New CDO mayor skips 1st COVID-19 briefing to entertain Miss CDO candidates

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 19 July) – Newly elected Mayor Rolando “Klarex” Uy did not attend the scheduled Monday morning press conference that was supposed to outline his administration’s health policy for the next three years against the COVID-19.

Mayor Rolando “Klarex” Uy with the Miss Cagayan de Oro candidates. Photo from the Facebook page of the CDO City Information Office

City Hall officials said Uy skipped the event to be with a delegation of Miss Cagayan de Oro 2022 pageant contestants who paid him a visit in his office.

Uy instead sent the City Health Officer, Dr. Rachel Dilla; the city epidemiologist, Dr. Joselito Retuya; Dr. Teodoro Yu Jr. and Dr. Ina Grace Chiu to answer questions from the media.
 
The Facebook page of the Cagayan de Oro City Information Office (CIO) posted photos of Mayor Uy receiving the Miss Cagayan de Oro 2022 contestants in his office.

Wearing a surgical mask, Uy was photographed in a group shot with 12 candidates. In another photo, he was doing a fist bump with one of them. He took off his mask to be photographed with the Miss CDO Organization chairperson Mags Cue and pageant consultant Gigi Go.

“Before we came here, we were in the city mayor’s office and there were many visitors,” Dr. Dilla told reporters.

The CIO’s Facebook page posted the live press conference starting at 10:27 a.m. Monday, which lasted for an hour and 18 minutes. At exactly 1:11 p.m. of the same day, the CIO posted pictures of the mayor and the beauty pageant candidates. Part of the caption read: “This year’s batch of Miss Cagayan de Oro candidates pay a courtesy visit to Mayor Rolando ‘Klarex’ Uy earlier this morning, July 18.”

Mayor Rolando “Klarex” Uy with the Miss Cagayan de Oro beauty pageant candidates at his office. Photo from the Facebook page of the CDO City Information Office

The press conference was the first for Uy on how to ramp up measures against the COVID-19 as an uptick of new cases was reported last weekend.
 
Yu said there were 59 active COVID-19 cases recorded last weekend, up from 36 cases recorded on Tuesday, July 12.
 
Data showed that the city registered 18 active cases on June 29, the last day of office of former Mayor Oscar Moreno.
 
Moreno led Cagayan de Oro during the first two crucial years of the pandemic that was characterized by community lockdowns and strict public health program.
 
Cagayan de Oro’s response to the pandemic was widely admired by nearby local governments that newly elected Iligan City Mayor Frederick Siao hired Dr. William Bernardo to head Iligan’s city health programs.

Before his move to Iligan, Bernardo was the acting City Health Officer and in-charge of Cagayan de Oro’s Universal Health Care Program.
 
Dilla assured that the Cagayan de Oro City Health Office has enough good doctors and nurses to answer the health needs of its residents.

Cagayan de Oro City health officials during the July 18, 2022 Cagayan de Oro City press conference on COVID-19, but without the newly elected Mayor Rolando “Klarex” Uy, who was busy entertaining candidates of the Miss Cagayan de Oro beauty pageant cotestants in his office at that time. From left: Dr. Joselito Retuya, city epidemiologist; City Health Officer Rachel Dilla; Dr. Ina Grace Chiu and Dr. Teodoro Yu Jr. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

She said they would implement a vaccination program that would inoculate the remaining residents in the city.
 
In their July 15, 2022 vaccination report, Chiu said 581,439 residents have been inoculated, or 96.14 percent of the city’s target population of 604,953 to attain herd immunity; and 55,972 residents or 91.90 percent were given their second dose.
 
Chiu admitted that the vaccination program lagged behind in administering the booster shots: only 147,555 residents have so far taken their booster shot. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)