Gwendolyn Garcia

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Gwendolyn Fiel Garcia
Garcia-g.png
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Cebu's 3rd District
Incumbent
Assumed office
June 30, 2013
Preceded by Pablo John Garcia
Governor of Cebu
In office
June 30, 2004 – June 30, 2013
Preceded by Pablo P. Garcia
Succeeded by Hilario Davide III
Personal details
Born Gwendolyn Fiel Garcia
(1955-10-12) October 12, 1955 (age 59)
Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Political party Lakas-Kampi-CMD (2004-2011) National Unity Party (2011-2012)
United Nationalist Alliance (2012-Present)
One Cebu (2004-present)
Relations Pablo P. Garcia (father)
Esperanza F. Garcia (mother)
Pablo John Garcia (brother)
Byron F. Garcia (brother)
Winston Garcia (brother)
Alma mater University of the Philippines Diliman (college)
Profession Politician, Businesswoman
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website www.gwengarcia1ph.com

Gwendolyn Fiel Garcia (born October 12, 1955), commonly known as Gwen, is a Filipina politician who is the Representative of the 3rd District of Cebu and the governor of the province from 2004 to 2013. She is Cebu's first female governor.

Personal life[edit]

A family photo of Rep. Garcia's family.
Gov. Gwen Garcia (leftmost, second row) with her family.

Gwendolyn Garcia was born on October 12, 1955. She is the eldest daughter of former Cebu Governor and House Deputy Speaker Pablo P. Garcia and Judge Esperanza “Inday” Fiel-Garcia. Her youngest brother, Pablo John Garcia is a lawyer-congressman.[1] Her brother Byron has been a security consultant for the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), which caught global attention in 2007 for its rendition of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" featuring the its inmates. Her brother Winston is the former General Manager of the Government Service Insurance System (Philippines).[1][2][3]

Education and career[edit]

Garcia was a consistent honor student in elementary and high school at Cebu's St. Theresa's College. She previously earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Communication from the University of the Philippines Diliman and studied Law at the same university. She was awarded with the honorary degrees of Doctor of Humanities from the Cebu Normal University (CNU) and Doctor of Philosophy in Technology Management from the Cebu State College of Science and Technology (CSCST).[4]

Rep. Garcia with House of Representatives Speaker Feliciano Belmonte (left) and her father, former Representative Pablo P. Garcia (right).

Prior to being elected as governor, she was responsible for instituting various reforms at the Cebu Provincial Capitol as a Consultant on Systems Promotion and Development for three years. Earlier, she was Consultant on Financial Affairs and assisted her father in expanding the province's resources.

She was active in the private sector as chairperson of the Leyte Cooperative Bank from 1996 to 1998. She is, since 1998, the president and CEO of the GGC Group, Inc.

She is the head of the Regional Development Council, the Regional Peace and Order Council, and chairman of the Visayas RDCom (comprising RDC 6, RDC 7 and RDC 8), the Deputy Secretary General for Visayas of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP), Chairman of the Board of the Mactan Cebu Bridge Management Board (MCBMB), and Member of the Board of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).[4]

Political career[edit]

Rep. Garcia, even when she was still a governor, is known to dance in the Sinulog festival to show her devotion to the Santo Niño de Cebú.

Garcia first entered politics in 2004, when she was elected as governor by 7,000 votes to succeed her father. Three years later, in 2007, she was reelected overwhelmingly, obtaining a lead of 500,000 votes. In 2010, she defeated Hilario Davide III, son of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr., for a third and final term by more than 90,000 votes.

Rep. Garcia talks with a resident from northern Cebu, which was devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.

As Governor, she has driven Cebu to international recognition, reinvented government by professionalizing the delivery of public services, and with her sharp eye for economic enterprise, she has led the province to unprecedented growth. By 2013, Cebu Province’s assets stood at P28 billion, a 430% increase from 2004, making Cebu the undisputed richest province in the Philippines.

Children pose with Rep. Garcia.

During her three terms, Gov. Garcia aggressively pursued a 12-point agenda for her administration, implementing economically viable development programs that effectively responded to the needs of the Cebuano constituency – in infrastructure, water, power, health, education, agriculture and food production, women and children, business, tourism and the environment. This later on became her 12-point plus 2 agenda of government, with the inclusion of an enhanced information and communication portfolio that showcase the Province of Cebu and strong international relations aimed at creating beneficial linkages with the global community.

Rep. Garcia giving out presents to the children.

As Governor, she made sustainable tourism a priority, and steered Cebu to become the premier tourism destination in the country and the region. Through the One Cebu Expo showcasing Cebuano artistry, creativity and world-class products, Cebu has also emerged as the creative capital of the country. And with Cebu’s beautiful coastline, pristine mountains and world-class resorts, Cebu has also become an international sports tourism destination.

Rep. Garcia coming to work in the House of Representatives

She was the first and only Governor to publicly declare an all out war against communist insurgency, and proceeded to put in place measures to achieve such end, resulting in the declaration of Cebu as an insurgency-free zone. The anti-criminality task forces of the Province bring to justice perpetrators of illegal fishing, those involved in the illegal drug trade and in human trafficking.

Garcia was elected as the representative of the third congressional district on May 13, 2013, over Pinamungahan Mayor Geraldine Yapha. She was the first woman Representative of the 3rd Congressional District of the Province of Cebu. Her election as Congresswoman followed on the heels of a historical three terms as the first woman Governor of the 442-year-old Province of Cebu, a political three-peat, her mandates delivered with solid and unprecedented margins by the Cebuano people.

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