To make public services accessible to her constituents in the southern and northern corridors of Cebu province, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Thursday announced that the provincial government center will move from this capital city to Balamban town.
In a press conference, Garcia said local government unit (LGU) officials and the people will no longer have to suffer from the heavy traffic in going to the city to transact business at the Cebu Provincial Capitol once the government center is moved to the town, which is the province’s shipbuilding hub.
“Secondly, but I think this is the most important reason, setting up the provincial government center in an LGU under the province is for the convenience of the provincial constituents. And to establish the province’s own identity,” Garcia said.
The governor said the new center will stand on a mixed-use property collocated with commercial establishments and a housing site for provincial government officials and employees.
She said that an initial allocation of PHP550 million will be used for the acquisition and development of the property envisioned to be the next center of public service for provincial residents.
The province, she said, will partner with the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) for the implementation of employees’ housing project. “We will expect (capitol) employees to relocate,” she added.
On Wednesday, Garcia assured Cebuanos that the 83-year-old Cebu Capitol Building “will be preserved” after the transfer of the provincial government functions outside Cebu City.
Currently, the capitol building is located at the north end of Osmeña Boulevard in this city’s uptown village of Capitol Site.
The old capitol building was designed by Juan Arellano, a Filipino architect best known for the Manila Metropolitan Theater, the old Legislative Building that is now the National Museum of the Philippines, and the Manila Central Post Office.
An inscription on the central concave portion of its facade reads, “The authority of the government emanates from the people. Erected A.D. MCMXXXVII.” (PNA)