COVID-19 Tests the Mettle of These Mayors Rising Above the Crisis
Aside from the medical practioners who are the frontiners in the battle against the global COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals from the public and private sector have been working selflessly night and day to ensure the safety and security of our citizens in this extraordinary situation.
The following mayors are just some of the local leaders who are going the extra mile for their constituents.
Mayor Vico Sotto of Pasig
Results-based, innovative, and efficient are three words to describe the governance in Pasig City under Sotto. The 30-year-old no-nonsense mayor moves quickly and implements best practices as soon as he learns about them. He executed the following plans for Pasig.
- Purchase and deployment of disinfectant drones
- Distribution of 400,000 food packs to constituents
- Setting up of mobile kitchens for health workers and frontliners
- Proactive city-wide sanitation
- Conversion of Dahlia Hotel as quarantine facility to hold at least 300 people
- Installation of disinfection tents around the city
Mayor Abby Binay of Makati
Makati is the country’s richest city, and mayor Abby Binay has put the city’s wealth and resources to good use in fighting COVID-19. Through her leadership, Makati residents now have the following outstanding innovations and benefits.
- Implementing Makatizen App to get swift response from authorities regarding COVID-19 issues. Senior citizens use the app to order essential medicines for maintenance.
- Distribution of 82,000 food packs to students in Makati
- Distribution of P2,000 cash assistance for jeepney, tricycle, and pedicab drivers
- Deployment of shuttles for healthcare workers
- Conversion of three towers of the Makati Friendship Suites into isolation centers
Mayor Isko Moreno of Manila
The mayor of Manila is currently the darling of social media. Moreno and vice mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan, who is also a medical doctor, team up to combat the spread of disease. The city government has responded swiftly to support and protect frontliners. The following are just some of the solutions they implemented.
- Deployment of 189 e-trikes for health workers and frontliners
- Setting up of Manila Infectious Disease Control Center within a week of declaring Enhanced Community Quarantine
- Tight monitoring of market prices in the city to ensure stable prices of commodities
- Moreno’s hands-on implementation of a city-wide curfew
- Disinfection of bus terminals and tight screening of passengers
- Regular misting operations to disinfect the whole city
Mayor Kit Nieto of Cainta
Nieto is a silent worker and lets his work speak for him. His outstanding efforts to fight COVID-19 in his community were brought to the media’s attention by his constituents through social media.
- City-wide disinfection using trucks loaded with bleach solution
- Distribution of multivitamins and personal protective equipment for senior citizens
- Daily cooked food distribution to 6,000 residents whose livelihood were temporarily halted
- Daily distribution of uncooked rice and canned goods
- City-wide misting and sanitation activities
Mayor Rex Gatchalian of Valenzuela City
Mayor Rex Gatchalian has been very active in the fight against COVID-19, even before Metro Manila was placed on lockdown. He is tech-savvy and unafraid to try new solutions to combat the spread of disease. Mayor Sotto of Pasig proudly told reporters that he copied some of Mayor Gatchalian's best practices in tackling COVID-19. The following are some of Gatchalian’s solutions.
- Digital automated contact tracing system for COVID-19 PUIs
- Regular distribution of food packs to the city’s vulnerable population
- Free shuttle services for the city’s health workers
- Setting up of two isolation centers with sealed tents for PUIs
- Distribution of food vouchers for Valenzuela residents
Mayor Marcy Teodoro of Marikina
Mayor Teodoro has been a decisive leader in this time of crisis. Even before the Metro Manila-wide lockdown was put in place, he went ahead and cancelled the Palarong Pambansa which the city was hosting this year. Through his leadership, Marikina sets the bar high with the following solutions to addressing problems caused by COVID-19.
- Procurement of 3,000 testing kits for COVID-19
- Deployment of shuttles as free transportation for Marikina residents
- Tax reprieve for Marikina taxpayers
- Free food for health workers
Mayor Francis Zamora of San Juan
The Harvard-trained Mayor Francis Zamora proves his mettle without fanfare as his small city grapples with the one of the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila. Upon learning that the one of the first local transmissions of the disease came from San Juan, he immediately ordered the closure of a prayer hall and establishments linked to the case. On March 15, he declared a state of calamity to unlock emergency funds. Since then, San Juan has been among the most proactive cities in combating COVID-19. His government is currently providing the following solutions.
- Free rides to San Juan residents who are frontliners
- Mobilizing relief goods for all barangays within the city
- 24-hour strict monitoring and implementation of lockdown
- Deployment of hazmat teams for multiple daily disinfection and misting sprays throughout the city