No more ‘Malacañang sa Sugbo,’ Arroyo says
CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the “Malacañang sa Sugbo” (Malacañang in Cebu), where she stayed and held office during her Cebu visits during her presidency, would be again used as the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) office in the province.
While Arroyo did not give a timeframe on the 109-year-old building’s turnover to the BOC, she said the government was now in the procurement stage in the rehabilitation of Malacañang sa Sugbo.
She turned the BOC building into an extension office and called it Malacañang sa Sugbo in 2004. She held office there every time she visited Cebu. Felix Guanzon, Arroyo’s presidential assistant for the Visayas, also held office there.
Damaged by quake
The Malacañang sa Sugbo was not used by former President Benigno Aquino III and President Duterte. The building was damaged during the earthquake that hit Central Visayas in 2013 and it had not been repaired.
Arroyo, during her visit to Cebu on Monday, said she established an office here because she wanted to be close to the people of the Visayas and Mindanao during her presidency.
But she said there was no more need for a presidential office in Cebu because Mr. Duterte had put up an extension office in his home city of Davao.
“People in the Visayas and Mindanao would just go to Davao, so customs is getting it back,” Arroyo said. “The port of Cebu is so congested because of so much business. Even the port area is so congested.”
Arroyo, who represents Pampanga’s second district in the House of Representatives, considers her visit to Cebu a “sentimental journey” before she retires from public service. She thanked Cebuanos for the support they had given her during her presidency. —Dale G. Israel
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