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LGU Tacurong outlines plan to reboot local economy

With uncertainties about the COVID-19 pandemic waiting in the foreseeable future, the Local Government Unit of Tacurong City is grappling on how to balance coronavirus containment with its economic affairs.

Restarting the local economy becomes a priority after it came to a standstill in the last four months due to the health crisis.

In the meeting of the Incident Management Team and Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 on July 14, the City Planning and Development Coordinating (CPDC) Office presented the City Economy Restart Plan (C-ERP) in the next six months as well as the Rehabilitation & Recovery Plan in the succeeding two years (2021-2022).

The formulation of the plan is also in compliance with the National Inter-Agency Task Force that mandates LGUs to develop their resiliency and recovery plans under the so-called new normal state.

City Planning and Development Coordinator Amelia Bochorno said that for Tacurong City, the overall goal of the C-ERP is to stabilize the city’s economy by instituting effective policies & guidelines and reforming the values and lifestyles of Tacurongnons under the changing conditions.

In formulating the C-ERP, the LGU adopted the PESTILE/SOAR Analysis Tool as recommended by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

PESTILE stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technology, Infrastructure, Legal, and Environment, while SOAR is an acronym for Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results.

In the next six months or until the end of 2020, several strategies are to be undertaken by the LGU to address various gaps and challenges especially amidst the current crisis.

One of the focus areas of the plan is how to implement programs that would help or assist the displaced workers and farmers.

Strengthening health facilities and capacitating health workers are also among the areas that will be given attention in the next six months.

Moreover, a rehabilitation and recovery plan is also drafted consisting programs, projects, and activities or PPAs that will be implemented from 2021 to 2022.

Mayor Angelo ‘Roncal’ Montilla said that the restart plan is very crucial for the LGU to properly strategize and implement programs aiming to reboot the economy and at the same time continue to enforce appropriate COVID-19 responses.

“We are hugely affected by this pandemic but with the correct approaches that we need to undertake, we can break out of this economic slump and recover smoothly”, Montilla said. (ASF, LGU Information)

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328 more streetlights will illuminate Tacurong

No city street left unlit— that is the plan of the city government at the very least.

Dubbed simply as the Installation of Street Lighting System in Tacurong, this P16 million project aims to put up solar-powered streetlights along the four major highways crisscrossing the city and all main streets in  the downtown and barangay areas.

The better news, however, is that a big chunk of this project is currently underway and is at the bidding stage.

Costing P10 million, the city government will soon procure 328 units of 60 watts solar streetlights to be peppered along 24 major streets in the city.

These are the Doña Alica Avenue, Rizal Avenue, Quirino Avenue, Roxas Avenue, Pioneer Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Jaycee Avenue, Magsaysay Avenue, Martines St., Lapu-lapu St., Malvar St., Ledesma St., Mabini St., Bonifacio St., Jose Abad Santos St., Gen. Lim St., Doña Aurora St., Gen. Luna St., Fr. Burgos St., Diego Silang St., Del Pillar St., New Isabela Barangay Road, Public Terminal Road, and Brgy. Upper Katungal Provincial Road.

Each solar streetlight will be composed of a solar panel, a 60 watts LED solar lighting lamp with integrated LiFePO4 battery, an arm bracket, and accessories, all assembled in an existing utility post. Each set costs P24,000.

While that part of the project is well underway, other series of installations were set in motion as early as the 1st quarter of the year.

Currently, Tacurongnons are enjoying the nightime illuminations of the P2 million- worth installation of 100 watts solar streetlights along the direction of Rotunda- San Pablo stretch of the national highway.

Another P2 million – worth of installation was completed during this period of Modified Community Quarantine along the direction Rotunda – Dragon Complex with the same 19 units of 100 watts solar streetlights.

Next in line is another P2 million installation along the national highway – Upper Katungal junction. This series of the project is currently at the bidding stage.

This streetlight installation project is one of the promised priorities of City Mayor Angelo O. Montilla. He pooled enough resources from  the 2019 and 2020 budget and he is adamant in seeing this project through before the end of his term.(YMR, LGUTac-Info)

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DOST urges LGU to adopt web-based platform to forecast COVID-19

With the aim to capacitate the Local Government Unit in monitoring and analyzing COVID-19 cases locally, the Department of Science and Technology is urging Tacurong City to adopt a web-based platform that will serve the purpose.

LGU personnel, barangay officials, and partner agencies attended on July 6 a one-day orientation and training on DOST’s web-based Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler (FASSSTER), a disease surveillance platform.

FASSSTER aims to create a hub for different data sources such as disease records and other information that would provide a better understanding about the spread of diseases.

Sultan Kudarat State University Professor Kyrene Dizon served as one of the resource persons in the orientation.

She said that by having data, the government can make a forecast or prediction that would subsequently aid the decision-makers on the actions or programs they have to undertake.

In the national level, the data generated from FASSSTER are being used by the Inter-Agency Task Force in their recommendations and the government’s decision to implement different quarantine guidelines.

Another feature of FASSSTER is the “TanodCOVID”, a self-reporting application that lets citizens report COVID-related symptoms using SMS or text. It is a tool that can be used for contact tracing.

Unlike other contact tracing appliccations, TanodCOVID can be accessed offline and through text messaging.

DOST Assistant Regional Director for Technological Services Division Engr. Sammy Malawan said that if the LGU decides to adopt the platform, they would provide the technical help it needs.

In his message, Mayor Angelo ‘Roncal’ Montilla conveyed his gtratitude to DOST for serving as the government’s backbone in all its scientific and technological undertakings.

