By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times
(UPDATE) CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has assured survey frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. of a huge win in her turf in May.
Garcia made the statement after the UniTeam rally in Cebu City on Monday drew at least 300,000 people.
The governor said that the rally turnout was a concrete expression of support to Marcos and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Garcia, leader of the One Cebu local party, said the region will deliver a landslide victory for the tandem.
Cebu, including its independent cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu, has more than 3.2 million registered voters.
"In 2004 we delivered [votes], imagine a margin of 1.2 million of GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) over FPJ (Fernando Poe Jr.)," Garcia said. "That is why she took her oath of office here."
The governor said the region also delivered votes for President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, who won with a margin of about 1.2 million over Mar Roxas.
The governor said this came at a time when One Cebu was not as united as it is now.
"[Now] I'm governor, the mayor of Cebu City, the mayor of Lapu-Lapu City, the mayor of Mandaue city and I representing 44 towns and six component cities have thrown our support behind the UniTeam so for the first time, we have this One Cebu island phenomenon," she added.
She said that Duterte-Carpio can win her race by the same margin in Cebu.
Marcos thanked Garcia, city officials and the other mayors of Cebu towns for organizing the biggest rally in coordination with Lakas-CMD and Tingog party-list.
On the other hand, Duterte-Carpio assured Cebu it will retain its status as the "Queen City of the South" and will become a key partner of the country in progress and development.
Marcos, meanwhile, emphasized the need to focus on "vote protection" as the campaign season draws to its final stretch.
The former senator said that he continues to strengthen the UniTeam alliance to ensure the protection of his votes.
Despite topping surveys, Marcos said there were a lot of things to do.
If he wins, Marcos vowed to push for the modernization of the Philippine Postal Corp. (PHLPost) to increase government revenues by catering to the last-mile delivery requirements of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
"We are in the process of studying various options for modernizing the PHLPost. We intend to make PHLPost an ideal delivery partner for e-commerce platforms by increasing its capability to serve its current customer base as well as MSMEs shifting to an online business model," he said in a statement.
Marcos said that the government needs to harness the revenue potential brought by the rise of e-commerce as a preferred method of purchasing goods and services.
He also stressed the need to encourage the digital shift among MSMEs, allowing them to partake in the country's growing e-commerce market that is expected to reach $15 billion in 2025, according to market data provider Statista.
"There are so many opportunities in the e-commerce space and we need to give those with the entrepreneurial mindset the opportunity to participate," Marcos said.
The survey frontrunner said the modernization of PHLPost would be done in conjunction with a robust infrastructure development program that will support the local logistics sector.