December 2, 2022

Vice Pres. Leni Robredo paid tribute to the men and women who helped in the city government of Baguio’s continuing fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Vice President, who sought an audience with Mayor Benjamin Magalong to consult and learn from the city’s initiatives in the pandemic response during her visit last week, ended up having the opportunity to meet the city’s frontliners when she was invited to attend Monday’s flag raising program at City Hall on Dec. 5.

She thanked the frontliners behind all the successes that the city has achieved over the years.

“During the pandemic, kinokonsulta po namin si Mayor Benjie for the lessons in the initiatives that he did in Baguio which he selflessly shares with us. And it is truly an auspicious time to be gracing your flag ceremony, because you’re celebrating your Employees’ Week. I am giving tribute to the men and women who helped the city fight the pandemic,” Robredo said.

The Benguet Electric Cooperative, PLDT, Department of Health-Cordillera, PhilHealth-Cordillera, Barangays Upper QM and Kayang Extension, Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency-Cordillera, Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas, and University of the Philippines Baguio Department of Mathematics and Computing Science were the latest batch of frontliners, backliners, sideliners, and behind the scene heroes recognized by the city for their commitment, dedication, and professionalism in the continuing fight against the pandemic.

Robredo said while credit always goes to heads of offices for a job well done, she is happy that Baguio has found a way to honor those people who are doing the more difficult and thankless jobs and who should really take the credit for all the good things accomplished. 

“Please know that we truly appreciate all that Baguio City has been doing para maka-contribute sa ating fight against the pandemic. Alam ko po na kayo ‘yung isa sa mga best performing na mga local government units as far as contact tracing and vaccination are concerned,” Robredo said.

She also had the chance to discuss with the city mayor the similarities of Baguio and Naga, where she is from and where her late husband, Jesse, was mayor for six terms, including “frustrations with politics” and other things that became roadblocks in their quest for good governance.

She cited Baguio’s generally peaceful political situation, which she hoped the city will be able to maintain.

Pagtungtong ko lang po kanina dito sa harap ng City Hall, naalala ko ‘yung asawa ko, who was a friend of Mayor Benjie. My husband had fought a long and lonely battle for good governance and all his life, even when he was DILG secretary already, he pushed for the tenets of good governance like empowerment of the ordinary Filipino, transparency, and accountability. Marami akong nakitang parallelisms in Baguio now, under the leadership of Mayor Benjie,” Robredo said.

She also shared doing the Istorya ng Pag-asa project with Councilor Mylen Yaranon, where they honored the extraordinary stories of ordinary people to inspire others.

Robredo’s team had been to the city for several occasions to distribute personal protective equipment sets and medical supplies, but they also found a partner who wanted to remain anonymous and who donated more than a hundred tablets to elementary school students in two schools in the city.

Robredo was in the city to attend a private event but also had scheduled to meet different groups. She also made a stop and had talks at the University of the Cordilleras, University of Baguio, St. Louis School, Philippine Military Academy, and Good Shepherd Convent, among others.

Robredo is running for president in the May 2022 elections but stressed she still has work to do and is serving as vice president until June 30, 2022. – Hanna C. Lacsamana