January 29, 2023

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong assured his constituents being the head of the national government’s contact tracing program will not affect his local government duties.
While his new task requires time and attention, Magalong is confident the city’s affairs will not be affected with the kind of system the local government has adopted.
“Since the start of my administration, I have made sure that we have implemented good governance. I have developed leaders in all levels. Our department heads and key officials are empowered to make decisions without the need for my constant presence. Besides, I will make sure that I can be reached by anyone of them for any matter that will require my attention and decision 24/7,” he said.
Magalong has been appointed by the National Task Force on Coronavirus Disease 2019 as contact tracing “czar” on account of the effective system he devised in tracking contacts of Covid-19 patients in the city.
He said he hoped his national duties can make a difference in pacing the country towards flattening the curve, recovering from the effects of the pandemic, and establishing resiliency, which would naturally benefit the city.
The mayor had been consistent in saying the reopening of Baguio’s doors to tourism, the city’s virtual economic “bread and butter,” largely depends on the Covid-19 landscape in Regions 3, 4 and the National Capital Region, noting that 43.98-percent of Baguio’s tourists hail from these parts.
He assured the city’s Covid-19 management system is strategic and expected to hold.
To kick off his national tasks, Magalong will lead a two-day intensive training in Region 4 and the NCR this week followed by another in Region 3. These areas were prioritized because of their “critical” status.
The mayor’s Covid-19 management discourse will later fan out to other areas in the country.
Days before his appointment, the mayor returned from Cebu City and Muntinlupa City which sought his help in developing their contact tracing capabilities. – Aileen P. Refuerzo