It has been a month already since I took my oath to be of service to all of you. That was also the day when I shared to you my vision of Catbalogan City as a place where progress emanates from the will of the people.
My interaction with various sectors in the weeks that followed served as a very significant move towards fulfilling this vision. The visits to the different facilities such as the public market, the terminal, the cemetery, slaughterhouse and other barangays gave me a glimpse into the real situation of my constituents and provided me with the needed information on how to address your issues and concerns.
For this reason, I wish to thank you all for your warm reception towards me during these visits and consultations. Thank you for your openness and patience, which enabled all of us to focus on the most important thing – that is finding solutions and improving our city rather than pointing out weaknesses or faults.
Your comments, ideas and suggestions during these times helped me veer my perspective towards the right direction and prepared me for the challenges ahead. This is because the information that I gleaned helped me in identifying which programs and project to implement to better address your needs. Moreover, there was never a time that I felt alone because I have with me all of your hopes and aspirations.
Although this first month has been very challenging, a baptism of fire for me, it was also very rewarding and educational. My experiences during this period taught me to walk at your side, not ahead of you and that the best form of progress is one that resonates with your voice.
Most importantly, it is through these hopes and aspirations that were brought up during the consultations, meetings and visits that inspired me to create a Social Contract, which shall guide us every step of the way in pursuing our vision for Catbalogan.
Our act of signing this contract signals the start of bigger responsibilities as we tackle the different projects and policies contained here. While greater challenges are in store for us, there is also a greater promise for a better future for our youth. Let this Social Contract serve as a symbol of our common goal, our shared vision and most of all, our willingness to work hand-in-hand to make this vision a reality.
This is where we shall draw our strength from in the days to come.
Catbalogan Bus Terminal gets a total clean-up August 1, 2014 in compliance to the lined-up activities of the Provincial Cooperative Development Council (PCDC) and the City Cooperative Development Council (CCDC) to pursue its Social Responsibility. This activity coincided with the “Grand Opening Salvo” of the City Fiesta Month-Long Celebration.
Some forty-eight (48) coop members and officers along with City Employees were responsible in undertaking the task.
Spiritual Divine Barangay Business Service Coop (SDBBS Coop) – 8
Catbalogan Public Market Vendors MPC (CPMV-MPC) – 14
Ornamental Producers Cooperative (OPC) – 4
Samar TELOF Employees MPC (STEMPC) – 3
Samar Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SAMICO) – 4
Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) – 1
New Catbalogan Fish Vendors Stallholders MPC (NCFVS-MPC) – 2
Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) – 1
City Cooperatives Office (CCO) – 5
City Economic Enterprise & Public Utility Office (CEEPUO) – 5
Catbalogan Municipal Employees MPC (CAMEMCO) – 1
The Clean-Up Drive was originally concentrated at the Bus Terminal located at Piers I & II as the identified site. However, it stretched up to the outskirts of the Bus Terminal (Curry Avenue) down to Corner Del Rosario St. where Rose Pharmacy is located.
All cooperatives are required by CDA of their Development Plan, activities that would form part of their Social Responsibility. This activity is initially undertaken, effective this year 2014, and onward. The City of Catbalogan has been nominated for the “Gawad Parangal” of the Cooperative Development Authority-Region 8 for the year 2013 and is trying to maintain its good status, thus, its active participation in all cooperative activities.
Mr. Victor D. Pagarao being the Chairman of the Catbalogan Municipal Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative and concurrently the City Economic Enterprise & Public Utility Officer has been instrumental to this activity as member of the PCDC and CCDC, and, the Bus Terminal as the identified site facilitated by CEEPUO.
(Article by Ms. Merle Barro Muñoz, Photos by CEEPU Office)
Catbalogan City officially begins its Manaragat Festival Month-long Fiesta Celebration today as it marks the 10th year of its main cultural brand – the Manaragat Festival.
Taking its cue from the theme, “Karisyo Katbalogan: 10 Years of Celebrating Catbalogan’s Captivating Contrasts”, the month of August is expected to be packed with various programs and activities starting with the Opening Salvo later this evening at 7:00pm at the City Plaza.
With the Coca Cocal Bottlers, Incorporated and San Miguel Beer Corporation as corporate sponsors, this year’s celebration include old favourites and new events meant to entertain Catbaloganons from different walks of like. It features staple highlights like the Festival Showdown, which will showcase the performance of various schools, Miss Manaragat 2014, the SMB Night and the Catbalogan Young People’s Day. To be added to these are the staging of the 1st Miss Maqueda Gay, which was made possible through coordination with the Samar Stellars’ Society, the 1st Mister Manaragat, 1st Maqueda Bay Body Building Competition and the 2014 Karisyuhan Street Party.
Aside from the cultural presentations from the academe and talent competitions that have been the source of public entertainment at the City Plaza, Catbaloganons will also see sports action via the 1st Mayor Step Under 18 Inter-Barangay Basketball Tournament and the 1st Mayor Step Inter-Town Basketball Tournament, the Billiard Tournament and the Catbalogan Fiesta Run.
