July 19, 2024

This near-sighted Ibaloy writer remembers, many years ago, when almost all houses, no matter how humble, had a parol hanging in front of their dwelling during the Yuletide Season.
I also remember carolers, composed mostly of youngsters, going house-to-house, singing Christmas songs and spreading cheer during this happiest of seasons. I was one of the carolers, many years ago, and those were among the happiest times of my much younger years. It was simpler, less stressful then.
Surprisingly, despite the absence of gadgets and apps then, I remember those times with fondness: playing outside with neighbors using handmade toys or just running around, rain or shine, with no care in the world.
We were truly happy. We were truly free. If there was one superpower I would like to have, it would be this: The power to turn back time – to a simpler, happier, kinder, more peaceful, and less stressful time; a time where my beloved relatives who passed away would be alive and well again. Wish ko lang.
Anyway, speaking of technology, the city government launched on Nov. 16 the Baguio In My Pocket (BIMP) e-governance online payment system with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Bernadette Romulo-Puyat as guest of honor and speaker.
The project is in collaboration with the BSP, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and ITBS Corp.
Felipe Puzon, City Mayor’s Office chief of staff and Management Information Technology Division supervisor, said the BIMP application will cover the payment of business and real property taxes.
He said, however, the BIMP system’s process and implementation will be announced on a later date.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the BIMP payment system’s launching is a testament to what his administration envisioned Baguio to be three years ago – transparent, quick, accountable, and reliable.
Puyat and DILG Director Araceli San Jose lauded the mayor for continuously spearheading innovations in the Summer Capital and being a vanguard for good governance.
Puyat was also presented the city’s Vision Award for her support to the city’s programs since she was still the Department of Tourism secretary.

City Health Services Officer Rowena Galpo delivered good and not so good news when it comes to the Summer Capital’s latest Covid-19 situation.
She said while the city remains at low risk status, its Covid-19 positivity rate leapfrogged from 18.57 to 26.24 percent for the past two weeks.
The city’s average daily attack rate during the same period also increased from 4.6/100,000 to 6/100,000.
She added, however, that the city’s two-week growth rate nosedived from 44 to 41 percent and its weekly infection rate dipped from 1.60 to 1.20.
Baguio’s hospital critical utilization rate shot up from 19.79 to 30.87 percent while its isolation facility bed occupancy upped from 5.6 to 5.99 percent (16/267).

May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.