September 29, 2023

Here’s a pat on the back of our beloved City of Baguio that recently garnered three first places in the 2021 Digital Governance Awards, which recognizes the digital initiatives of local government units.
The city’s awards are“Best in Covid-19 Pandemic Response,” “Best in Government Internal Process,” and “Best in LGU Empowerment” that was received by Mayor Benjamin Magalong during a virtual ceremony.
Unlike the mayor who is a techie, this near- sighted Ibaloy writer is still a hopeless dinosaur who relies much on his daughter to wade through the digital jungle.
This latest achievement is a wonderful omen as the city marches towards the Smart City status where technology will play a crucial part in helping solve the metropolis’ problems like traffic, waste management, and the like. We already have a multi-million command center for a start that, I’m sure, other LGUs would like to have.
I will sound biased in stating that this period could be Baguio’s “golden years” when it comes to good governance, exemplary, and honest leadership.
Just a humble opinion. Cheers!

Anyway, the mayor is urging personnel at the city’s borders and triage areas to be more vigilant and discerning now that restrictions have been eased in the Summer Capital due to the steady decline in Covid-19 cases in the past weeks. He made the call during the regular management committee meeting where Executive Assistant IV Atty. Althea Alberto said 16 visitors were caught with fake RT-PCR tests at a triage center.
Alberto said the city government will immediately file cases against those caught with fake documents and is warning those who will try to enter the city with such.
Alberto said Health Services Office personnel trained those manning the city’s borders and triages on how to spot fake documents like RT-PCR tests.
A total of 2,480 travelers were turned away at the city’s borders for lacking documents in October.
As we heal as one, let us all continue to strictly adhere to the minimum public health protocols and have ourselves vaccinated. We are all responsible when it comes to our health and that of our loved ones. Advance Merry Christmas to one and all!

FYI: Baguio was awarded another International Award by the World Health Organization for garnering a Healthy Cities award under the Sharing clean air: Committed to multisectoral implementation of smoke-free laws.
Since 2004, during the conference, WHO-Western Pacific Regional Office recognized the outstanding work of certain cities in promoting and protecting health of urban populations through the WHO Healthy Cities Recognition. All awards is related to the innovations that cities have adopted and amplified in the community to protect citizens against the direct and indirect impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, including innovations aimed at reaching vulnerable groups.
The awards were presented at the Virtual Ninth Global Conference of the Alliance for Healthy Cities on Nov. 5 is officially awarded by WHO WPR. Smoke-Free Baguio will continue to uphold its advocacy until the last cigarette is put off in the City of Pines.

Here’s “The Dust of Snow” by Robert Frost: “The way a crow/ Shook down on me/ The dust of snow/ From a hemlock tree/ Has given my heart/ A change of mood/ And saved some part/ Of a day I had rued.”

Let’s end with a prayer: “I need to know that you care, Lord, that you love me, be my refuge from pain, replacing my distress with peace, and be my strength when I feel weak and find it hard to carry on. Help me not to fear the future but to boldly trust that you are in control when my emotions plunge me down, and when I am in despair.”
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.