He said that after the orientation, he will meet with the concerned LGU offices to discuss the adoption of the FASSSTER platform.

“This platform could be a big help in our local initiatives and the TanodCOVID is an accessible contact tracing tool since you will only need a cellphone to report any symptoms that you manifest”, the mayor said. (ASF, LGU Information)

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Tacurong Magsaysay Park undergoes redevelopment

These trying times notwithstanding, Tacurongnons from all walks of life and ages would soon find a greener, healthier, and safer place to converge without moving away from the heart of the city.

The historic Magsaysay Park, while currently houses the Children’s Playground, is slated to make room for more amenities in a total makeover that is touted to be the Magsaysay Park Redevelopment Project.

Originally, the park sits on a 15, 990 square meters area, but it will be expanded to utilize the road-right-of-way of Quezon Avenue creating a new total area of 18, 354 square meters.

Estimated to cost more or less P50 million, the project is designed to house the Quezon Avenue Food Park, a central park, an amphitheater, a senior citizens’ park, board games attraction, Larong Pinoy area, board games lounge, a sports zone, and the Great Wall of Birds.

Other features also include a pedestrian lane, a covered walk, a bicycle lane, and a parking area.

Prior to the pandemic, the project has already completed its first phase, which is the construction of the Quezon Avenue Food Park along with its 24 concrete food stalls and costing Php 9,189,165.00.

Phase II focused on the construction of the Senior Citizens’ Park, the board games lounge, Central Park, and the Board Games Attraction. This phase costed Php 14, 399, 822.

Currently, Phase III is seeing the improvement of the Children’s Park and the construction of the Great Wall of Birds, an attraction that highlights the Baras Bird Sanctuary wonders. This phase costs Php 12,460,447.

While the city is still currently hard at work fighting against the pandemic, other infrastructure projects have resumed, and none that is more important than the Magsaysay Redevelopment Project that supports the urban greening development program of the government.

A bulk of this endeavor’s funding is sourced through the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) Green, Green, Green assistance program, which targets the development of public open spaces and converts them into livable and more sustainable areas of cities.

Morever, for every funding received from the Green, Green, Green program, the city government provides its local counterpart. For instance, Phase I of the redevelopment project utilized Php 8, 189, 165 from the DBM and P 1 million from the city government.

Upon the project’s completion, Tacurongnons can expect permeable pavements, endemic trees, and air purification plants that reduce urban heat and improve the air quality in the vicinity of the park; these on top of the new and more fun park amenities, of course.(YMR, LGUTac-Info)

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Tacurong first in SK to formulate Barangay Nutrition Action Plans

What a way to usher in the Nutrition Month Celebration!

All twenty barangays of Tacurong City are scaling up their nutrition programs by formulating their respective Barangay Nutrition Action Plans (BNAP) and have them approved by their respective Barangay Nutrition Councils (BNC).

In a simple program on June 30, the punong barangays, as head of their BNCs, presented their BNAPs before the members of the City Nutrition Council chaired by Mayor Angelo ‘Roncal’ Montilla.

Present during the activity were Vice Mayor Lino Montilla, City Planning and Development Coordinator Amelia Bochorno, City Nutrition Action Officer Rogelio Garcia, and City Nutrition Program Ccordinator Myka Angelou Tomboc among others.

From the left: City Mayor Angelo O. Montilla, Vice Mayor Lino O. Montilla, Mr. Rogelio Garcia

BNAP serves as the local version of the Philippine Plan of Action or PPAN, the country’s blueprint of actions for nutrition improvement, led by the NNC, together with key national and local stakeholders.

It also serves as a work plan of nutrition interventions at the barangay level that aims to help in reducing cases of malnutrition in their respective localities.

Nutrition governance takes a front seat in terms of priority programs of the current administration as Mayor Angelo ‘Roncal’ Montilla lists nutrition as one of his flagship programs.

Stunting (pagkabansot) and wasting (pagkapayat) are serious malnutrition problems that have long-lasting effects on the child. These are the problems the current administration wanted to dramatically reduce, if not totally eradicate.

Zuellig Family Foundation and Nutirition International have also become essential partners of Tacurong in mainstreaming Urban Nutrition Governance Program anchored on the framework of the First 1,000 Days Law or Republic Act 11148.

RA 11148 aims to take care of the health and nutrition of pregnant women and babies under two years of age.

Studies show that brain development of the child is critical from zero up to two years of age that is why caring for the nutrition of the child should start from the womb of the mother until the child reaches the age of two.

Through the help of ZFF and Nutrition International, Tacurong was able to address critical nutritional gaps such as the importance of having nutrition action plans from the city down to barangay levels.

The activation of the City Nutrition Council and appointment of a City Nutrition Action Officer as well as City Nutrition Program Ccordinator are manifestations of Mayor Montilla’s commitment to battle malnutrition.

He also elevated the status of five barangay nutrition scholars (BNS) from volunteers to job orders and committed to do the same with other BNS in the remaining barangays.

Nutrition situation analysis of Tacurong shows that stunting, underweight, thinness, and obesity are the forms of malnutrition existing in the city.

Stunting has the highest prevalence rate of 8.6 percent or a total of 718 children among 0-59 years old population. It is followed by underweight with prevalence rate of 5.5 percent or 457.

With the formulation of BNAP by all barangays, the public can expect that all problems related to malnutrition will be properly addressed.

Mayor Montilla also conveyed his gratitude to the commitment of the barangays in mainstreaming nutrition programs in local governance. He also thanked the City Documentation Team in assisting the BNCs in encoding, binding, and reproducing the copies of the BNAPs. (ASFreno, LGU Information)

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