TALISAY City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr. boasted of his city’s response against the Covid-19 pandemic during his second State of the City Address (Soca) on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020.
Gullas said that as of Oct. 13, the city’s recovery rate had reached 88.61 percent with 864 of its 975 total confirmed cases recovered from the coronavirus disease 2019.
Also, as of Oct. 13, only 15 people remained as active cases in Talisay City.
But as he rejoiced at the city’s high recovery rate, Gullas also felt sad that at least 96 people succumbed to Covid-19, including some of his subordinates and former colleagues at City Hall.
“One life will always be one too many to lose. As city mayor, I will never treat my constituents as statistics, each individual has affected me as hard as any. One death is one too many,” Gullas added.
He praised the city’s frontline personnel and the cooperation of his constituents, helping the city improve its Covid-19 situation.
Gullas also boasted of their programs and projects he had implemented just before the pandemic.
In the field of education, Gullas said before the pandemic, they had gathered 15 beneficiaries for his “Cream of the Crop Scholarship” program, which provides free tertiary education to poor but deserving students.
Gullas said he hopes to increase allocation for the city’s scholarship program next year so they can attract more students.
As the city’s education sector has suffered during the pandemic, Gullas said the Talisay City School Division was given enough assistance to aid them in its modular sessions with its students.
This assistance includes logistical support to each public school by providing them with printers, ink, risographs, photocopying machines and bond papers. The public school teachers can use these tools to print their learning modules.
The city’s 44 school heads were also given laptops by the City.
The City had also provided assistance to the Talisay City College by constructing a new library before the Covid-19 pandemic began.
In terms of the City’s campaign against illegal drugs, Gullas said the local police was able to arrest 718 illegal drug personalities and recovered around P52,018 worth of illegal drugs since the start of his term as mayor in 2019.
He credited the leadership of his city police chief, Maj. Gerard Ace Pelare, for helping him in fighting the drug menace.
Aside from efforts in minimizing illegal drug use in the city, Gullas said the City’s Oplan Limpyo Talisay has helped in not only arresting drug pushers, traders and retailers but also convincing barangays to help in their campaign through its barangay drug clearing program.
Another aspect of Oplan Limpyo Talisay is its continuous rehabilitation of drug users through its outpatient aftercare and rehabilitation program.
In the field of environmental protection, Gullas said his administration had been implementing weekly and monthly cleanup drives for rivers, creeks and beaches before the Covid-19 pandemic.
The city was able to collect around 200,000 kilos of waste through the city’s regular cleanup drives.
In terms of infrastructure projects, Gullas said he was able to implement a consultative approach with barangay officials on what projects they intend to implement.
Gullas’ Aksyon Agad Team are also instrumental in ensuring that infrastructure problems being encountered in the community level such as inadequate lighting and clogged drainages are addressed immediately.
One of his major infrastructure projects that he hopes to see implementation within the last two months of 2020 is the construction of a social services building that will house the City Social Welfare and City Health offices.
Gullas also hopes that his proposed dialysis center that will be placed at the social services building will also see implementation before the year ends.
In the field of tourism, Gullas said he hopes that his proposed Talisay Lechon Park and boardwalk will also see implementation before 2020 ends.
Gullas admitted that the Covid-19 crisis prevented the launch of the two projects.
But as he awaits implementation of his dream projects, Gullas ordered his personnel to start scouring the city’s mountain barangays to help find sites that can be developed into tourist attractions.
Gullas said the city’s tourism office has already found potential establishments that can serve as hiking areas for trekkers and bikers.
Gullas’ Soca was attended by members of the Talisay City Council led by Vice Mayor Alan Bucao, Provincial Board members Yolanda Daan and Raul Bacaltos, and the city’s department heads.
Gullas’ grandfather Rep. Eduardo Gullas (Cebu, 1st) was also present during the mayor’s Soca. The elder Gullas was also celebrating his 90th birthday on Tuesday. (JKV from ANV)