Dicdican willing to collaborate with Governor Garcia
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Steve Dicdican, the chief executive officer and general manager of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), expressed willingness to work with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia in a “collaborative fashion.”
Dicdican made this statement in a final clarification post on MCIAA’s Facebook page Thursday evening, April 2, 2020, after the governor expressed displeasure over his handling of foreign passengers who arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport to board sweeper flights back to their home countries.
“I am very much willing to work with her (Garcia) in a collaborative fashion. She sits in the board of MCIA, so we will have opportunities to hopefully work together in the future,” he noted.
Dicdican confirmed that he could not attend all the coordination meetings but he had sent the head of the MCIAA Medical Division because it was a medical-related issue.
He explained that at the initial phase of the pandemic, the focus of response was at the airport, so his presence was needed more at the airport than at the meetings.
“Precious hours of handling the crisis would have been lost commuting to the capitol and sitting through the near daily meetings,” he pointed out.
Dicdican also did not think that the coordination meetings were ‘collaboration.’
Respect for the governor
He recalled that he already declared a state of emergency at the airport as early as February 3, 2020 and had tried to identify potential quarantine centers.
“When the governor heard about my actions, she allegedly ranted about me in a meeting that I did not attend because I was allegedly sending mixed messages. To my mind, it became clear that collaboration was not the purpose of the meetings, as she did not really want any measure to be adopted that did not emanate from her,” Dicdican noted.
He then stressed that he always had tremendous respect for the governor.
“I have not lost that respect. She is one of the most vibrant and dynamic politicians we have. Her ability to barnstorm through every part of Cebu no matter how remote is one-of-a-kind,” he maintained.
Dicdican said that both he and the governor have noble intentions in their stands over the issue and were both passionate on what they believe in.
“I just hope the Governor will stop the rhetoric of fearmongering,” he said. “I am not doing my job mindlessly, and I take due care to ensure that the safety and health of my fellow Cebuanos. I, too, have my family here in Cebu, and I would not expose them to the risk of getting infected by the virus.”
On the other hand, Dicdican stressed that he did not have any political plans.
“I do not have an ounce of political blood in me. I have absolutely no plans of running for an elective office. I am an extremely private person, and I never sought out my current government position,” he clarified.
Dicdican added that he would be going back to the “obscurity of private life” after his stint at the airport. /bmjo
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