“This administration will give priority to the barangays, especially the far-flung barangays.” This was the opening statement of the newly elected Mayor of the City of Baybay, Hon. Jose Carlos Cari in his inaugural speech during the Inauguration and Oath-taking Ceremonies held at the Baybay City Gym on his first official working day.
Mayor Cari said that he has been in the barangays, “And we will continue to implement the programs that we have started in 1998-2007, while I was the Mayor. We will also implement programs that are similar to what we have started.”
Then, he said that he will request the Sangguniang Panglungsod to create a new office, the Office of Public Safety and Security, where the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, and other agencies that are mandated to secure not only the lives of the people but the properties as well shall coordinate with each other. The Mayor said that this office shall be devoted to matters that are related but not limited to crimes, drugs, insurgency, and threat.
Mayor Cari added that, “Thru the City Information Office, we will make access to communication and internet a right and not just a privilege in the City of Baybay.” This statement was greatly applauded because even the Local Government Unit (LGU) offices that are temporarily transferred to the New City Library, located at the Diversion Road, Barangay Gaas of this city, are also suffering from the very limited access to communication and internet connection in the area.
And while the construction of the New Baybay City Hall is still on going, and the New City Library is still being used as offices by some LGU departments, the City Mayor urges the City Information Office to coordinate with the Baybay City Division, the Franciscan College of the Immaculate Conception and the other schools in the city as to how to commission the New City Library. He added that it shall be the responsibility of the City Information Office to inform the public about the programs and services of the different offices in the City of Baybay.
In terms of public health, City Mayor Cari encouraged the City Health Office to resume the implementation of the healthy lifestyle program which includes health consciousness for all Baybayanons; sexual consciousness for the high school students in the city; and family consciousness where the Mothers will be taught how to deal with their children appropriately through the Mother’s Class.
Mayor Cari particularly mentioned about a threat to one of the best characteristics of the Filipino family, the close family ties. This is because most of the time of the children nowadays are devoted to their gadgets, their parents willingly gave them, even when they are too young to have them. He added, “You know what will happen if this continues.”
The City Mayor also urges the City Health Office to come up with a program, like the health program that he implemented in 1998-2007 which paved the way to the establishment of the Baybay Medical Center. “Let us again give the Barangay Health Stations andBarangay Health Centers the equipment that they need like the nebulizer, Sphygmomanometer, and glucometer because these will be a big help to the people in the barangays,” he added.
Mayor Cari also revealed that the leadership of the Mahaplag LGU, Baybay City LGU and the Inopacan LGU committed to donate 110 news hospital beds with medical cards and Sphygmomanometer per bed to the new Western Leyte Provincial Hospital. However, the young City Mayor encourages the hospital management to do something to make the stay of the patients, and the visit of their families, in the hospital an encouraging experience.
And because the price of copra continues to go down, Mayor Cari said that the City Agriculture Office will pilot-test an alternative crop in Barangays Maypatag and Ciabu of this city and if this proves to be sustainable, this will also be implemented in other barangays, where appropriate. He said that the farmers must have an alternative crop so that they won’t be totally be dependent on copra.
He added that the establishment of artificial reef, one of his pet projects when he was still the Congressman of the 5th District of Leyte, has proven to have increased fish catch thus this was adopted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and is implemented in many places in the country. Thus, the Mayor said that the city must expand the area where the artificial reef is established to ultimately increase the fish catch of the marginal fishers in the city. In this regard, the Mayor said that he needs the support of the costal barangays.
Finally, the Mayor said that he need talk about the on-going infrastructure projects because these are visible undertakings in the city. However, he said that either in the end of July or on early August of this year, the construction of the second diversion road from Barangay Kilim to Barangay Buenavista will commence.
He also revealed that they have just finished the planning stage on the establishment of a third reservoir that will supply water in Barangays Palhi and Barangay Gaas only.
The Mayor commented that Barangay Palhi is included in the franchise of the Baybay City Water District, “But since until now they have not provided the long-awaited water supply by the people in Barangay Palhi, we will help the Baybay City Water District to make this dream come true.”
However, Mayor Cari encouraged the Baybay City Water District to look for other sources of water to double their production next year because of several facilities that will need water supply. “Soon, the new hospital will open, the Convention Hall and the Sports Complex will also open. Maybe a hotel will be established at the Diversion Area. The Gaisano Metro will also open soon, and the Baybay Shopping Center will also be opened and all of these facilities will need the services of the Baybay City Water District,” added Mayor Cari.
The City Mayor revealed that he will conduct a budget call with all the offices in the city to ensure that funds are allotted to where it is required, “Let us use our budget to sustain the economy of the City of Baybay by implementing programs and project towards this goal.”
Finally, Mayor Cari said that the Office of the City Mayor cannot ensure development, peace and security in the city without the help of the department heads of the Local Government Unit of Baybay, the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the barangays and the rest of the Baybayaons. Thus, we must all work together towards achieving development, peace and security in the City of Baybay. (Marissa Miguel Cano, City Information Officer III, Baybay City LGU)