MAMBAJAO, Camiguin (PIA)—“Your local government is working hard to create a happy and inclusive town where no one is left behind in all sectors of our community; we support them with various programs that will aid us in achieving our common goals.”
In his State of the Municipality Address (SOMA), July 6, Mambajao Mayor Yñigo Jesus Romualdo shared major plans and strategies for attaining holistic development of the town anchored on his platform, “Deeds Not Words,” that focuses on environmental protection, development and expansion of infrastructure, economic dynamism, delivery of basic services, and strengthening of local governance.
Magnifying environmental care
Noting an increase of tourist arrivals to 31,446 from the province’s closure of tourism activities with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, Romualdo said they exhausted all efforts to ensure environmental protection, including the surveillance and monitoring of municipal waters from Naasag to Tupsan and around the While Island Marine Park.
This is an addition to their active participation in the underwater clean-up drives dubbed, “Scubasurero.”
The local government is also gearing up for the creation of the Jicduf Marine Park, where they have already surveyed the 57.53-hectare area that includes areas for turtles, tubastrea, sand, wall, snorkeling, and black forest.
“When completed and ready, Jicduf Marine Park will be a new eco-destination in Mambajao. This month we will be conducting our public hearing to inform our stakeholders of our project, and we hope to get this up and running in the last quarter of the year,” Romualdo said.
Furthermore, as cleanliness serves as the primary view of the island province, Romualdo said they have deployed new material recovery facilities in Barangays Tupsan, Magting, Soro-Soro, Baylao, Bug-ong, Yumbing, and Naasag. Such a facility is used to step up solid waste management in the town.
The town has also doubled the number of trees planted along the riverbanks with its annual tree-planting activity.
Improving health systems
Noting that economic recovery will never be achieved without giving priority to the local government’s best asset, which is a healthy populace, Romualdo said they continuously provide COVID-19 vaccinations and immunizations for children against common vaccine-preventable diseases, of which they marked 90% in accomplishment.
They also bolstered their Safe Motherhood Program, where they were able to bring down their neonatal mortality by 20%, aside from having zero maternal mortality in 2022.
The town’s malnutrition rate also decreased by 13%. “In addition, the rate of obese children also decreased sharply by 49.4%. This is where we see the slow but steady effects of our nutrition campaigns and other programs like supplemental feeding,” Romualdo added.
As for mental health, Romualdo said the town has 102 patients, of whom 11 are mentally retarded. The Municipal Health Office noted a slight decrease in patients in 2022, which they owe to the integrated, comprehensive approach to delivering appropriate services to people battling with acute and chronic mental illnesses and to their caregivers.
Fueling econ drive
Improving the lives of its residents, Romualdo said they spent about P19 million to complete their infrastructure projects, which include the procurement of a six-wheeler truck that will be used to hasten the execution of infrastructure projects.
“Our Mambajao Operations Center is 90% complete and will hopefully be inaugurated in September in time for our fiesta. Ardent Hibok-Hibok Spring Resort will also undergo further rehabilitation,” Romualdo said.
The local government, with the support of Senator Bong Go, Rep. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo, and Gov. Xavier Jesus Romualdo, was also able to establish the New Super Health Center with a total grant of P6.5 million and the Barangay Balbagon Health Center.
Also, to help locals showcase their products, the LGU will use its P5 million incentive fund for the creation of the Mambajao Pasalubong center.
The Department of Labor and Employment was also significant in providing extra short-term livelihood for the town’s residents, where 820 residents acquired income that would amount to P3.19 million in total disbursement in 2022. This year, 2,158 beneficiaries will benefit from the program.
Mambajao’s total collection in 2022, which amounted to P225 million, marked an increase in revenue from its P170 million collection in 2021.
“In 2022, we gained 483 new businesses and 2,112 renewals. In both categories, it increased by 9.1% from 2021. This gain is brought about by the ease of doing business with the LGU,” Romualdo said.
The LGU has also completed the creation of their website, https://mambajao.gov.ph, which will enable them to become part of a bigger network of Smart Cities.
Pouring these efforts into making dreams a reality, Romualdo said, “It is my hope to upbeat more our economic dynamism by creating more job opportunities and new businesses, to push for faster and more efficient social service delivery, and to secure our citizenry in terms of a consistent and healthy food supply, peaceful living, and a disaster-resilient community.”
Mambajao celebrated its 168th Foundation Day, July 1–7, with different activities participated in by national line agencies, local government units, and civil society organizations. (RTP/PIA-10/Camiguin)