City irons out recovery and resiliency plan for new normal

BAGUIO CITY managers and their private counterparts, June 16, are now looking beyond losses hoping to build a better and tougher city as it preps for the “new normal”.
At City Hall, the city’s management committee composed of department heads and representatives of various private groups revisited how the city coped with quarantine measures.
They identified areas of strengths, opportunities and needs, which include financing and investments; and, made basic building blocks out of the extracts to form the city’s Recovery and Resiliency Plan (RRP).
These, as Baguio gradually eases from the strict Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) imposed by Malacañang to contain spread of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Luzon mid-March towards MGCQ; until finally, the new normal.
Acting City Planning and Development Coordinator Antonette Anaban said, the city’s RRP is being framed in consonance with the bigger Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Covid-19 plan.
For starters, she said the public can expect enhanced health systems; better emergency coping mechanisms; undisrupted social and educational services; vibrant economic activities; better infrastructures; responsive transport system; and, quality environment in the new normal.
Under quarantine which started March 17, the national and local governments operated at huge monetary losses.
For the city’s COVID-19 operations alone, the Department of Health (DOH) spent more than P100-million; and, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) spent more than P260-million for the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), protective equipment, food packs and financial assistance.
On the other hand, Anaban quoting the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said DOLE-registered establishments failed to realize P766-million in expected income. Construction workers, too, lost P56-million in supposed earnings, while export-dependent industries failed to realize P4.4-billion.
Meanwhile, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) also incurred losses amounting to P612-million.
Despite the losses, Anaban said the city with its RRP would take advantage of emerging opportunities which flourished during the quarantine period to infuse the needed spark to the local economy.
These include online transactions bridged by delivery services; production of protective equipment; emergence of a wider array of health and mental services; putting up of disinfection and sanitation services; and, the emergence of alternative modes of transportation like bicycles and scooters, among others.
Meantime, the participants were encouraged to contribute other specific programs to aid in the city’s recovery from the crippling effect of COVID-19 to the city’s economy, she said.**Julie G. Fianza

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