Tagbilaran City employees biking to work receive new bicycles

Ten (10) new bicycles from Senator Pia Cayetano were given to City Government employees who bike their way to work. Helmets and bags with accessories were also given along with the new bicycles. Photo shows City Mayor John Geesnell “BABA” Yap with City Administrator Cathelyn Torremocha during the turn-over in the City Hall Atrium. Mayor Yap is thankful to the lady senator for the assistance, “The new normal is challenging and we are all in the adjustment phase. I believe it is just fitting to look for innovative ways to adapt to the challenges of the time. This pandemic reminds us to re-invent our way of life. We need to look for new avenues to protect our health and well-being. Our mode of transportation is one major area where we need a new frame of mind and these bicycles might just open new doors of innovation in Tagbilaran City”, said Yap.

Senator Pia Cayetano, a biking and fitness enthusiast, says biking and walking as a means of travel are bound to become an integral part of the ‘new normal’ to keep more people safe from COVID-19. The senator filed Senate Bill No. 1518 or the “Safe Pathways Act” to create a network of pop-up bicycle lanes and emergency pathways that would connect people to essential destinations during the pandemic, all while ensuring that physical distancing is maintained.

In a press release published in the Senate of the Philippines official website dated May 11, Sen. Cayetano said there is well-founded fear that the cramped buses, jeeps and trains are hot-spots for the spread of COVID-19. Thus, these “people-oriented and pedestrian-friendly” bike lanes and emergency pathways will help augment the limited forms of transportation and mobility allowed under the community quarantines, and may also be adopted in the long term to help decongest roads and reduce pollution in the country, “Walking, biking, and the use of other non-motorized vehicles reduce carbon emissions, use less energy and resources, and provide multiple health benefits that increase people’s quality of life. The “Safe Pathways Act” particularly promotes the use of these modes of transportation as the primary means of travel in the time of COVID-19”, Sen. Cayetano emphasized. The lady senator said that LGUs could provide the needed push to the bill LGUs by creating designated emergency pathways along local roads that will give pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-motorized vehicle users access to frequented destinations by restricting motorized vehicle passage during peak hours. Moreover, adequate parking spaces for bicycles and non-motorized vehicles shall be set up in all public places, government offices, schools, places of work, and commercial establishments, including malls, banks, and hospitals. The private sector is also encouraged to develop infrastructure and programs for the same purposes.

Tagbilaran City capacitates barangay responders

Barangay Health Emergency Responder Teams (BHERT) are the unsung heroes in this time of pandemic. They go out every day and risk their lives to make sure that we are safe. And it is just fitting that the City Government made sure they are protected and capacitated in the course of their work. Thus, a training was conducted facilitated jointly by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) and the City Health Office. The training was the first in the series of barangay trainings dubbed as the “Strengthening BHERT’s Capacity during the COVID-19 Pandemic”. The module of ReachHealth-USAID was used in the training. Physical distancing was strictly observed as there were only 10 participants seated apart in the room. 

The activity covered important updates about COVID-19, reviewed the roles and functions of the BHERTs, and presented guidelines on Infection, Prevention and Control. CDRMM Gerard Lavadia and Chao Longjas, along with City Nutrition Officer Rey Delos Santos facilitated the lectures.

Emphasis was placed in understanding the role of prevention and control in the context of preparedness, readiness, and response against the infectious disease. The session also demonstrated various measures of prevention and control of COVID-19 appropriate to home settings. Various video presentations were also shown to clearly guide the BHERTS about proper handwashing, physical distancing, respiratory hygiene, home quarantine, isolation, cleaning, and disinfection. City Mayor John Geesnell “BABA” Yap lauded the efforts of the CDRRM and City Health, “As much as we would like to protect our citizenry from being infected with COVID-19, we are also mindful of the welfare of our barangay health workers. Capacitating them to perform their tasks correctly is fitting, but enabling them to also protect themselves and their family is commendable. We appreciate and recognize the efforts of our CDRRM and City Health personnel for spearheading this initiative”, Yap said.  

