Mabalacat City Mayor Crisostomo Garbo has been named by a local paper here, Punto Central Luzon, as Man of the Year, an annual recognition given to individuals who have made a huge positive impact to the community.
Garbo is being cited for his dedication in public service and following six meritorious awards in the Seal of Good Local Governance since he assumed post as local chief executive.
According to Punto, “this local government unit bearing identical initials with its chief executive assumes even some essence of providence – most manifest in the invocation of the Divine in each endeavor, Garbo translating it to dedicated labor, ever redounding to his constituents’ favor.”
It cited the SGLG award given to Garbo since he started his stint as mayor in July 2017 for distinguished local government performance.
Garbo earlier said the recognition that the city received is readily dedicated to the people: “Para kekatamu ya ngan pu ini, kabalen ku! To successfully deliver proper services to my fellow Mabalaquenians is my goal. This award is just a big bonus” Punto quoted him in the article.
Punto also stated that “the scale and scope – the facility too – of service delivery has become the hallmark of MCG, not only to the city constituency but even to other communities.”
Garbo’s administration had donated16 ambulances to other LGUs – not only in Pampanga but in the cities of Balanga and Olongapo, and the Tarlac towns of Bamban and Capas- as part of the 5% tax on gross income earned by Clark locators.
“Kasi ‘yun po ang pangangailangan na talagang makakatulong po sa kanila in any eventuality. Alam niyo po, marami tayong pinaghahandaan ngayon. We don’t know because of this climate change, iyan po ang pinaka-importante ngayon… mayroon po tayong pangtulong,” Garbo noted at that time.
The donation of the ambulances was providential following the coronavirus pandemic.
Mabalacat City alone, since Garbo assumed mayorship, had 16 ambulances and all its 27 barangays have received rescue vehicles and garbage trucks.
Garbo has set a precedence for donating 20 brand new Nissan Navara pick up trucks to Pampanga Police Provincial Office for deployment in all police stations in the province. The donations were made during the height of pandemic that “did not in any way dent the city’s response to Covid-19.”
Among MCG’s highlighted achievements in Punto’s award were the establishment of Covid-19 Response and Integrated System (CRIS) for inclusivity, public awareness, and focused responsibility that are needed in order to have a sustainable and centralized cell-type integration in addressing the crisis.
Part of the text of Punto’s article stated:
MCG’s comprehensive vaccination program became the toast of national government agencies, notably the DOH and the IATF, for its innovative approaches such as multiple small- and moderate-sized vax sites for greater accessibility thereby addressing the dilemma of vaccination hesitancy, and partnership with SM City Clark to use its cinemas as vax sites, setting the precedence, again, in Central Luzon where malls were present.
Garbo’s initiatives also included the “small bubbles program” – a force multiplier system tapping private companies to achieve a faster vaccination rate; the “after-work vaccination program” to accommodate constituents who find difficulty to show up on vax day due to work-related factors; and a mobile vaccination program catering to TODA and JODA members, which was the first in the region.
Consistent with the policy of inclusivity, MCG was also the first in Pampanga to cover jail detainees in its vaccination programs.
MCG came up too with a Home Care Package program with the RHU providing assistance in home-based isolation.
It includes also that Mabalacat City has exceptional healthcare comes with its chief executive’s territory – medicine as top priority, effecting the allotment of P15 million for medical assistance and another P15 million for the city’s central pharmacy that he himself established.
While MCG does not operate its own hospital, it entered into partnerships with most of the city’s premium medical facilities to allow the constituents, especially the most indigent, access to their healthcare services.
Beneficiaries of financial/medical/hospital assistance availing themselves of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program for the year 2022 numbered 15,652 (4,955 males, 10,697 females).
The care of the infirmed elderly, already of high priority to MCG, Garbo further elevated to the ministerial plane as he religiously visited bedridden patients bringing them provisions in cash and kind and engaging them in healing prayers.
Dignity in death for even the poorest of the poor of the city MCG warranted with burial assistance.
MCG also set another precedent by providing free laptops to all public schoolteachers in the city shortly after the mayor took office – eventually proving prescient with the coming of the Covid pandemic making online education the main means, aye, platform, of schooling.
At the resumption of the local council for the protection of children assessment, Mabalacat City got the highest in the functionality of local councils for children in Pampanga. Under MCG, the city also garnered the highest rating of 95% for the Seal of Child-Friendly LGU in Central Luzon.
The 2022 national Gawad Edukampiyon for LGUs implementing early childhood care and development was also awarded to MCG.
MCG is set to groundbreak this month a new city hall complex in a 2.1-hectare lot right at the central Camachiles area. It will comprise a four-storey government building with a 1,500-seat convention center, and a museum.
Also included in the infrastructure project are a state-of the-art command center, a new public market building at its current location, and a new slaughterhouse.
A data center will also be built as the city gears for digitalization that will help monitor provision of key city government services especially in healthcare. Such monitoring has already been started with the issuance of MCG Cares data and ID card to the city’s indigent residents.
MCG is also eyeing to build housing for the city’s underprivileged and informal settlers.
MCG is likewise committed to build a 20-bed facility at the province-ran Mabalacat City District Hospital, and to provide counterpart fund in the construction of a new Pampanga provincial hospital inside the Clark Freeport.