by Carmel Loise Matus, Correspondent
AS personal consultant to Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, Grecilda “Gigi” Sanchez-Zaballero said she would report to work every Tuesday and Friday in the Capitol.
“I have no problem coming in and out of the legislative building because as far as I’m concerned, this building is owned by the people of Cebu. I could enter the Capitol building if I want to,” she told reporters.
Zaballero, eldest daughter of the late vice governor Greg Sanchez Jr. said her non-hiring as a provincial consultant by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia doesn’t bother her.
“If she blocks me, (Magpale) will appoint me. I still do what I need to do,” she said.
Magpale and Zaballero, who accepted a P1-a-year arrangement, met last week at the Capitol to discuss her hiring.
The vice governor, who used to enjoy close political ties with Garcia, has eight pending contracts of consultants under her office that need approval by Governor Garcia. (Zaballero is not part of the batch.)
Each consultant receives a monthly salary of P23,000 to P25,000.
Magpale said the contracts should have been renewed last month. The contracts of Capitol employees are renewed every six months.
Magpale said that back in January, it only took three weeks after the contracts of consultants under the vice governors office were renewed. But the case now is different.
Zaballero said her service was voluntary since the vice governor has retained some of her father’s programs.
“The title really doesn’t matter to me. If there’s something that is assigned to me I will help,” said Zaballero, a chemical enginneer who managers the family’s pro-biotics and health products business.
Zaballero showed records of some of her father’s proposed projects like a fish port that would cover Talisay City to Naga City. and the Transaxial Highway that would run along the backbone of Cebu from north to south.
She said Vice Governor Magpale wanted to take a second look at it. The highway project used to be a top agenda of Governor Garcia when she and Sanchez were still on good terms. The highway was later mothballed when the two had a falling out.
Zaballero was also hired by Pinamungajan Municipal Mayor Geraldine Yapha as consultant for waterworks project. She goes to Pinamungajan every Thursday.
She said her hiring isn’t meant to drive a wedge between Magpale and Garcia.
Zaballero said she hopes that what happened to her father — having his powers clipped and his office budget slashed — won’t happen to Magpale.
The vice governor, who backed off on hiring the engineer as a Capitol consultant upon hearing about the governor’s disapproval, said she would just wait for Garcia to act on the budget. “Let’s see what happens,” she said.