Tagbilaran City releases guidelines for the opening of salons and barbershops

          Through the Office of the City Administrator Cathelyn Torremocha, the City Government of Tagbilaran issued minimum requirements for the opening of barbershops and salons. These instructions were based on the guidelines set by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

          The owners of these establishments are mandated to submit proof of compliance by submitting pictures to the City Administrator’s Office within a period of 10 (ten) days after the receipt of the notice. The rules specifically tasked all barber shops and salons to post signages regarding the use of face masks, social distancing, and the prohibition of bringing unnecessary companions. Further, an alcohol should be placed at the entrance, along with a foot bath disinfectant. The guard should check all the clients / individuals entering the establishment with a thermal scanner. Certain protocols should also be in place like distancing of chairs for at least 1 meter apart, visible markings to guide the clients, proper ventilation, courtesy booth where all the personal effects of the clients will be deposited, sanitizing equipment and tools, and plastic-covered furniture.

         The proper disposal of waste and regular disinfection of the business establishment are also required. This includes the sterilization of the workstations before and after each service. The use of cashless payment is also encouraged. Specific employee protocols should also be observed. DTI will strictly monitor that employees with COVID-19 symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 patients will not be allowed to work, wearing of any piece of jewelry will be strictly prohibited, employees should observe proper personal hygiene, and the mandatory wearing of face mask, face shield, eyeglasses or goggles, hair caps, and closed shoes. Business owners should also fill-out the Workplace Health Contingency Plan, the forms can be secured in the City Administrator’s Office.

         A joint inspection team from the City Government and the DTI will be conducting an inspection of all business establishments, failure to comply with the guidelines can be the basis for the suspension of the business operation. City Mayor John Geesnell “BABA” Yap remains optimistic that the local economy can bounce back from this pandemic, “We will move forward and look ahead to the promise of a bright future. We will not be saddled with fear, instead we will all strive to follow the safety guidelines issued by the national government. These measures will help us to be mindful and vigilant about our safety. We need to help each other fight this invisible enemy; we will not allow it to cripple our local economy”, Yap said.   


Mayor Yap, grateful to DICT for including Tagbilaran in the 25 digital cities

Tagbilaran City was listed in the Digital Cities 2025 as announced by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), and Leechiu Property Consultants. The cities were chosen based on 4 parameters: talent availability, infrastructure, cost, and business environment. These parameters are the indicators which signals that the city is ready to attract investors in the IT business processing management industry. The other 24 cities are Balanga City, Batangas City, Cabanatuan City, Dagupan City, General Santos City, Iligan City, Iriga City, Laguna Cluster (San Pablo, Calamba, and Los Baños), Laoag City, Legazpi City, Malolos City, Metro Cavite (Bacoor City, Imus, and General Trias) Metro Rizal (Taytay, Cainta, and Antipolo City), Olongapo City, Puerto Princesa City Roxas City, San Fernando City, La Union, San Fernando City, Pampanga, San Jose Del Monte City, Tacloban City, Tarlac City, Tuguegarao City, Urdaneta City, and Zamboanga City.

According to the statement released by DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II, the Digital Cities 2025 is targeted to build the resiliency of the IT-BPM sector as an engine of growth for the Philippine economy. It is also hoped that it would bridge industry progress in the countryside to strengthen local economies. Honasan said that these 25 new locations, alongside with the Centers of Excellence and established Next Wave Cities, will serve as investment destinations for a thriving digital economy. Despite the impact of the recent pandemic on the Philippines’ economy and business environment, both the public and private sectors are looking for ways to continue moving forward. The Digital Cities 2025 initiative aims to bring the country a step closer towards becoming a more digitally-enabled nation, a prime investment destination that is both relevant and globally competitive.

Tagbilaran City provides livelihood assistance

           Barangays Bool and Mansasa got blessed last week as the launch of the “Baba Yap Agri-Vet Program” was conducted in the said district. Led by City Mayor John Geesnell “BABA” Yap, City Agrivet Head Dr. Genette Egos, and Punong Barangay Bernadette Blanco, the first batch of recipients received seedlings, seaweeds and live chickens. Mayor Yap stressed the importance of this initiative during this pandemic, “This will help in the sustenance of the day-to-day needs of our constituents. Aside from providing a fresh supply of produce, it will also give them an opportunity to earn an extra income”, Yap said. The initiative is a wholistic approach, the Balik-Bakuran Program promotes backyard gardening, Yamang-Dagat Alagaan advocates the preservation and protection of our marine resources, BABAhagiang Karne Program is all about livestock and poultry, and Yakap Aking Alaga Program encourages Tagbilaranons to be responsible pet owners.  

            And since this is a continuing program,  different set of beneficiaries will receive the livelihood package. The office of City Agrivet will regularly monitor the recipient’s progress. Distribution in Barangays Poblacion I and III is scheduled next week.



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