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Cebu lost decisive leader in Salimbangon

CEBU City Vice Mayor Michael “Mike” Rama said that Cebu has lost an energetic, innovative, and decisive leader with the death of former Congressman Benhur L. Salimbangon.

Salimbangon died last December 24, 2020 after a long battle against cancer. He was buried at his family-owned cemetery in Lapu-Lapu City after being brought to Cebu’s 4th District especially in his hometown of Medellin.

Salimbangon was the only Cebuano congressman who served the House of Representatives for four straight terms (12 years) from 2007 to 2019. He was replaced by his wife, Janice Zamora Salimbangon from July 1, 2019 to the present.

Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Sun Shimura said that Salimbangon was able to widen and concrete all the roads in mainland 4th District, concreted the bridges, and expanded and concreted the road leading to Maya Port.

The ongoing project that will surely benefit all the people in Bantayan Island is the “submarine cable” line that will bring power from Mainland Cebu to the island.

In the middle of 2020, he called up DYRC radio and Cebu Business Week and said that the 500 hectares of land in Medellin allocated for economic zone has already been approved in principle by President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine Export Zone Administration (PEZA) Director Geneal Charito Plaza.

Medellin Mayor Joven Mondigo Jr. confirmed this to DYRC and Cebu Business Week, saying that it has been covered by a resolution from the Medellin Municipal Council.

Salimbangon also told Cebu Business Week that he and Rep. Janice has requested the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for an allocation of P200 million for the construction of a big airport (2-kilometer in length and 60-meter in width) to complement the economic zone.

Late last year, the DOTr has sent a technical team to make a feasibility study for an airport in the area.

Rama said that he is close to Benhur and the Salimbangon family and the family of Benhur’s sister, businesswoman Mariquita Salimbangon Yeung.

“He (Benhur) was my big brother since I was a Cebu City councilor and he ran for Cebu board member in the 4th District. He was the author of Cebu Provincial Ordinance No. 93-1 in connection to the provincial lot being occupied by city residents,” Rama said.