THE Cebu Provincial Government has set aside P550 million under its proposed 2021 budget for the construction of a building in Balamban that will host its new offices.
The proposed Cebu Provincial Government Center (CPGC) will bring the Province’s services closer to the people and promote development in the countryside, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia told reporters on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020.
Once the CPGC becomes operational, Garcia said she would be holding office there, but would not dispose of the existing Capitol building in Cebu City.
“Of course, we will continue to preserve the Cebu Capitol. This is already a declared national historical landmark and this will always be one of the most, and if not the most, elegant and beautiful buildings in the entire country,” she said.
“We will maintain this. We will conserve this as this is already part of the Cebuano heritage. But insofar as government services are concerned, these will now be focused in the new provincial government center for easier access to our constituents,” she added.
With the new government center in Balamban, Garcia said there would be no need for constituents in the towns to travel to Cebu City to raise their concerns or carry out transactions.
She said she chose Balamban as site of the new seat of government because of its strategic location.
Balamban, a first-class municipality with a population of about 90,000 along Cebu’s west coast, is accessible from Cebu City through the Transcentral Highway. It is also linked to northern and southern Cebu.
The town, known as the shipbuilding capital of the Philippines, hosts the West Cebu Industrial Park, a 283-hectare industrial estate with 11 locators, including big shipbuilding companies, and over 14,000 workers.
Garcia said establishing a government center in Balamban has long been envisioned by previous governors.
“In fact, then governor Lito Osmeña had envisioned a project of similar nature and we are now seeing that it would be to the advantage of our provincial constituents that we do develop a government center in one of our municipalities that would be strategically placed at the, more or less, center of our northern and southern LGUs (local government units),” Garcia said.
She said the new government center will allow the Provincial Government to truly serve its constituents.
“We are now seeing that by putting up this government center, we will be bringing development really to the countryside, where the Province of Cebu will now have a clear identity as truly serving the provincial constituents. It is a statement of establishing the Province of Cebu’s own identity,” she added.
Construction of the building will be funded from the Province’s proposed P15 billion budget for 2021, which the Provincial Board targets to approve this month. (ANV)