Sara Duterte: I’m still in control as mayor even when I’m outside Davao City

By: Germelina Lacorte - @inquirerdotnet - Inquirer.net | July 18,2021 - 07:09 PM

Photo from City Government of Davao Facebook page

DAVAO CITY—Mayor Sara Duterte said she remains in control as mayor of Davao City even as she spends time going around the country to consult the people on her possible bid for the presidency in next year’s elections.

“I don’t stop being mayor wherever I am,” she said in a text message to the Inquirer. “I give instructions and make decisions at all times of the day, whenever needed,” she said in reply to criticisms that she had been spending time outside Davao City at a time when her city is facing the COVID-19 threat.

“Alam naman ng lahat, di ako tulad ni ibang mayor, nagdadrama ng sipa at sigaw sa vaccination center para masabi na nagtrabaho sila. Uma-acting para sa camera (Everybody knows that I’m not like other mayors, who make a scene at the vaccination center to show they are working. They’re merely acting for the camera),” she added.

Earlier, she said a decision has to be made regarding her political career with or without the pandemic.

“It is true that there is a pandemic but it will not suspend the filing of COCs (certificates of candidacy) in October or postpone the elections in May 2022,” said the Davao City mayor who was being groomed to run for president when her father, President Duterte, steps down next year.

“This pandemic will last two to three years (before) COVID-19 (is projected to) become endemic, I have to be resilient.”

The mayor said she had already divided her entire week between her work as mayor, politics, and her family and assured that during her time away from the city, the vice mayor—Sebastian Duterte, her brother—will take the helm of the city government and that all the services and operations in the city would remain uninterrupted.

“All my travels are covered by duly filed leaves of absence,” she said. “I assure all Dabawenyos that my strength as a mayor is to take on several roles and ensure that work is carried out. It is only my person who leaves the city three days a week and in my stead, you are with our vice mayor and the entire strength of all the departments of the City Hall to make sure that operations and services are uninterrupted.”

In June, COVID-19 cases in the city reached an all-time high, prompting the city government to appeal to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to place the city under modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) to serve as “circuit breaker” against the surge of cases.

On June 1, the city registered an all-time high of 338 new COVID-19 cases in one day, according to the Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 tracker. The surge of cases greatly affected the capacity of the healthcare system in the city including the availability of hospital and quarantine beds.

But as of 5 p.m. on July 17, the new cases have gone down by more than 36 percent from the June 1 level to 213, also a slight decline from the 236 new cases registered on the previous day, July 16.

The slight improvement also prompted the IATF to loosen up quarantine restrictions in the city, placing it under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from July 16 to 31.

/MUF

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TAGS: bid for presidency, Elections, mayor of Davao City, Mayor Sara Duterte

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