HISTORIC. Commission on Elections-Cebu supervisor and Provincial Board of Canvassers chair Jerome Brillantes (second from right) proclaims Gwendolyn Garcia as reelected governor of Cebu in the Capitol Social Hall on Tuesday night (May 10, 2022). Garcia promised to double her efforts in serving her constituency following her historic win as she garnered the most number of votes in the province's poll history. (Screengrab from Cebu Capitol PIO video)

CEBU CITY – Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Wednesday vowed to intensify efforts to bring the province of Cebu to a higher level of progress in the next three years following her historic feat of garnering more than 1.4 million votes in Monday’s election.

Lawyer Jerome Brillantes, Commission on Election-Cebu supervisor who sits as provincial Board of Canvasser chair, proclaimed Garcia on Tuesday night at the Provincial Capitol’s social hall.

After Brillantes declared that all the certificates of canvass from the 51 towns and component cities of the province were received and canvassed, the counsel of One Cebu Party, lawyer Rory Jon Sepulveda, moved to proclaim the winner.

“After all the votes of the seven legislative districts in the one great province of Cebu have been counted and canvassed showing a total of 1,478,436 votes for Gwendolyn Fiel Garcia, incumbent governor who is currently serving a historic fourth term… The first woman to have been elected as governor of Cebu, making a trail of historic wins as now made another first being the first to have breached the one-million mark in the history of the electoral process in the province of Cebu, with a resounding majority of 1.1 million votes over her opponent,” Sepulveda said in his introducing his motion.

Garcia, in her speech, thanked the Cebuanos for the overwhelming support which, she said, would guide her in rising above her “own personal comfort and to put paramount importance to the interest of the Cebuanos”.

She also thanked the government agencies that are giving the provincial government "valuable inputs during the difficult times" of the pandemic.

Durano conceded defeat, congratulating Garcia and the reelected vice governor, Hilario Davide III, his running mate.

“To all the Cebuanos who supported our cause of #ABetterCebu and the Cebu Priority Development Agenda, my heartfelt thanks to you all. I do not regret my decision to run for governor because I believe Cebu really needs a better health program, equal livelihood opportunities, and projects for various sectors. But the people have a voice and the will of the majority will be fulfilled),” Durano said in a statement posted on his social media page.

Garcia championed the reopening of Cebu’s economy, particularly the tourism industry, a major step for the island while the rest of the country was still reeling from the impact of the pandemic.

During the pandemic, the governor introduced programs that helped the Cebuanos amid the economic challenges, such as the Sugbo Negosyo, Sugbusog, Enhanced Countryside Development, and Sugbo Kahanas.

The programs were also instrumental in making Cebu debt-free, the country's richest province, and insurgency-free. (PNA)