CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Regional Development Council in Central Visayas (RDC-7) named a lawyer in the army reservist as the Most Outstanding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Volunteer in the region.
This was part of the national government’s search for the Most Outstanding COVID-19 volunteer in the country as recognition to the efforts of the citizens in the pandemic response.
Jose Mari Gotiangco was deemed the most outstanding volunteer for leading the funding and innovation of improvised face shields during the pandemic, which was distributed to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, hospitals, and other facilities.
His makeshift face shields was a cheaper alternative for the frontliners to use amid the high demand and low supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs) during the onslaught up to the peak of the pandemic in March to July 2020.
“I am deeply humbled to represent my reserve unit in the AFP in receiving this award. I would like to give credit to our fellow volunteers. This was first and foremost, a team effort. Everything was made possible through the efforts of our fellow reservists, for all volunteers, and even civic groups who came together,” said Gotiangco.
Aside from Gotiangco, who will represent Central Visayas in the national search, two other individuals were recognized for their exemplary service during the pandemic.
Teacher Remus Mariña was recognized for initiating a donation drive for stranded teachers and students, raising over P700,000 for food packs and relief goods.
Cebu City Chamber of Commerce and Industries President Felix Taguiam was also recognized for leading the gathering of funds to assist medical and non-medical frontliners through food packs, PPEs, and donation of essential supplies.
The search for the Most Outstanding COVID-19 volunteer in the country will be awareded before the year ends.
Meanwhile, the (RDC-7) also honored the late political veteran and Cebu City North District Representative Raul Del Mar in their last quarter full council session on December 7, 2020.
The RDC-7 posthumously awarded a plaque of recognition to Del Mar for his contributions to the RDC-7 in the more than 30 years he served as a representative of the North District since 1987.
“He served as a member of the advisory committee during his terms as First District Representative of Cebu City. Throughout his term, Congressman Del Mar has been conscientious in fulfilling his tasks, instrumental in the formulation, passage, and funding of programs and projects for the benefit of the First District of Cebu City and of Central Visayas region as a whole,” said RDC-7.
The plaque was virtually accepted by Del Mar’s daughter, former Congressman Rachel “Cutie” Del Mar, representing the Del Mar family.
Cutie said that Del Mar’s commitment in his public service including to that in the RDC-7 can never be forgotten. All of his projects “were not for him but for the common good.”
The RDC-7 commended such service from the congressman and urged the members to make an example of Del Mar’s commitment in their service to the region.
Aside from Del Mar, the RDC-7 also recognized the efforts of Regional Operations Group (ROG) Assistant Secretary Astria Cabarte, the previous regional director of the Department of Trade and Industries in Central Visayas (DTI-7).
She was recognized for her service to the RDC-7’s various committees including economic development, development administration, regional communication, and information technology, and Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa since 1999.
For her part, Cabarte said that the RDC-7 is “blessed” with cooperative members from both public and private sector. She urged them to continue to work together for the development of the region.
“I humbly ask the rest of the members to extend full cooperation and be present all the time,” said Cabarte.