Baybay City’s Expanded Super Health Center commences soon

“Now is the time to really invest in our health care system. Indeed, this is a great milestone not only for your province but also for our country’s health care system. Through establishing facilities like this, I am confident that we can provide the best services and quality facilities for the benefit of the Filipinos.”

This was the recorded message of Senator Christopher Laurence “Bong” Go during the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Construction of Baybay City’s Super Health Center held on September 9, 2022.

Baybay City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari, during his message, revealed that the construction of the Super Health Center in Baybay City would commence this month but this will be an expanded Super Health Center because if the Department of Health will allow it, a Blood Collecting Unit (BCU) with additional functions will also be part of the center. To this, Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Regional Director Rodolfo Antonio M. Albornoz said that he and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Antonio Ida will inform Regional Director Exuperia B. Sabalberino regarding Baybay City LGU’s plan to establish a BCU as part of the Super Health Center.

Mayor Cari also thanked the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) for being ever supportive and for providing additional funds of six million pesos (P6M) for the needed machines and equipment in the Super Health Center. ARD Albornoz commended Baybay City LGU for allocating additional funds for the said project, “This shows the commitment of the Baybay City LGU for providing quality health services.”

ARD Albornoz explained that the Super Health Center is a primary care facility with Pharmacy, Clinical Laboratory, Birthing Facility, and Dental Facility. To this, Congressman Carl Nicolas C. Cari added that he is delighted that the Construction of the Super Health Center was included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for this year. He added that he is glad that another Super Health Center will soon be constructed in Bato, Leyte, and another one later in Inopacan, Leyte.

Vice Mayor Atty. Ernesto M. Butawan, on the other hand, said that “I am happy to grace this occasion and to be a part of this momentous event showing that Baybay City has raised the bar of public health service in this part of the province, making sure that all resources and taxes collected by the City are allocated to programs and services for the general welfare not only of Baybayanons but also that of the neighboring towns.”

Finally, City Health Officer Dr. Oja said that DOH Administrative Order No. 20-0047 mandates that all primary health care services must be located in only one facility. The Super Health Center will make this possible. “We have a Level II Clinical Laboratory, Pharmacy (Botika ng Bayan), Birthing Facility, Dental facility, and a Diagnostic Facility with X-ray, ECG, and Ultra Sound but these are found in different locations at the moment,” added Dr. Oja. (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)


Baybay City’s struggles and wins in the past 3 years

The past three (3) years was not easy for the newly-elected local officials of the City of Baybay and its constituents. The City has just started the construction of major infrastructure projects in the city proper but this was hindered by the pandemic. The construction of the barangay projects continued, even though they were also affected by restrictions due to pandemic. However, most of them were completed and were formally turned over to the barangays.

There was a time when people complained about the strict protocols implemented by the city against COVID-19 but they were silenced by the impact of the said protocols because it took some time for COVID-19 to have an adverse effect in the City of Baybay. This affected the local economy, which was later on opened through the cooperation of the Baybayanons and the entrepreneurs who heeded the call for massive vaccination against COVID-19.

This was not an easy task because the people has been bombarded with fake news against the vaccine. Still the Local Vaccination Operation Center (LVOC) managed to hit its target per category, thru the policies implemented by the City Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (City IATF-MEID).

Then came typhoon Odette which damaged a lot of houses and livelihoods.  The City of Baybay, thru the leadership of City Mayor Hon, Jose Carlos L. Cari was in the forefront of all efforts to rise above the impacts of typhoon Odette. Another typhoon came (TS Agaton)which according to Mayor Cari was different from all the other typhoons that hit the city because it rendered two (2) barangays unsafe for human dwelling. Yet, after almost four (4) months, forty (40) families have already been transferred to the relocation site. To date, the construction of the housing units for the displaced families continues.

Both the pandemic and the typhoons affected the city’s agriculture and fisheries program but thru the concerted efforts of the concerned offices, farmers and fisherfolks, the produce are now being sold at the Bagsakan Center. This is located across the Baybay City Public Market, where farm products are sold at farm gate prices.

Around 50 upland fishponds were also established and to sustain its production the city also established a Mini Tilapian Hatchery in Sitio Cienda, Barangay Gabas, Baybay City, Leyte.

Truly, the City of Baybay has gone a long way and will go further in fulfilling its vision of Baybay City, a progressive and resilient city, living in a healthy environment. (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)


LCE reveals updates on the housing units for the TS Agaton survivors

Forty (40) housing units for the survivors of Barangay Kantagnos of this city have already been turned over and occupied by the most vulnerable families of the said barangay. They underwent training on fire prevention and suppression and were mandated to manage their wastes.

According to Baybay City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari, “The construction of the next 32 temporary housing units in Barangay Maganhan is currently ongoing and when this is almost done, it was agreed during the coordinating meeting to immediately start the construction of the remaining 72 temporary housing units to complete the housing units for the residents of Barangay Kantagnos, all courtesy of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).”

