PEOPLE vs PANDEMIC: How these mayors’ priorities protected their communities


PEOPLE vs PANDEMIC: How these mayors’ priorities protected their communities

More than 100 days into placing parts of the country into varying levels of lockdown, the Philippine government is still clearly overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic. As of Sunday, June 28, the country leads in the rise of virus cases in the entire Western Pacific region, recording an increase of 8,143 in a span of 12 days.

Shortage abounds in the national government’s response. There is still a lack of strategic testing. Contact tracers are short by the tens of thousands. The social relief that the President promised to poor families had not reached all the target beneficiaries.

Over 3 months since the beginning of the pandemic, the same problems persist.

On the ground, the crisis has forced local government units to innovate with the limited resources that they have. Many are struggling in the crushing crisis, but there are those whose leadership shone and dimmed the spotlight on national officials.

In this series, Rappler looks into how these leaders have steered their constituents ahead of the curve; how, in this localities, people continue to do their part to collectively confront the pandemic.

WHO RUNS THE WORLD? Mayor Krisel Lagman-Luistro (left) and Mayor Trina Firmalo-Fabic show how female leaders can shine through during this pandemic. Photo courtesy of Mayor Luistro and Mayor Fabic

LEADING. Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian speaks with construction frontliners who are building the city’s testing laboratory. Photo from Valenzuela City’s Facebook

Valenzuela City Government

LEGAZPI MAYOR Noel Rosal. Photo from Rosal's Facebook

ON THE GROUND. Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong leads cops in checking on their public markets.

Baguio City PIO

MORE TESTS. Treñas holds a box of newly procured rapid test kits in his office

Iloilo City Government

A MAYOR'S FORESIGHT. Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro stands outside the city's testing laboratory for COVID-19. Photo courtesy of the Marikina City Government

STATE OF THE CITY. Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto delivers his State of the City Address on July 2, 2020, marking the first year of his term. Photo from Sotto's Facebook page

STRONG WOMEN. Mayors Krisel Lagman-Luistro, Trina Firmalo-Fabic, Vivian Alvarez and Macel Cumpio-Avestruz show how important it is to communicate with the public during a pandemic. Photos from LGU Barugo, Angat Bayi and Vivian Alvarez