MAGANES: Salute to the local government leaders of Pangasinan

April 22, 2020 at 8:09 am Leave a comment


The Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) has brought in the best leaders in our town and cities. It is not an easy task to be working for the welfare of the people especially on the twin problems of providing food for the affected families and at the same time in trying to combat the entry of the dreaded COVID-19 in their communities.

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When President Duterte declared the ECQ in entire Luzon with the order of strict home quarantine of the people, the main problem that confronted the local leaders was on how to provide food for their constituents. While they have quick response and calamity funds in their appropriations, and given the magnitude of the problem, these are not enough to meet the needs of the people. It will take creativity, resourcefulness and political will of the local government leaders to implement the support services to the people.

During the last three weeks of the ECQ, I was observing how our local leaders are acting on their mandated tasks. At the barangay levels, the barangay officials were the first ones who provided relief operations to the people. They provided canned goods, noodles, coffees in sachets and some kilos of rice. But these relief goods will not last long to sustain the basic food of the affected families. It was good enough that there were some well-off families that contributed in the relief operations to cushion the impact of forced quarantine.

At the municipal and city levels, the officials headed by the mayors have also been busy in procuring their relief goods to be distributed to the affected families. Some municipalities and cities have bigger budgets so they could extend relief goods more than what was  expected. There was first wave, second wave and third wave of relief distributions in richer local government units (LGUs), but for low income LGUs, people were contented with the first wave of relief operations. There were LGUs also that selected their beneficiaries due to lack of funds.

One thing I noticed though during the relief operations was the non-visibility of some mayors and other local officials to lead the distribution of relief goods in their towns and cities. Some of them maybe preferred to be just in the background, but a lot too were at the forefronts, leading their staff and local employees in relief operations. It is in this time of crisis that these elected officials should be visible in order to provide moral support to their constituents.

Through the social media- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube, we saw local officials who really worked hard for their constituents. There were barangay officials who manned checkpoints in their villages, and still doing so during the extension of ECQ, guiding people in the market to exercise social and physical distancing, and maintaining the peace and order situation in their communities. The hardships could be seen on their faces. Although tired most of the time, they devote their time to exercise their duties and responsibilities in the interest of public service.

Speaking of public service, let me just commend several city and municipal mayors who were really in the frontlines in distributing relief goods to their constituents.

They are Alaminos City Mayor Arth Bryan Celeste-the youngest mayor in the country. Urdaneta City Mayor Julio “Rammy” Parayno III, Mangaldan Mayor Marilyn DG. Lambino, Laoac Mayor Ricardo Balderas, Binalonan Mayor Ramon “Monching” Guico Jr., Rosales Mayor Susan Casareno, Asingan Mayor Carlos Lopez Jr., Lingayen Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil, Natividad Mayor Rosita Rafael, Alcala Mayor Jojo Callejo and Malasiqui Mayor Noel Anthony Geslani.

There are also other mayors who worked hard for their people but were not mentioned because I have not seen their social media accounts. Nonetheless, I also offer my salute to them.

And by the way, I would like to commend also Dagupan City Mayor Brian Lim for converting the People’s Astrodome in the city as half-way station for persons under investigation (PUIs) during their quarantine period. The PUI Management Center is equipped with modular tents with ample water supply and other amenities. It has also free wi-fi that was installed by DICT.

To the best local government leaders in Pangasinan, my personal salute to all of you. Keep on spreading the good vibes of being true leaders.

(For comments and suggestions, please email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.com or at virgilmaganes42@gmail.com. Read my blog “The Roving Pen at http://www.virgilmaganes.wordpress.com and the online edition of Northern Watch at http://www.northwatch.wordpress)

Entry filed under: News.

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