Following the Covid-19 pandemic, Mayor Eliordo U. Ogena is pushing to maximize the city’s competitive advantage in countering the negative impact of Covid-19 on the city’s economy which led to business shutdowns and unemployment.
In an interview, the Local Chief Executive highlighted some of the city’s competitive advantages, which could help the city rise slowly. Stating that it is difficult to empower people in the absence of livelihood, he stressed that the city needs to take advantage of being in the heart of Region XII and as a capital city of a first class province.
The city government aims to market the city through its beautiful landscapes and well-lit streets. In addition, the mayor wants to focus on reopening and developing tourist destinations such as SIOK falls, waterfalls in Sitio New Leyte and El Gawel resort in Saravia. “You look at the city hall landscape as the seat of power and authority, we are working to make this beautiful, in order to create an impression and impact to many people transacting here”, Mayor Ogena said. In addition to the development, the mayor said that a 20 million budget has been allocated this year for the construction of the convention center behind the city hall building. Also, the mayor is positive that the said expansion will create more employment opportunities for the people.
On the other hand, the mayor considers the importance of providing livelihood to the people as one of the competitive advantages of the city. The mayor explained that due to the pandemic, the poor have become poorer due to lack of economic activities. As a solution, the government had extended livelihood assistance to organized groups and trained them on management to make it sustainable. One of the latter is the beads maker of Assumption who are now into ID holder making, the one that is used by the city hall employees. “I want to motivate and inspire the identified group to be efficient in handling the livelihood assistance. I’m thinking of giving rewards to those who manage their livelihood well and those who mismanage it will not be given again a chance to avail”, Mayor Ogena said. If it is a national budget, the mayor added that they will be recommended for non-availment when new opportunities arise due to poor management.
The mayor said he wanted Koronadal to reach its greatest potential not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for the city to become a marketable place to visit. For that, he said, the city must be beautiful, clean, peaceful and well-lit in order to attract people from the outside, which is what his administration is working on. “I want a Koronadal City that is safe, progressive, environment-friendly, garbage-free, beautifully landscaped green city. A city that is highly competitive, a city that is resilient and people are empowered”, Mayor Ogena said.
Also, the mayor is proud to have installed an established contact tracing system through the deployment of more than a hundred contact tracers now doing their job and the strict implementation of health protocols backed up by city’s ordinances. Further, facilities are installed to meet the immediate health needs of the COVID-19 patients geared to protect the vulnerable population.
Faced with an unfavorable scenario caused by the pandemic, the mayor is convinced that the strategies developed by the government to fight against the ill effects of Covid-19 will pave the way for a sustainable recovery.