USC hosts Klarohay Ta! Local Candidates Forum for 2019 Elections
Photo by Margaret Millares
Mega Cebu, in partnership with the University of San Carlos, Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) and other sectors, hosted Klarohay Ta! Local Candidates Forum for Cebu Province hopefuls at the Theodore Buttenbrunch Hall, USC-Downtown Campus, April 5, 2019.
Governor aspirant and incumbent Vice Governor Agnes Magpale (Nationalist People’s Coalition) and her tandem candidate for vice governor, incumbent Governor Hilario Davide III (Liberal Party) took the stage as they outlined their political platforms in the afternoon session of the day-long event.
The event was an avenue for local candidates to promote their political agenda and voice their opinions towards current local and national issues, as well as their oaths to the 3.2 million Cebuano voters.They were given opportunities to discuss their proposals in their opening statements.
Magpale, who sat in office in 2013, envisions Cebu to be “a gateway for global market opportunities,” stressing that it should be the people who should benefit from the economy. She also hopes to make Cebu an ideal place to live and invest as she aims her agenda on healthcare, countryside development, education and peace and order.
On the other hand, Davide looks to switch roles with Magpale in the vice governor seat as he hopes to make Cebu a “peaceful and resilient community where people cooperate.” He also condemns the malicious personal attacks directed at him by his opponents, stressing his accomplishments in the Capitol in over five years in office.
The candidates then voiced their stances regarding key issues in the city and country today.
On traffic and transportation management, the tandem stressed the importance of the Metro Cebu Circumferential Road project, but Hilario admits that funding proves to be a problem with the 40 billion Peso project requiring the cooperation of everyone. Magpale added that one way to address this dilemma is to entice people to move out of the city, which in turn would also improve the economic states of the local towns.
Further, the Magpale-Davide duo suggested their support for the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) as they emphasized that it would alleviate traffic congestion in the city, with Magpale stressing that “it is almost ready.”
On sanitation and health, the tandem highlighted one of their projects to create a sanitary landfill in Carmen, hoping to finish it in the next two years despite several residents’ concerns.
They also made mention of the plastic reduction ordinances that towns have implemented, with Magpale hoping to minimize the pollution brought by plastics in the long run.
On the city’s water situation, Davide stressed his plans to develop the Mananga Dam but mentions that funding continues to deter the plans. He also made mention of the assistance the government is providing to the farmers throughout the drought season, handing them farm equipment and seedlings to compensate for their dilemma.
On safety and security, Magpale emphasized how they “nurture the police,” providing incentives to towns that have lowered incidence of crimes and substance abuse cases. Notably, Davide stressed his disappointment with the cases of extra judicial killings of the current administration, highlighting that due process is integral in the drug war.
The two also shared their experiences campaigning throughout Cebu, joking that both the elections and the weather is becoming heated, with Davide defending the accusations thrown to him by his opponents regarding the 1.3 billion Resource Center project, emphasizing that he did not violate any laws, in contrast to the accusations brought out to him,
The forum ended with the ceremonial signing of commitment by the candidates to the Bugsay Principle of Mega Cebu, pledging their support for the vision of the nation-centered proposal.
The forum delivered the second half of the day-long event with a morning session held earlier in the day. A replay is available on the Mega Cebu Candidates Forum Facebook page as well as the schedules for the upcoming fora.
The next installment of the forum will look to feature candidates for Mandaue City on April 5, Monday at the same venue.