A challenging year has begun as we focus unified efforts on the city and the next generations’ wellbeing in all aspects, Mayor Benjamin Magalong stated in his message during this year’s first city hall flag raising ceremonies.
As we reflect on the challenges, difficulties and accomplishments of the past year, we appreciate the support, encouragement and the determination of the resilient Baguio community, and we now move forward with hope and determination towards 2023, the mayor further stated.
This year is of reckoning, forgiveness and unification towards one direction, he also emphasized.
One of our targets is to fully recover from the global Covid-19 pandemic, with last year’s successful launching of Panagbenga 2023, the mayor said. The public is well-informed of the flower festival calendar of activities, as traditional and additional activities go full-blast, he added.
As for the worrisome Covid-19 subvariant virus which is affecting a huge part of China’s population, Mayor Magalong assured Baguio citizens, “We have adjusted, Huwag kayong kabahan, huwag matakot.” The virus has been observed to have entered the Philippines since July 2022, OIC DOH Secretary Rosario Vergeire told the mayor, in a recent meeting.
Thus, health protocols; masking, physical distancing and hand hygiene should be observed during the celebratory events and in closed areas; in addition to being vaccinated and boosted, the mayor said.
He also spoke of the city’s being an ISO 9001 awardee, truly a level-up; but would entail challenges and hardwork to sustain and improve further the local government unit’s services.
ISO 9001 is a set of quality management system (QMS) standards that help ensure that customers and stakeholders’ needs are met, which was formally awarded to the city through the mayor, Congressman Mark Go, Vice-Mayor Faustino Olowan and councilors during the flag raising ceremonies.
Worth mentioning is working alongside committed, industrious and excellently trained personnel, the mayor gushed, for their attendance during the ISO assessment on a holiday Dec. 26. The whole personnel group deserves credit for the ISO 9001 award, “their efforts and commitment to excellence shall not go unnoticed,” Mayor Magalong said.
The LGU continues to pursue digitalization aggressively for a livable and smart city status in 2027, he also said, the center presently at the Baguio Convention and Cultural Center.
One more challenge is how to offset the 14%, thus a 97M deficit from the city budget. This is a budgetary constraint on our part, the mayor said, which is the same as other challenges we had, we expect to hurdle.
Truly, as a people, we have accomplished more than what we had in three years, in the midst of a pandemic and all the challenges, he assured the general public.
Everything that we do is not about a lone individual, but us, this generation and the next, the mayor ended.