BONTOC, Mountain Province – In a simple celebration of Bontoc’s 112th Founding Anniversary on September 16, 2020, officials highlighted the spirit of Og-ogfo (Bayanihan) as the world battles with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey made mention of how the pandemic has gravely affected all sectors in society. Yet, in all situations like the global pandemic, difficult times bring out the best in the Ifontok.
“During the most difficult times, especially during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), we saw the best in the Ifontok. We saw the innate generosity or panag-isakit isnan ib-a. Neighbors helping neighbors. The community coming to aid our dutiful frontliners, and generously whatever they can to help. Anonymous donors sending help –in cash or in-kind to people in need. So many people with generous hearts. Frontliners going beyond the call of duty. Citizen complying with health protocols. Heroes all,” the mayor remarked.
With this year’s theme “Empowered communities, resurging traditions: Towards a safer and healthier future”, Odsey acknowledged that the COVID -19 has changed the community’s traditional lifestyle. He however added that Bontoc’s culture and community spirit have empowered everyone to make the most of difficult times, enabling them cope.
He added that generosity, care, industry, and kindness are resurging traditions that form part of good citizenship.
Odsey likewise assured that the COVID-19 will not be a hindrance in the implementation of the regular programs of the present administration and delivery of services to the people.
Mountain Province Representative Maximo Dalog, Jr., who was the keynote speaker during the event, made special mention of the dedication and passion of the frontliners in the fight against COVID-19.
He solicited the cooperation of everyone to comply with the minimum health standards to avoid and prevent the spread of the virus.
As Bontoc celebrates its 112th Founding Anniversary, he lauded the present administration for raising the bar of excellence in good governance. He mentioned that Bontoc, being an awardee of the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) for three years in a row, a Hall of Famer Most Outstanding Accounting Office in the Philippines, and consistent awardee of the Seal of Child –Friendly Municipality are manifestations of good public service and exemplary leadership.
Likewise, Dalog renewed his commitment to support all the undertakings of the Bontoc municipal government and help the Bontoc community in any way he can. On the same day, the municipal government recognized those who made donations in cash or in kind, extended assistance in one way or another, to help the municipality in its anti-COVID-19 efforts.
The celebration started with a thanksgiving mass officiated by the Rev. Lucresia Turtem of the Episcopal Diocese of the Northern Philippines (EDNP).
This year’s celebration had been scaled down in terms of participation and number of activities because of the threat that COVID-19 poses to the community. By Alpine L. Killa