He revealed this during the payout of the cash assistance from the International Federation of Red Cross, thru Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon for the almost five hundred survivors of Typhoon Agaton from Barangays Maypatag, Kantagnos, and Mailhi.

Mayor Cari also revealed that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) committed to constructing temporary housing units for the TS Agaton survivors in Barangay Maypatag. He said that the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), headed by Vice Mayor Atty. Ernesto M. Butawan, already gave him the authority to purchase a lot for the relocation of the affected families but the initial cost of the land was too high.

However, Mayor Cari revealed that after several negotiations with the Legal Team, the land owner agreed to sell the land at an affordable price, “Thus, rest assured that the City Government will purchase a lot where temporary housing units will be constructed for the affected residents of Barangay Maypatag so that they may vacate the classroom that currently serves as their temporary shelter.”


On the other hand, Mayor Cari revealed that the construction of the permanent housing units in Barangay Higulo-an, for the TS Agaton survivors from Barangay Mailhi commenced last week. Thus, he thanked the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) of the City of Baybay for approving the funds he requested for the construction of the initial permanent housing units (Phase I) in the said relocation site. He added that he requested additional funds from the Sangguniang Panlungsod for the second phase of the said project.

Mayor Cari also revealed that Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla and the San Miguel Corporation representatives have visited the area and promised to provide funds for additional permanent housing units thus, hopefully, the needed number of housing units will soon be completed.

Finally, Mayor Cari explained that it was his decision, together with the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Baybay, to construct permanent, instead of temporary, housing units in Barangay Higulo-an because based on observation, the temporary housing units built for victims of disaster usually become permanent housing in the end. (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)


Philippine Red Cross provides cash assistance to TS Agaton survivors

Almost five hundred survivors of Typhoon Agaton from Barangays Maypatag, Kantagnos, and Mailhi received financial assistance just recently from the International Federation of Red Cross, thru Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon.

During his message Baybay City Mayor Hon. Joe Carlos L. Cari thanked the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for being one of the first to arrive immediately after typhoon Agaton struck the city which resulted to landslides, damage of properties and loss of lives. He said that as early as April 11, 2022 their paramedics, doctors, and service vehicles were already in the City of Baybay to provide assistance to the fullest.

Mayor Cari said that, “In behalf of the city government of Baybay, I am expressing our gratitude to PRC for responding first and for responding well. The help you have extended was much needed by our constituents here in Baybay City.”

He also thanked the PRC for the financial assistance that they provided to around five hundred residents of the City of Baybay. “What you are extending will mean so much and rest assured that with the help of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the City Social Welfare and Development Office, this will go a long way,” added Mayor Cari.

It could be recalled that Typhoon Agaton displaced these families rendering either their houses or their barangay unsafe for inhabitants. The recipients of the cash assistance from PRC are still living in the Evacuations Centers (schools) and are striving to live a normal life.

In relation to this, Mayor Cari thanked the Management of the Department of Education Baybay City Division, headed by Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Carmelino P. Bernadas for continuously allowing them to occupy the school buildings despite the start of the limited face-to-face classes.

Baybay City’s City Social Welfare and Development Officer Dr. Manuel Icon Donaire, on the other hand, thank all the donors who continuously help them get through this difficult times. However, he said that it would be best for the surviving families if the donors will give their donations in cash, instead of in kind, so that they may use it to purchase what their family really need. (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)


LGU offers opportunities for a fruitful life to its farmers and fish farmers

The delivery of prime commodities and food products was limited by the strict health protocols implemented due to the pandemic way back 2020.  Thus, Baybay City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari, with the approval of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and thru the City Agriculture Office, implemented the Comprehensive Agriculture and Fishery Program to guarantee food security in the City of Baybay.

The technicians were mandated to look for vacant lots that may be developed into either tilapia fishpond or into a vegetable production site, identify the owners and encourage them to avail of the program of the city.

Under the Comprehensive Agriculture and Fishery Program, interested farmers or fish farmers must group themselves into at least five (5), undergo the corresponding training before the Baybay City LGU prepares the land and provides all the needed inputs and technical assistance to ensure the income of the farmers or the farm fishers. Then, during the harvest, the CAO collects the data such as the volume of the produce and the total sales but the income is given to the farmers and the farm fishers as a starting capital.

According to City Agriculturist Ms. Mora Abarquez, many Baybayanons come to their office to avail of this program thus they arranged the schedule of the services of the tractor operator on a first come, first served basis after the concerned Agricultural Technician had inspected the area.

Indeed, Mayor Cari’s program for agriculture saved the day during the time of the pandemic as residents from the different municipalities come to Baybay City to avail of essential goods then. However, he is hopeful that all these efforts will be sustained by the leaders of the organizations whom the city had assisted. (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)


PPA representatives tackles extraction of sunken dredger with LGU Baybay officials

On September 2, 2022, project managers from the Dredging & Survey Department of the Philippine Port Authority (PPA) Head Office and representatives from MAC Builders met with LGU Baybay City Officials led by City Mayor Jose Carlos L. Cari to discuss PPA’s plans and timeframe for the removal of the sunken vessel currently submerged along the docking area of the Port of Baybay.

