BECAUSE we rely heavily on the involvement of our people in our endeavors, we only want the best health care for them. We have provided PhilHealth Insurance to more than TWO HUNDRED INDIGENT FAMILIES. The appointment of two additional physicians paved the way for a 26% increase in the number of persons accorded with medical services. We have maintained and improved our dental clinic, our clinical laboratory, radiology section and the animal bite center. An innovative approach which was adopted is the issuance of service access card or yellow card to all bonafide residents of Vigan. The card entitles us not only to city health services but to other assistance schemes of the city. Another significant move by our medical team is the launching of the primary health care program with Barangays Paoa, Nagsangalan and Raois as pilot sites. The goal is to inculcate self-sufficiency in terms of health in the grassroots level. This proved to be effective as the three barangays have implemented simple measures of their own to counter diseases such as dengue and promote sanitation.
We have ensured the availability of medicines through the Botica sa Barangay, a joint project with the Department of Health. Now, we can readily purchase medicines in the Boticas in twelve barangays. We also provided our senior citizens their very own Botica in partnership with the Ilocos Sur Medical Mission Group and Cooperative Hospital.
The appointment of a city nutrition officer is a boost to our nutrition programs. But even before we could appoint one, our city was declared as the BEST IN REGION I in the Implementation of Nutrition Programs. I cannot help but beam with pride that in the Ilocos Region, VIGAN CITY is the healthiest among all local government units.
These efforts are tirelessly pursued alongside our cause to protect the environment. Vigan is the cleanest and greenest city in the Ilocos Region but there is more to the accolade. A salient result of the implementation of our ten-year solid waste management plan is the reduction in the volume of our solid wastes by almost 25%. Another good news is that we are effectively recovering more than 40% of our solid wastes, way above the mandated 25% recovery volume from the main solid waste stream as required by the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. This is due to the continuing education campaign and cooperation of all sectors. Our solid waste management center in Sitio Nalasin that houses our materials recovery facility-composting plant stands above others due to the presence of a two-hectare sunflower demo farm for the organic fertilizer produced in the center. We have successfully redefined the word ‘dumpsite’. The fertilizer from the plant will soon be made commercially available. Our solid waste management center has become a social laboratory for visiting environment managers and students, local and foreign tourists, officials of other LGUs and media practitioners.
The past few days made me relive my first moments in office in midday of June 30, 2004 – same heavy downpour of rain and the gusty winds. And like a father to his child, I anxiously kept watch for fear that there might be flooding and other possible calamities. The nonstop heavy showers have given Vigan an unprecedented level of rainfall. Although our relentless pursuit of disaster preparedness and mitigation strategies has safeguarded our heritage city, our experience in the previous days underscores the need for the programs that will soon be implemented. Along this line, we have published the Vigan Emergency Response Handbook and we are negotiating for the preparation of the comprehensive drainage system design of the city.
In support of our efforts to resurrect our rivers, we have eradicated more than two (2) kilometers of densely compacted waterlilies. Our dredging efforts have revived our rivers and the residents along the Mestizo and Govantes rivers are starting to relish the fish that abound in these bodies of water.
[ To be continued ]