Unprecedented gains cap re-election bid of Garbo-Aquino Team

MABALACAT CITY – The Garbo Administration is seeking a fresh mandate in the upcoming elections, after reaching unprecedented gains for the city such as better social services, improved economic condition, more infra projects, unparalleled medical and health program and unrelenting fight against COVID-19.

During his first term, Mayor Crisostomo Garbo has chalked up achievements like financial assistance, hospitalization, medical coverage for surgery and diagnostics, and provision of medicines for needy Mabalaquenos.

This, even as livelihood and infra projects, economic gains of the city and provision of ambulances and patrol cars have elicited recognition and praises from various sectors, including Gov. Dennis Pineda and Chief PNP Guillermo Eleazar.

“Our beloved Mabalaqueños deserve all these. They deserve our attention. They deserve to be served especially in their need for better medical, security and livelihood programs,” Garbo said.

Garbo is seeking a fresh mandate, together with Vice Mayor Gerald Guttrie “Geld” Aquino as mayor and vice mayor respectively in the upcoming elections. Under Pampanga’s ruling Kambilan Party, their line-up includes Councilorables Jun Castro, Noel Castro, Timmy Dee, Cherry Manalo, Rox Peña, Marj Sambo, Jerry Magsino, Cocoy Tiglao, Carlo Dizon, and Liza Pineda.

Team MCG Bayung Mabalacat

The accomplishments were made possible with the support of the Sangguniang Panlungsod presided by Aquino through various resolutions and ordinances especially pandemic-related measures.

“Our contributions in the SP, individually and collectively, are geared towards helping improve the lives of Mabalaquenos. We will not waver nor faint as this is our pledge. We will endeavor to serve even better,” Aquino said.

Topping the achievements of Garbo Administration were medical and health programs where more than 28,000 Mabalaqueños availed services in various rural health units including the city-run central pharmacy.

More than 10,000 Mabalaqueños in crisis situations also received financial assistance, medical assistance, hospitalization, diagnostics, surgeries and other procedures with an allotment of P76.3 million from the city government.

As of September 2021, more than 2,000 senior citizens aged 60 years old and up were provided with P1,500 quarterly social pension; 224 senior citizens who have reached 85 years old and up received P20,000 each; and 500 bedridden Mabalaqueños receiving P4,000 each.

The Pagkain sa Hapag Kainan Program also made strides in providing food and nourishment to indigent Mabalaqueño families with 2,250 total number of beneficiaries.

The Garbo Administration also distributed 11 garbage trucks, 23 ambulances and paramedic units, including 20 police mobile cars to all the LGUs in Pampanga as part of MCG’s vow to apportion LGU shares from Clark GIE.

Pandemic notwithstanding, there had been an increase in enrollment for the past year for Grades 7 to 12 from 19,012 for School Year 2019-2020 to 20,205 for SY 2020-2021. In total, 54,042 enrolled for SY 2020-2021 according to the Department of Education – Division of Mabalacat City.

Despite COVID also, the city continued building additional classrooms for elementary and secondary levels as well as provision of seats, chairs and books to students. The idea of having digital hubs or DigiHubs, as mentioned in Garbo’s SOCA in 2020, came into fruition to aid MCC students in online learning especially those who do not have wifi connections in their homes.

In 2020, the city formally introduced the Mabalacat City Early Childhood Care (ECCD) and Development as a full-fledged office of the city government to oversee that the rights and welfare of children are being addressed. The city has also launched a Center-Based ECCD Program in Alternative Venues to cater to more than 2,200 Pre-Kindergarten Children.

On livelihood, the Garbo Administration has launched the WE LEAP Program where soft loans were extended to 470 beneficiaries comprising 67 solo parents and 403 indigent women. The city was also able to distribute 50 NEGO CARTS costing P15,000.00 each with P5,000.00 worth of raw materials.

The city government also launched the Aetapreneur Project in partnership with Clark Development Corporation (CDC) to support livelihood initiatives to Aeta vendors and encourage them to refrain from begging inside the Clark Freeport.

In the fight against the pandemic, a total of 210,000 persons were vaccinated and the CRIS program was launched, which is a holistic and a ramped up program marking a well-defined COVID-19 response framework in the city encompassing four important facets – Prevention, Tracing, Isolation and Reintegration.

Recent data also shows a steady decline of daily positive cases in Mabalacat City and high recovery rate which is attributed to the stern COVID-19 management of the local government.

On Economic Development, despite COVID, the City Government posted positive gains in some revenue sources such as 2.9% increase in Business Registration, 44.07% increase in Tax Assessment and in Business Permits.

Total revenues also posted an increase from P1.77 billion in 2019 to P1.8 billion in 2020. Revenues from local sources also rose from P214 million in 2019 to P234 million in 2020 despite the series of lockdowns and mobility restrictions that impacted the local economy due to COVID.

The city’s collection of local business tax also peaked from P122 million in 2019 to P167 million in 2020, enabling it to fund more projects.

As a commitment on easing business transactions in the city, Mayor Garbo recently launched the city’s Electronic Business Permits and Licensing System or e-BPLS. This is to ensure smooth, paperless, contactless, efficient, and time-bound business processing with the help of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Under Garbo’s helm, Mabalacat City earned numerous accolades such as its 5th Seal of Good Local Governance from DILG, Highest Polio Coverage City Level from DOH, Best Practices on Social Services, GAPAS Model LGU Implementing Day Care Services, and ALIW Awards for the Caragan Festival staged shortly before COVID-19 restrictions were imposed in February 2020. The Mabalacat City College was also named as the only Philippine school to be in the shortlisted nominees in The Times Higher Education Awards in Asia for 2021.

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