RESPONSE TO THE STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS OF THE LCE

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Hon. Lalaine J. Montilla

Vice Mayor/Presiding Officer, 8th Sangguniang Panlungsod

Foremost, we, members of the 8th Sangguniang Panlungsod, convey our gratitude to our Mayor, Hon. Lino O. Montilla for granting our request of delivering his State of the City Address within the halls of the Sanggunian in time with the formal opening of this year’s regular session. We are deeply honored by your presence.

 

Second, the members of the Sanggunian would like to extend our gratitude to our mayor for approving the allocation of funds intended for the progressive construction of the Legislative Building, the venue of our activity today. We are happy that for this year, the mayor has allocated additional funds amounting to P20 million for the completion of this building that also houses other offices of the city government.

 

The Sangguniang Panlungsod, as legislative body of the city, is mandated by the Local Government Code of 1991 to legislate laws which shall ensure the efficient and effective delivery of basic services and facilities as provided for under Section 17 of the Code. It is also incumbent upon us, members of the city council, to work hand in hand with the executive department with the aim of looking after and promoting the welfare of the public we committed to serve.

 

The official engagement of the Sanggunian with the executive started from the crafting of the Executive-Legislative Agenda or ELA back in 2019. Of course, we already know that our LGU’s ELA contains the major development thrusts and priorities of the LGU mutually developed and agreed upon by both the executive and legislative branches for the three-year term of office. It’s conceived as a powerful vehicle for effective local governance.

 

But while the ELA provided us with the unified action towards a desired goal, there are unforeseen circumstances that could possibly derail implementation of plans. The rage of COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the operations of all governments around the world, from the international community down to the national and local levels of governance. Our city was not spared by that disruption. The early part of 2020 made our local government unit scrambling to face the dire challenges brought by the onset of COVID-19. We were all caught flat-footed. As the pandemic rages on, the people relied almost everything on how our local government would respond to the situations. That was the moment that tested the relationship of both the executive and legislative departments of our city.

 

We showed the public that we were up to the challenge. Both branches of our local government worked hand in hand during those critical times. The Sanggunian passed and enacted the necessary legislations needed by the executive to address the challenges of the pandemic. The people saw our local officials leading us at the frontlines of the battle. And we also saw how the pandemic claimed the lives of our loved ones, including our dear mayor. Although devastating to all of us, Mayor Roncal’s death served as a bond that united all of us more.

 

We are now on year two of this pandemic and more than ever, it’s the time to work harder to restart our economy and navigate the new normal. We are pleased that, based on the report rendered today by Mayor Lino Montilla, our Local Government Unit has done its best in slowly rebooting our economy beginning last year. We are pleased that apart from the interventions our LGU had done to cope with the impact of the pandemic healthwise, we never put in the sideline other development programs and projects that needed to be implemented.

 

As we face this new year, we are also pleased by the development programs our executive department plan to undertake. In behalf of the Sanggunian, and as the presiding officer of this august body, we are pledging our support to the plans and programs of our city mayor by passing and enacting the necessary legislations needed. The term of our elected local officials will officially end on June 30, and despite the looming campaign period, we, members of your Sanggunian, commit that we will continue to do our job as legislators and public servants.

 

Madamo nga salamat. Maayong aga. May God bless us all!

 

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