Despite its income class, the Municipality of Santa Fe proved that resourcefulness is king.
Santa Fe, a fourth-class town in Bantayan Island with Mayor Ithamar Espinosa at the helm, is proof that things bound to be urgent can still be done despite meager resources.
The municipality rose to the occasion with its immediate distribution of food packs to residents and identification of isolation centers. Santa Fe partnered with four beach operators who agreed to convert their beach resorts into isolation centers for free.
Photographs of the beach resorts were shown in a livestream feed of “Sugbo News,” the news portal of the Cebu Provincial Government, although the names of the resorts are withheld.
Tents owned by the local government unit were put up to serve also as isolation centers.
In the town’s first wave of assistance, Espinosa led efforts to distribute food packs using the Local Disaster Quick Response Fund.
Food packs contained three kilos of NFA rice, two cans of sardines, one-fourth kilo of mung beans, five pieces chicken eggs, and one piece of hand soap which benefitted 8,858 households.
The second to fourth waves of distribution were through cash assistance from the Cebu Provincial Government worth P5.7 million which they used to purchase goods for families. It was learned that some households have two or three families living together.
Food packs contain seven kilos of premium rice, whole squash, and whole dressed chicken. The LGU, through photographs sent online, pointed out that NFA rice ran out of supply so they opted for commercial rice.
The aid from the Province was based on income class. Santa Fe, as a fourth-class town, received P200 per person. It has a rounded-off population of 28,600.
As a fourth-class town, it has an Internal Revenue Allotment of P92.9 million for Fiscal Year 2020.
“Dili tawon ni dato nga municipality. Apan depende ra gyud na sa mayor, kon maningkamot, unya iya gyung siguroon nga ang kwarta sakto ang pagkagasto, ug tungod sa iyang leadership makuha niya ang kooperasyon sa iyang constituent sama ini nga nakuha ni Mayor Espinosa ang cooperation sa resort operators,” Garcia underscored.
“Mao kini matawag og model nga nagpakita sa iyang mga paningkamot alang sa lungsod sa Santa Fe,” Garcia added.
Espinosa stood by the LGU service catchphrase which reads “No Santa Fe-hanon left behind.”
Meanwhile, General Santos City in the Province of South Cotabato joined LGUs which delivered assorted goods to the Cebu South Bus Terminal designated as a “bagsakan center” for wholesalers.
As of Tuesday, May 5, General Santos City delivered 4,500 kilos of fish. With this, the total volume of assorted vegetables, banana, buko, and papaya from Barili, Dalaguete, Sibonga and fish from General Santos City reached 69,350 kilos.
“Daghan na’g mo-deliver kay kahibawo na sila nga limpyo, hapsay ug way samok,” Garcia said. (Eleanor Valeros)