I congratulate my fellow officials and workers at the Manila City Hall on the recent inclusion of our beloved city as one of the 50 finalists in the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global Mayors Challenge.
A total of 631 cities and 99 countries participated in the said challenge and in the entire Philippines, Manila was fortunately selected, along with Butuan City, whose officials and people I would also like to extend my congratulations. I am very happy to share this honor with the citizens of Butuan City.
I would like to share the recognition with all Manilans both in and out of the city government. Whatever achievements are reached by the city, there is no way that I would have been able to do them all by myself.
The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge is “an innovation competition that will identify and accelerate the most ambitious ideas developed by cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Aside from the robust multi-year support to implement and spread their breakthrough ideas, $1 million awaits each of the 15 grand prize winners.
The program of the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge is focused on the most significant public innovations generated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I was among the mayors from 631 cities in 99 countries who applied by submitting our most promising ideas for consideration. The four criteria considered for the finalists’ elevation to the top 50 were vision, potential for impact, feasibility and transferability.
I thank Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City, who was quoted as having said: “These 50 finalists are showing the world that in the face of the pandemic’s enormous challenges, cities are rising to meet them with bold, innovative, and ambitious ideas… by helping these cities test their ideas over the coming months, we will have a chance to identify cutting-edge policies and programs that can allow cities to rebuild in ways that make them stronger and healthier, and more equal and more just.”
Manila fell under the Asia-Pacific category, from which 16 percent of the finalists came. Manila and Butuan were the only two from the Philippines who made it and we are in the company of Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand; Daegu, South Korea, Pune and Rourkela in India, Taipei.
With much pride, let me state that Manila was cited for building a 21st-century data infrastructure to improve city services while in the case of Butuan, Philippines, it was for leveraging predictive data to bolster local farmers.
Speaking of innovations related to the pandemic, I am happy to announce that we have begun hiring the needed personnel for the formal opening of the Manila COVID-19 field hospital on June 24.
The said hospital which is located in Luneta near our drive-thru free swab center, was built in a record 52 days or eight days ahead of the 60-day deadline I imposed on City Engineer Armand Andres, City Electrician Randy Sadac and City Architect Pepito Balmoris.
To them and the hundreds of personnel who worked round-the-clock to finish the said hospital quick, my special thanks.
I signed the appointment papers of an initial 127 personnel for the necessary staffing of our new COVID hospital. These newly-hired comprised of 20 doctors, 53 nurses, eight medical technologists, eight radiologic technicians, 10 admin personnel, eight IT personnel and 20 job order personnel or JOs.
Also on June 24, the city government is expecting the arrival of 400,000 Sinovac doses which we ordered from China and directly bought at P298.5 million from its manufacturer, Sinovac Life Sciences Co., Ltd.
Regarding this significant procurement, I thank Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and the members of the Manila City Council for helping me find the funds for payment of the Sinovac doses.
Thank you too, to President Rodrigo Duterte, Vaccine Czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., Department of Health Sec. Francisco Duque III and Testing Czar Sec. Vince Dizon, for making it possible for me to enter the contract of acquisition for the said vaccines.
I am happy for my fellow Manilans who will benefit from these vaccines which will be on top of the vaccine allotment that the national government will continue to give us and the 800,000 Astra Zeneca doses that were also purchased by the local government and which are expected to arrive in September.
Gaya ng paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first!
For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit my Facebook account— ‘Isko Moreno Domagoso.’