Garbo: Pandemic caused detour but destination is still progress for Mabalacat City

MABALACAT CITY — Mayor Crisostomo “Cris” Garbo on Monday, in his State of the City Address (SOCA), said the pandemic made Mabalaqueños take a detour but the destination is still the same – which is greater progress for the city.

During his report to the Sangguniang Panglungsod, the mayor cited his nine pillars of good governance that have made significant strides, paving the way for him to lead the city with utmost sincerity.

Under healthcare, Garbo said the city has improved on Central Pharmacy, Rural Health Units, procured state-of-the-art ambulances, partnered with private hospitals, and provided hemodialysis treatments which benefitted 7,308 of his constituents.

The city government, he continued, utilized P56 million for healthcare alone. From the said budget, Mayor Garbo provided financial aid and food items for bedridden patients whom he personally visited in their respective homes.

“This year, I personally visited our 600 bedridden patients because I want you to feel that your government cares for you,” Garbo said.

He said because of his healthcare program, the city has lesser number of active COVID-19 patients compared to other cities and municipalities in the province.

“I thank our doctors, healthcare workers and frontliners for maintaining the health, sanitation and safety of each of us. Maraming salamat po,” he said with gratitude. 

Garbo recalled how his administration prepared programs and projects that are now vital under the new normal brought about by the pandemic.

In 2017, upon assumption as city mayor, Garbo distributed thousands of laptops to public school teachers. Given the new normal now, educators here can adapt with online teaching using these gadgets.

“With the absence of face-to face classes, the city government will be installing clustered digital hubs in targeted barangays here where students who have no internet connection at home can do their homework or modules,” Garbo said.

Garbo also announced that the city has purchased more than ten risograph machines for printing of modules which will be used by primary, secondary and college students.

With the situation of the economy worldwide, Garbo is calling on Mabalaqueños to be self-sufficient, as the city agriculture office is giving away free seedlings under the city government’s food sufficiency program.

“I am calling for self-sufficiency. Namimigay po tayo ng free seedlings. Please take part in these programs and learn as much as you can. Wala po dapat magutom na Mabalaqueño. We have to survive this together,” he furthered.

According to Garbo, his administration will support emerging industries like online selling, among others.

The city’s gender and development office for this year has provided P10,000 to solo parents and indigent women for livelihood. The city government is eyeing to expand its program to provide soft loans of up to P50,000 along with training and product development for a complete package support.

For jobs generation, Garbo said that in Clark alone, there are 26,000 workers from Mabalacat City.

The city, meantime, has 1,000 recipients of P500 as monthly pension for indigent senior citizens. The mayor targets 5,000 recipients of the monthly pension by 2021. 

The mayor also thanked various private offices and government agencies for their asssitance during lockdowns. They include Texas Instruments, Clark Development Corporation, Aboitiz, Jocson College, DepEd, among others.

Hindi ko man kayo ma-isa-isa lahat, taos puso ko kayong pinasasalamatan. Maraming maraming salamat po,” he stressed.

Mayor Garbo also urged barangay officials to establish their own Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) within this year, as part of the city government’s program on environmental protection.

At the latter part of his speech, Garbo vowed that his administration will never stop working to find solutions for the welfare of every Mabalaqueño.

“We will never give up in finding solutions. It is true that there is no manual in governance during this time of pandemic but this administration vows to always put your welfare above all,” he said.

Garbo also encouraged his constituents to focus on the bright things in life as the new normal will open new opportunities for every individual.

The mayor reiterated his call to always observe proper health protocol for everyone’s safety.

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