I wish to extend my warmest greetings to all Baguio residents as we celebrate our 113th Charter Day Anniversary with the theme, “Getting ready for the future.”
Through the decades, we have had our share of ups and downs that challenged our strength and resolve. In each problem we encountered, we rose to the occasion. It has always been our character as Ibagiws to withstand adversity and bounce back from all these trials that life inevitably brings.
For the past two years, we have been stalled by the Covid-19 pandemic. But with our maxim “We work as one, we heal as one,” we managed to keep moving forward, forging further our resilience and keeping the spirit of bayanihan alive.
We have all the reasons to celebrate. Amid the challenges, we have harnessed our collective strength to be able to mark these important milestones of our city’s history. I am certain that our forefathers must be proud and happy of how we are upholding their legacies.
But as we celebrate all our successes we have had through the years, we must not lose sight of our goal in solving problems that have hounded our city for a very long time.
Simultaneous with our relentless fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, we fortify as well our efforts to solve urban woes in the city such as traffic congestion, incessant cutting of trees, zoning violations, and waste disposal problems among others. These problems, if unresolved, will hit us harder than the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is about time we minimize our time and resources spent on band-aid solutions. We need to institute innovative economic, social, and political reforms to solve these problems comprehensively. Moreover, we need to bolster our good governance efforts and maintain a solid partnership with the private sector, civil society organizations, and national government agencies should we want to achieve genuine change.
I join my fellow public officials in imploring the public to do their share and be part of the solution. The city government believes in the transformative power of participatory governance, thus, we encourage our constituents to be more aware of local issues and more involved in coming up with solutions.
The Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Baguio holds public forums and consultations that enable citizens to participate in the crafting of ordinances and policies that will help solve problems and achieve comprehensive development in the city.
The Baguio City Council members, in collaboration with the executive department led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong, vow to continue working with and for the community.
Happy 113th Charter Day Anniversary, Baguio City!
FAUSTINO A. OLOWAN