Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Monday paid tribute to the perseverance and sacrifices of the city’s frontliners and other workers, saying their hard work was instrumental in gaining significant ground in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We’ve witnessed incredible heroism from our workers. They resolutely fulfilled their duties even in the face of mortal danger,” Belmonte said during her second State of the City Address (SOCA). Stressing that their sacrifices were not in vain as they helped the city improved from No. 3 in the National Capital Region (NCR) in terms of COVID-19 cases per capita to No. 15 out of 17 local governments in Metro Manila.
Belmonte also announced that as of Oct. 10, the city’s recovery rate is at 85 percent while positivity rate is down to nine percent from almost 20 percent. “Nang dahil sa sakripisyo ng lahat, unti-unti na nating napapaamo itong halimaw na pandemyang ito. Nagawa nating proteksyonan ang kalusugan at buhay ng ating mga mamamayan habang sinasangga naman ang dagok sa pangkabuhayan ng bawat isa,” she said.
While fighting COVID-19, Belmonte said the city government also took the necessary steps to address the needs of its citizens amid the pandemic. To arm itself with enough resources to fight the pandemic and to provide for the needs of its citizens, the city government passed five supplemental budgets and reprogrammed funding worth over P12 billion.
Belmonte said the lion’s share of the fund was utilized to provide financial assistance to residents affected by the pandemic. Through its Kalingang QC program, the City gave P2,000 to each of 607,000 citizens, consisting of PUV drivers, vendors, senior citizens, PWDs, solo parents, lactating mothers, displaced daily wage earners, and other vulnerable sectors.
Belmonte added that the QC Social Amelioration Program has aided more than 177,000 qualified families that were not covered by the SAP of the national government.
The City also earmarked around P700 million for the Kalingang QC sa Negosyo Wage Relief Program for micro and small enterprises to ensure that jobs and livelihood are protected.
“We were able to provide for the basic wage of 7,536 employees for both micro and small businesses. First tranche pa lamang ito,” she said.
The City also entered into partnerships with Lalamove, Grab, Esetgo and Foodpanda to provide employment as food as logistic drivers and food delivery riders to around 1,135 jeepney and tricycle drivers. “Our market vendors levelled up too by selling their products through Palengkonek and Community Mart,” said Belmonte.
She also said that the city remains focused on implementing its winning strategy to conquer the virus — test, isolate, trace and treat. “As of October 11, we have administered about 60,166 free PCR swab tests, more than any other LGU,” she said.
QC also manufactured two mobile testing units and inaugurated its own molecular laboratory to boost its testing capacity. In closing, Belmonte assured her constituents that she will do everything in her power to give them leadership and a government they richly deserve.