcos Jr. for mentioning projects that can improve the traffic situation of the city and the entire Cebu Island.

In his Sona, the President had instructed the Department of Transportation to get the implementation of various projects to improve the country’s transportation system going at full speed as a means to develop the economy.

Marcos Jr. mentioned the construction of a railway system in Cebu and the Bus Rapid Transit in Cebu City.

“I feel enthusiastic that the President supports the BRT and the establishment of the Cebu Railway System. These initiatives are a step in the right direction for Cebu City,” Rama said.

“As I’ve shared before, to solve our traffic situation we need to explore and implement a basket of solutions. The President’s Sona gave us a clear path to move towards,” said Rama.

Talisay City Mayor Samsam Gullas was just as excited over the plans of Marcos for the country during his six-year term.

Gullas, who attended the Sona with his wife, First District Rep. Rhea Gullas, pointed out the “no more lockdowns” and the infrastructure programs of the President that will benefit the agriculture and tourism sectors.

In his social media post, the reelected mayor said he would ask the City Council to pass a resolution outlining their priorities that will align with those of the national government.

“Will be asking them to pass a resolution documenting all our farm-to-market roads, roads leading to tourist destinations and other tourism spots that need funding,” he added.

To realize these projects, Gullas said, he would seek the assistance of his wife in Congress, as well as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Tourism, and the Department of Public Works and Highways, to prioritize such in the national budget. (JKV, ANV, IRT, MKG)

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