People vs Pandemic: How these mayors’ priorities protected their communities

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People vs Pandemic: How these mayors’ priorities protected their communities
Rappler features local governments that have been ahead in responding to the coronavirus pandemic

MANILA, Philippines – 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.

In the fight vs COVID-19, these women mayors didn’t take chances



Valenzuela City’s pandemic response: ‘Everything has to happen now’


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



Legazpi City prepares a table for the quarantined 

LEGAZPI MAYOR Noel Rosal. Photo from Rosal's Facebook



In Baguio, Magalong returns as top investigator – for coronavirus contact tracing

BAGUIO City Mayor Benjamin Magalong inspects the public market during the community quarantine.



How Iloilo City became ‘Wakanda’ of the Philippines

MORE TESTS. Treñas holds a box of newly-procured rapid test kits in his office. Photo from Iloilo City government



‘Common sense’ and speed shield Marikina City from the coronavirus

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



In Pasig, fighting corruption yields cash aid for the people

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



How to fight the pandemic: Women mayors don’t sugarcoat how deadly the virus is

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





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