“Since we are still under the COVID-19 pandemic, we will prioritize our health response and focus on reinvigorating our economy and help Fernandinos recover.”
Thus, explained City of San Fernando Mayor Edwin “EdSa” Santiago of his plans for the year 2021, the final year of his mayoral term.
Though the City’s vision and mission remain consistent, Santiago vowed to strengthen his administration’s health response and push socio-economic recovery.
“Wala tayong babaguhin sa mission at vision natin pero following the rules because of the pandemic, ang direksyon natin for 2021 is response pa rin. Ang laban sa COVID-19 pa rin pero sinasamahan natin ng mga magagandang programa,” he said.
The City Government will allocate P10 million in response to the Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, including the possible purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Yung balak natin sa bakuna is in collaboration with the national government, provincial, and private sector. Pero ang Siyudad naman nag-allocate tayo ng fund na P10 million, and meron din tayong mapagkukuhanan from our calamity fund and 20% annual investment fund just in case na talagang kailangan nang bakunahan natin ang ating mga kababayan,” the mayor said.
“Ang national lang ang makakapagbigay ng ‘go signal’ niyan kasi meron pang mga procedures from [Food and Drug Administration] at [Department of Health] and we have to follow that,” he added.
Furthermore, the local chief executive stressed his strong will to reinvigorate the city’s economy after the pandemic threw it into a tailspin.
“Ang recovery dalawa yan. Una, economic recovery, kasama natin ang private sector dito para patuloy ang kalakalan at pamumuhunan nila. We want to help them especially yung mga nano, micro o small entrepreneurs. Pangalawa, social recovery, ito yung pagtulong sa ating mahihirap na mamamayan para sagipin sila sa kahirapan. Sa mga social programs tulad ng sustainable livelihood, employment, cash grants, local pension, at iba pa. May pandemya o wala, tuloy tuloy yan,” Santiago remarked.
The City Government did not stop in its infrastructure projects to develop growth centers and economic zones around San Fernando.
In the proposed 2021 plan, the local government is set to fund Programs, Projects, and Activities (PPAs) which Santiago believed would generate economic activities and job opportunities for Fernandinos.
These include the Rehabilitation of the City Market Plaza; the Smart City Program (Phase II, expanding/upgrading C3 facilities); Construction of permanent isolation facilities; and Construction of multi-purpose building (logistics and support services) at the Civic Center.
Santiago underscored the role and contributions of different sectors, organizations, and even ordinary Fernandinos in the City’s success.
“Ang siyudad ay nagpapasalamat sa ating mga kababayan, mga pribadong sektor, at iba’t-ibang organisasyon na, sa gitna ng pandemya, nakikipagtulungan pa rin sa gobyerno. Lalo ang ating mga frontliner, medical workers, working committee at yung mga tumutulong po sa atin. ‘Wag po sana tayong magsawa dahil ang tinutulungan po natin ay ang bukas ng ating mga kabataan na siyang magtutuloy kung ano man ang naumpisahan natin ngayon. Kaya kung ano man ang nagyayari sa Siyudad, kung ano man po ang tagumpay natin, ito po ay para sa ating lahat,” the mayor ended.
Santiago further called for cooperation and unity among the Fernandinos to carry out the City’s mission and vision towards becoming a safer, more resilient, vibrant, technologically-driven, and more responsive and inclusive city.