The vessel—damaged and sunk due to the tropical storm Agaton—has been submerged for almost five months now, disrupting port operations in the city. City Mayor Cari sought to expedite the removal of the submerged dredger to allow the full return of normal operations at the port.

Atty. Ernesto Butawan, City Vice Mayor, who also attended the meeting, suggested that contractors of PPA should provide the LGU with a definite timeframe because it has been months since said contractors have made several attempts at removing the submerged dredger. Vice Mayor Butawan also proposed that representatives from the LGU must conduct a series of ocular inspections at the port to check the progress of the extraction of the damaged dredger.

The contractors and the representatives from PPA assured the City Mayor that the sunken vessel will be extracted and removed from the port in two weeks’ time.

LCE offers chances for a better future to the ALS graduates of the City of Baybay

Baybay City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari offered 150 slots of free training to the Alternative Learning System (ALS) graduates of the City of Baybay. He said this during his message at the ALS Graduation Ceremonies held at the Baybay City Gym today (September 3, 2022).

Mayor Cari revealed that the City of Baybay has its own Baybay City Technical-Vocational and Skills Training Center,  located at Barangay Cogon of this city, where interested ALS graduates will undergo the training course that they have chosen. However, since the slots are limited, it will be on a first come first serve basis.

The Local Chief Executive also revealed that the ALS graduates in a particular barangay may group themselves to avail of the livelihood programs being offered by the Baybay City LGU to its constituents. He said that, “If your group, of at least five (5) members, decides to establish a tilapia pond, the Baybay City LGU will prepare the land for you, we will provide all the necessary inputs such as pipes, fingerlings, feeds, and technical assistance and all that your group will do is manage the fishpond until the fish are ready for harvest. Then, after harvest, all the income from the fishpond will be yours but you have to spend a portion of that income for the second cropping and the cycle continues.”

Mayor Cari added that the same is true for those who will choose to go on Vegetable Production. “The Baybay City LGU will provide the tractor for land preparation, the inputs like seeds and fertilizer, and the technical assistance, thru the City Agriculture Office. Upon harvest, the total income will go to your group but you must spend a portion of your income for the next cropping,” added Mayor Cari.

The City Mayor reiterated that with a lot of unexpected things that are happening, not just in the country but around the world, that will surely affect the economy and food security, our constituents must be equipped with the necessarily skills and capabilities. For its part, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Baybay has already prepared inclusive programs to address this concern.

It could be recalled that more than four hundred (418) learners graduated from the Alternative Learning System (ALS) in Baybay City today.

ALS is a project of the Department of Education through its Bureau of Alternative Learning System which aim is to help elementary and high school dropouts or those who have not been able to attend any schooling at all to finish their primary or secondary education through non-traditional ways of schooling.

This means that after passing the ALS Accreditation and Equivalency Test (A & E Test), graduates  will be considered a grade school or a high school graduate, depending on the test the OSY took, and will be eligible to apply to the next level. (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)


The NGCP Tower needs to be transferred the soonest possible time

The constituents of the City of Baybay and road users from other places had raised concerns about the National Grid Corporation Philippines (NGCP) Tower which poses a threat to the road users due to the landslides observed at the Diversion Road, near the new Baybay City Hall. This is because they have observed that landslides occur in this part of the Diversion Road after heavy rains.

Thus, Baybay City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari met today (September 1, 2022) with Engr. I Marchie Rafales, Atty III Atty. Joy B. Templonuevo, and Legal Assistant III Atty. Bliezel D. Teodosio from the Right of Way Acquisition (ROWA) and the Legal Division and Assistant Chief Rowena Purificacion of the Planning and Design Division of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region 8 to discuss this concern. This was held at the VIP Lounge of the City of Baybay located at the Baybay City Gym.

They said that based on their assessment, there is a need to transfer the NGCP Tower and this will entail road right of way for the installation of the temporary Emergency Restoration System (ERS) Tower. Hence, there is a need to coordinate with the affected owners because the installation of the new NGCP tower will take at least two (2) years due to the materials needed not being locally available and NGCP will have to import them from other countries.

The DPWH representatives added that they have already identified the concerned land owners. DPWH and the NGCP personnel need to convince them that the road right of way is a necessity for the installation of the temporary ERS and that this will be removed when the new NGCP Tower is installed.  To this, Vice Mayor Atty. Ernesto M. Butawan suggested that they lease the affected lands until the temporary ERS are removed.

Finally, DPWH said that they will request the NGCP to have the next meeting in Baybay City to further discuss these concerns.

The meeting was also attended by City Planning and Development Officer Engr. Patrick Postrero, City Engr. Ranulfo Tagolgol, City Disaster Risk Reduction, and Management Officer Engr. Rhyse Austero, and Surveyor Engr. Aris Milloza. (Marissa M. Cano, City Information Officer, Baybay City, Leyte)