Cebu Officials Upbeat About 2013

CEBU CITY, Cebu (PNA) - No matter if she is fighting a court order suspending her for the final six months of her term, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia stressed that she remains positive in 2013, saying, "I consider this a severe test, but I know it has a purpose. The Almighty has a plan for each of us."

The Office of the President has ordered Garcia's suspension for six months, as penalty for an administrative case for grave misconduct filed in 2010 by then Vice Governor Gregorio Sanchez Jr.

Garcia has stayed at her office in the Capitol since December 19, 2012 when Vice Governor Agnes Magpale took her oath as acting governor, after a copy of the suspension order was left on the door of the governor's office.

Meanwhile, Metro Cebu's mayors said they, too, are upbeat about 2013, revealing plans to pursue infrastructure and other projects in their respective areas in an election year.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said this year he wants to expand a beautification project he has started to the coastal areas, while the City Council led by Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young said he plans to amend the zoning ordinance to address the need for parking spaces.

Funding for these projects will be drawn from the R5.19-billion approved budget of the City Government for 2013.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said she plans to focus on the rehabilitation and improvement of city roads, particularly within Barangay Basak where traffic here is at its worst.

Radaza said her administration has not fully met the demands of constituents for better roads, because of lack of funds.

She said last year, the city made significant inroads in ecotourism projects and in introducing the islands as potential tourist spots.

In Talisay City, Mayor Socrates Fernandez said that in the last six months of his term, he plans to prioritize livelihood projects for out-of-school youth.

He said he also hopes to tap the Talisay City College to give deserving young people a chance to go to school.

For his part, Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong said the infrastructure projects being planned for the city this year are part of his efforts to attract new investors, including a new public market and expansion of the city's reclamation project.

Chiong said that in 2013, several businesses have signified their intention to open their plants in the city, and this happens, this will provide an estimated P100 million income for the city.

Naga's budget for 2013 is P650 million.

Aside from the market and reclamation projects, Naga also plans to build a sports oval in the Naga City Central School, for an estimated cost of P30 to P50 million.

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