Burnham Park bullying/ project inspections

>> Friday, June 17, 2022


Aileen P. Refuerzo

Mayor Benjamin Magalong on June 1 ordered an investigation into an alleged bullying incident involving a 14-year old girl at Burnham Park.
    "Have the bullying incident investigated. Youngsters were involved. I want all of them identified and appropriately charged," the mayor said in a directive to City Police Director P Col. Glenn Lonogan.
    The mayor asked the police chief to provide a daily update on the probe.
    "I want this treated with utmost priority," he said.
    Bullying is prohibited under Republic Act 10627, or the Anti-Bullying Act (the “Act”) of 2013.
    In the city, Ordinance No. 59 series of 2017 or the Anti-Bullying Ordinance of Baguio City penalizes this misdeed.
The city government has noted vast improvement in the quality of infrastructure projects being implemented in the city since monitoring and inspections were institutionalized with Mayor Magalong himself at the helm.
    City Administrator Bonifacio Dela Pena who co-leads the inspections with concerned city offices said a total of 42 rounds of inspections had been conducted since 2019 and they began to see improvement in project workmanship on the 13th round.
    “At first particularly during the first 12 rounds of inspections, most projects that we checked had been substandard so that majority failed the final inspection but from the 13th up to now, we are happy to note that 100 percent of the projects had passed and therefore issued acceptance by the city government,” Dela Pena said.
Magalong said this is a clear indication that contractors have developed a “change in mindset” in that they are now conscious of following project specifications and of producing quality output.  He hopes that will develop into genuine concern for the end users of the project more than for profit.
    The mayor said project contractors had always been reminded on the administration’s thrust for a transparent and corruption-free project implementation so that they will earn their keep and thus will have no reason to shortchange the government.
    “Kung walang kalokohan, kikita na kayo at masaya pa kayo sa resulta ng trabaho nyo so what we are just asking in return is please give us quality project,” the mayor said. 
    Dela Pena said inspections for the high impact projects such as the youth convergence and sports complex, socialized housing, barangay hall projects and the like are done weekly to monitor the accomplishments and adherence to the project specifications.
    Regular city-funded projects are scheduled for final inspection by the City Buildings and Architecture Office under Architect Johnny Degay, City Engineering Office under engineer Edgar Victorio Olpindo and City Environment and Parks Management Office under lawyer Rhenan Diwas and other implementing offices. 
    The city is also part of the final inspections of city road and other projects funded by the Dept. of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) but not in national road and other projects under the jurisdiction of the DPWH.
Mayor Magalong said the city expects Covid-19 cases to hike due to entry of omicron sub-variants in the country even as he assured the city is prepared to contend with the eventuality.
    “We are ready to address this especially with our experience with the delta and omicron variant surges, we are more prepared now,” the mayor said.
    City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said the city is monitoring two omicron mutations – sublineage BA 2.12.1 and new variant BA 4 – both known to be more transmissible than the original variant.  Both had already entered the country.
    She said a comprehensive contingency plan has been drawn up which a spin-off of the previous plans used in the previous variant-driven medical emergencies and the mother plans on emerging infectious diseases and public service continuity plans adopted by the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.  
    City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) head Dr. Donnabel Panes said the contingency plan remains anchored on the Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) approach but with updated strategies geared at reducing mortality, protecting the vulnerable sectors, boosting critical care capacity and suppressing transmission.
    Previous systems on testing, contact tracing, isolation and treatment have remained intact, according to City Administrator Dela Pena.
    “Our resources are ready including our inventory of medicines, oxygen and other logistics.  We will not give up our community isolation unit and other resources.  Until we can say that we are COVID-19-free, we will make sure that these are all intact,” he assured.
    Galpo said that as of May 23, the city which in the past weeks had been posting only an average of 0-1 case a day saw a slight increase at 1-2 cases in the previous days.
    It also recorded two deaths on May 20 and 22 after two months of having no fatality due to the disease.
    “Our last recorded death was on March 20 and with two additional deaths, we now have a total of 832,” she said. 
    The city however remains under minimal risk classification.
    The city officials encouraged residents to get their complete vaccine doses and booster shots as the best protection against the emerging variants on top of adhering to the existing minimum public health standards.


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