Mayor Jerry P. Treñas on Friday night paid tribute to the Ilonggo’s “unwavering brand of Bayanihan spirit” that has kept everyone “intact and resilient” amid their battle against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
In his first virtual State of the City Address (SOCA), Treñas highlighted some of the local government’s best practices in responding to the health crisis.
“Help from all sectors (was) overwhelming and I am certain that it was the help coming from everyone that kept us all intact and resilient,” he said in his nearly 30-minute address.
Treñas cited the city’s best practices – the establishment of community kitchens, kitchen patrols, and rolling stores; provision of dormitories for health workers; the launch of the Ilonggo Pan de Sal; collaboration with Ilonggo Artists Against Covid-19 and Uswag sewers for the production of face masks; bike sharing; conduct of mass testing; support from Iloilo United Volunteers; and the donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing kits from compassionate Ilonggo businessmen.
He reported that the city government has established 240 Uswag (progress) community kitchens that prepared 1,903,036 meals for city residents.
The kitchens were rolled out on March 22 and hosted by 204 daycare centers and 37 barangay halls.
A total of 205 daycare workers, 180 supplemental feeding workers, and 447 parent leaders of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) were tapped to cook and distribute the prepared meals.
Treñas said that while the city government shelled out more than PHP12 million for the project, it is worthy to note that the private sector donations helped a lot in keeping the community kitchens running for almost three months.
Meanwhile, the Ilonggo Pan de Sal was a collaboration of the Bakers Association in Iloilo. By the end of April, bakers were able to provide 1.7 million pieces of pandesal for the city’s indigent residents.
Under the Uswag sewers initiative, 300,000 face masks were provided to city residents.
“The rest of the Iloilo city government’s initiatives in fighting against Covid-19 speak volumes about how Ilonggos are resilient, placing us to the present situation – far from the old normal and the ideal, but because we are on top of everything, we have come a long way,” he said.
Treñas also expressed hope that the local government’s Covid-19 testing laboratory would be completed soon.
The construction of the laboratory is ongoing and once finished, it is expected to boost the city government’s capacity to manage Covid-19 cases, he said.
Treñas urged the public to cooperate and follow health protocols and guidelines so as not to jeopardize the efforts of the local government.
“We all need to band together to shoulder the responsibility of overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic and bringing the whole city through this challenging time,” he said.
Treñas also spotlighted the honors reaped by the local government in the past 12 months.
Iloilo City, he said, was named as the eighth safest city in Southeast Asia by a recognized online survey site that provides information on living conditions in cities and countries.
The city was a recipient of the Asean Clean Tourist Award for 2020-2022 based on the Asean Clean Tourist City Standard.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry likewise recognized Iloilo City as the Most Business-Friendly Highly Urbanized City outside Metro Manila, besting 15 other finalists, for its outstanding efforts in instituting good governance reforms to promote trade and investment, transparency, accountability, and efficiency in delivering business services.
Treñas likewise laid down his administration’s initiatives in terms of education, connectivity, and health.
He ended his address by assuring Ilonggos of his commitment to look after them as the battle against the pandemic continues.
“You have placed me in this position, and now is my time to protect and to take care of you. As long as I am here, as your father, as long as you have your trust in me, as long as you continue to do your own little share, Iloilo City will be safe,” Treñas said. (PNA)
Philippines News Agency