FORMER Cebu Governor
Emilio “Lito” Osmeña died of
Covid-19 disease last July 19,
2021, at Cebu Doctor’s Hospital, leaving a legacy of being
the Father of Ceboom.
Osmeña’s son, Mariano
“Mimo,” said that his father
was fully vaccinated when he
died-- the first dose was last
April, and the second dose
was last May.
Osmeña, 82, was
cremated and buried at his own Skyline Garden Columbary, with his parents and
grandparents, and his brother Senator John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña, Mimo said.
Osmeña was elected as
Cebu governor on Jan. 18, 1988. He served as chief executive of the province
until June 30, 1992. His leadership in Cebu has developed the province into an
economic hub in the Philippines.
During his governorship,
the annual budget of the Cebu Provincial Government was P165 million, including
the maintenance and operating expenses.
So, together with
then Board Member Gregorio Sanchez Jr., a civil engineer, and Board Member
Winston Garcia, a lawyer, they sold the golf course behind the defunct Magellan
Hotel to the Ayala business empire which is now called Cebu Business Park where
billions of pesos circulated every week before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Osmeña ran for vice
president in 1992 in tandem with then Defense Secretary Fidel V. Ramos who won
while he lost. But one year after, Ramos appointed him as presidential economic
adviser from 1993 to 1998. He ran for President of the Philippines in that year,
became a victim of personality politics and was defeated by a movie actor.
and military experts said Osmeña was the best president the Philippines never
Recently, Osmeña held
a press conference at Casino Español in Cebu City, and together with radio icon
Nanding Celeste and former Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA)
director Oscar Canton, announced the revival of Probinsya Muna Development
Initiatives (PROMDI) Party and has formed an alliance with Team Manny Paquiao
In that press
conference, Osmeña re-inventoried its leaders in entire Cebu and several
regions in the country. They are now ready to field candidates for governor
down to the last municipal councilor.
Osmeña was also
responsible for the governorship of former Cebu governor Pablo P. Garcia.
Garcia who was the congressman of Cebu’s 3rd District was about to
run for reelection against then Senator Sonny, Lito O’s brother. But to avoid a
political head-on collision, Osmeña offered Garcia to run for governor and won.
governorship, Osmeña opened the Trans-Central Highway, passing the mountains of
Cebu City and Balamban town that cut short the travel distance from 60
kilometers to more than 45 kilometers. It is now being used by residents in
Cebu’s west coast, and the businessmen and workers of the shipbuilding industry
District Board Member Ismael “Jimbo” Borgonia said that Balamban’s economy is
still growing despite the Covid-19 pandemic because the more than 8,000 people
in the shipbuilding industry are still working.
When Osmeña succeeded
in making the then Mactan Domestic Airport to MCIAA through the effort of his
cousin, the late Rep. Raul V. Del Mar, several direct international flights
were opened from Mactan to Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore and later on with 36
flights a day to several countries of the world, the cities of Lapu-Lapu and
Mandaue which were then sleepy became urban areas.
Millions of foreign
tourists came to the Philippines that uplifted the tourism business.
The lands at the old
Lahug airport were returned to its previous owners and the IT Park was born
with billions of pesos in circulation every week before the Covid pandemic.
Aside from raising
the salaries of provincial government employees, Osmeña was able to concrete
the roads and bridges in the province, increasing more the business and trade.
In one of his
speeches, Osmeña said that Cebu is leading compared to other provinces in the
country because it has four major facilities that can invite foreign and
domestic investors. These are communication, transportation, water, and power