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Gwendolyn Fiel Garcia (born October 12, 1955), commonly known as Gwen, is a Filipina politician who is the incumbent governor of Cebu Province. She was the deputy speaker of the 17th Congress, a Representative of the 3rd District of Cebu from 2013 to 2019 and also the governor of the province from 2004 to 2013. She is Cebu's first female governor.

Gwendolyn Garcia
Gwendolyn Garcia at a press briefing.jpg
Garcia in 2018, addressing a press briefing of the House of Representatives
Governor of Cebu
Assumed office
June 30, 2019
Preceded byHilario Davide III
In office
June 30, 2004 – June 30, 2013
Preceded byPablo P. Garcia
Succeeded byHilario Davide III
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines
In office
August 15, 2016 – August 15, 2018
PresidentRodrigo Duterte
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Cebu's 3rd District
In office
June 30, 2013 – June 30, 2019
Preceded byPablo John Garcia
Succeeded byPablo John Garcia
Personal details
Born
Gwendolyn Fiel Garcia

(1955-10-12) October 12, 1955 (age 63)
Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
NationalityFilipino
Political partyPDP-Laban (2016-present)
Other political
affiliations
One Cebu (2004-present)
Lakas-Kampi-CMD (2004-2011)
National Unity Party (2011-2012)
United Nationalist Alliance (2012-2016)
RelationsPablo P. Garcia (father)
Esperanza F. Garcia (mother)
Pablo John Garcia (brother)
Byron F. Garcia (brother)
Winston Garcia (brother)
Marlon Fiel Garcia (brother)
ChildrenPaulo Garcia, Christina Garcia-Frasco, Carissa Garcia
Alma materUniversity of the Philippines Diliman (college)
ProfessionPolitician, Businesswoman
Websitewww.gwengarcia1ph.com

Personal lifeEdit

 
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 (b. 1925) and Judge Esperanza “Inday” Fiel-Garcia (b. 1931, d. 2016). 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 Garcia is the former General Manager of the Government Service Insurance System (Philippines).[1][2][3] Also, another brother of hers, Marlon, is currently the Mayor of the Municipality of Barili, Cebu.

Education and careerEdit

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 careerEdit

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 almost 100,000 votes.

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

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 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.

On February 12, 2018, the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed her from service for grave misconduct in connection with the purchase of a sprawling property for close to P100 million. However, on April 23, 2014, the Court of Appeals (CA) Special 18th Division in Cebu City cleared Garcia of grave misconduct over the same case. [5]

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