Top city officials urged Bacolodnons to remain optimistic and united amid the continuing battle against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Lone District Rep. Greg Gasataya made the call during the 82nd Charter Day rites of the City of Bacolod held at the Government Center on Thursday afternoon.
“For sure, we are going to survive. It’s proven and tested that Bacolod had survived too many crises. Never mind the weather as long as we are together,” the mayor said in his message.
Leonardia said the challenges related to Covid-19 faced by Bacolod have somehow been manageable because of the hard work and teamwork of the city officials.
He pointed out that before the health crisis hit the city, Bacolod has been gaining momentum in terms of economic growth and was also proclaimed as the Best Performing Local Government Unit in Western Visayas.
“Once the weather gets fine, let us do it with a vengeance. Let us take back what we had lost from the coronavirus,” he said.
In his inspirational message, Gasataya said “these past few months have been difficult”, but the people of Bacolod “did not falter.”
“We were in a crisis, we were under a situation that was new to all of us, but we chose to help one another. We chose to be united,” he said.
The lawmaker said the history of Bacolod has taught its people that when they are united, speak in one voice, move and help each, there is nothing that they cannot overcome.
“There was fear and sorrow among us, but we never failed to show the world the kindness and resiliency that rightfully earned our city its title. We remained strong and united despite the unprecedented crisis,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Dolores Rommela Ruiz, the guest of honor and speaker during the ceremony, urged residents here to be “cautious in going back to some degree of normalcy because we can have irreparable damage and consequences.”
“I challenge each and every Bacolodnon to stand up and be vigilant. We shouldn’t be underestimating the virus that does not sleep. We have to work as one community regardless of your affiliation. We have to overcome this pandemic together,” said Ruiz, an infectious diseases specialist and a fellow of both the Philippine College of Physicians and the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.
She also said that Bacolodnons must concentrate on preventing the spread of the virus by observing health protocols like wearing a face mask in public places, and observing cough etiquette.
“We have to practice the fundamentals of infection control. It has to be a way of life,” she added.
Ruiz said that Bacolod needs to have more quarantine facilities as containment measures both in the hospitals and the community, strengthen disease surveillance and capacity building, and empower more healthcare workers and the community by training them about best practices.
During the program, Leonardia also awarded the Mayor’s Special Citation to six outstanding Bacolodnons.
The awardees were led by the late Peque Gallaga, a multi-awarded actor, director, screenwriter, and filmmaker. The posthumous award was received by Gallaga’s son, Jubal.
Other recipients included composer and lyricist Joel “Bagguer” Villaluz Sr., and city employees Rizalino de la Peña Jr., Rowe Bermejo, and Rex Delina, who were recognized for their long years of dedicated service.
Job order employee Ronnie Llanto was awarded for his honesty. He facilitated the return of a wallet he found while on duty as a city street cleaner.
Source: Philippines News Agency