With the addition of the Stakeholders’ Nyt which was meant to be a night of fun for its partner agencies and organizations, the city has also retained the celebrations reserved for the city’s sectoral partners like the Senior Citizens’ Night, Barangay Night and Employees’ Night.
(Article by Ms. Lai Minh Mabulay, Office of the City Mayor)
The Office of the City Health has conducted the last batch of Bridging Leadership Training among barangay officials last July 30 – 31, 2014.
The said training is an initiative of my administration to address the health inequities by instilling to the local officials the ownership and accountability regarding the different health issues at the barangay level.
This activity was conceived when our City Health Officer and I attended the Municipal Local Governance Program sponsored by the Department of Health in partnership with the Zuellig Family Foundation.
Part of the training is for the barangay to establish the Barangay Health Board as well as to create a Barangay Health Plan which will be the guide of the barangay officials in implementing health programs of the government.
Health has been a priority of this administration in line with the Kalusugang Pangkalahatan or Universal Healthcare Program under the Aquino Health Agenda of President Simeon Benigno Aquino III.
(Photos by Paulus Aragon, Article by Roldan John Ponay Larios)
For more than a month now, intensified dengue campaign continues to roll in various barangays in order to inform the community about the strategies in preventing the transmission of this disease.
Other than the search and destroy strategy, the City Health Office is also orienting the barangay officials on the creation of the Barangay Dengue Task Force that will oversee the conduct of these strategies.
The creation of this task force is a way to empower our local officials to move in coordination with the City Health Office so that together this problem will be addressed.
Inclusive, Participative and Empowering approach has been the strategy of the administration of Mayor Step, hence this a way to exemplify these thrusts.
We are also seeking the help of our barangay folks to be one with us in maintaining the cleanliness of the environment and to continue to participate in the Search and Destroy to eliminate the breading sites of mosquitoes.
The City Health Office will continue to spearhead this endeavor to reach a greater number of people that will join this task.
(Article and Photos by City Health Office)
MAYOR STEP SAYS COA FINDINGS NOT ADVERSE, CITY FINANCES OK
Catbalogan City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan remains confident about her management of the city’s financial affairs despite an article in a national daily that told of adverse findings from the Commision on Audit (COA).
As early as July 1, 2014 during her State of the City Address to mark her first year in office, Mayor Step had already clarified that the COA gave Catbalogan a rating of QUALIFIED OPINION. “An buot ipasabot hini nga maupay an pagdumara han aton mga transaksyones, mayda la mga exemptions to the rule. Pero as a whole, an opinyon han COA amo in FAIR PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL STATEMENTS,” she had explained to a diverse crowd of representatives from various agencies and organizations.
These statements were in response to a Manila Bulletin article dated June 24, 2014 entitled “COA Uncovers Audit Flaws in Catbalogan”, which was based on COA’s Annual Audit Report for 2013. The lady mayor however is unfazed saying, “Han una ko nga pagbati hini nga storya in waray ako katarantar kay updated ako han resulta han Annual Audit Report han COA”.
“An dire ko maintindihan kun ano rason nga ira pagbabarion an kamatuoran para la mahingada an aton administrasyon ha karautan,” she said. Mayor Step added that the favourable opinion from the said agency has made it possible for the City Government to qualify as a nominee for Seal of Good Local Governance, formally known as Seal of Good Housekeeping. She also credited the city’s financial managers, namely City Accountant Peachy Daguman, City Budget Officer Adelaida Lamadrid and City Treasurer Elizabeth Lim for their handling of the city’s finances.
The statements were made to assure the public that despite the bold moves being made by the City Government, her administration remains responsible and conscientious with the city’s expenditures and all financial transactions are in accordance with COA’s policies.
Responsive and committed Barangay Chairpersons coming from Albalate, San Andres and Guinsorongan catchment areas attended the 2nd Batch of the Bridging Leadership Orientation and Planning Workshop last July 21-22, 2014 with the theme, “Serbisyo Panlawas Urusa naton nga Pakusgon para hin Malipayon ngan Dire Masinakitnon nga mga Catbaloganon”.
This activity is aimed at inculcating to our local chief executives at the Barangay about their significant responsibility in maintaining the health of their constituents.
Utilizing the “Bridging Leadership” strategy, these leaders are expected to involve the various stakeholders of the community in establishing the Barangay Health Board and eventually planning for a more organized step towards health promotion and disease prevention.
Technical assistance was provided by the City Local Operations Officer of the City of Catbalogan Mr. Jose Obrero as the Resource Speaker during the crafting of he resolutions that will serve as the legal basis of the establishment of the Barangay Health Board
All these was made possible through the inclusive, participative and empowered leadership of Mayor Step in connection with the Municipal Leadership and Governance Program of the Department of Health.
Mayor Step will endeavor to be a bridging leader towards addressing the different health inequities in our society.
(Photos and Article by Roldan John P. Larios, City Health Office)