Re-elected Tacurong City Mayor Lina O. Montilla’s State of the City Address (SOCA) highlighted the positive results of pursuing excellent governance and building good partnerships during her first term. The SOCA was delivered during the Inaugural Session of the 6th Sangguniang Panlungsod on July 3, 2013.
“Our City, being new and small compared to others, has now been recognized as one of the best-performing cities in the country,” said Mayor Montilla.
Excellence and partnerships
Balanced prioritization of programs and projects for development of various sectors led the city to the prestigious National Gawad Pamana ng Lahi Awards 2012 of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). The City was among the Top 5 National Finalists that include Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Makati City; Santiago City, Isabela; and Vigan City, Ilocos Sur—the winner.
In the same year, Tacurong City received the Seal of Good Housekeeping Silver (SGH)—a proof of the city’s accountability and transparency in local governance. The city received the SGH Bronze in 2011.
These awards brought additional monetary assistance for the city. The SGH Bronze and Silver awards were complemented by P3-million and P2-million cash awards. These amounts were then used for road concreting in Barangays Upper Katungal and Tina.
Good partnerships established and maintained by the city government especially with the Regional Development Council (RDC) also led to the P129-million grant for the concrete paving of unpaved portions of National Highway to the Baras Bird Sanctuary, and other agricultural assistance and infrastructure projects.
The mayor emphasized the city’s good financial performance by showing comparative figures of local revenues and expenditures from CY 2009-2012. Local revenues increased from P60,386,440.74 in CY2009 to P80,148,177.43 in CY2012. Savings from operations, on the other hand, showed an increasing trend from P40,217,753.01 in CY 2009 to P89,100,840.41 in CY2011. In CY2012, city’s savings dropped to P1,647,861.35 because of decrease in Internal Revenue Allotment—a result of the conversion into cities of 16 municipalities. Big projects were also undertaken in 2012 that include: progressive construction of the City Cultural & Sports Center, City Museum, City Library, new public cemetery, perimeter fence of the Tacurong City Integrated Public Terminal; and purchase of two brand new dump trucks and brand new meat van, among other big ticket projects.
“We believe that development should encompass all areas in the city,” said Mayor Montilla.
The mayor expressed her commitment to continue to implement the Two-Million City Aid to Barangays. The said program empowered barangays to implement necessary infrastructure projects and other priority projects in education, livelihood, health, environment, etc.
Among other projects maintained by the city government are: Annual Free Surgical Mission and Operation Tuli; Business One-Stop Shop; Limpyo Kalog (Linis Kanal); blood-letting activities; and City Hall sa Barangay.
Local special bodies will also continue working for the city’s welfare: the City Development Council; City Peace and Order Council; Local School Board; Local Health Board; City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council; among others.
The creation of the Joint Task Force Talakudong (JTFT) is another best practice that the city government aims to sustain. JTFT was created to support law-enforcement agencies and the military in maintaining the city’s peace and order.
The Executive-Legislative Agenda (ELA) will be formulated by the newly-elected city officials this July 2013. ELA serves as a guide for both the executive and legislative branch of the local government in planning and implementing priority projects in the next three years. Mayor Montilla seeks the assistance of the City Local Government Operations Officer Alberto Sero Jr. in this endeavor.
In her SOCA, Mayor Montilla enumerated some of the LGU’s priorities for 2013-2016. These include: completion of the City Cultural & sports Center, City Library, and City Museum; enhancement of the traffic management system and solid waste management; institutionalization of the Iskolar ng Lungsod ng Tacurong; enactment of the tricycle franchising system; and improvement and monitoring of delivery of basic social services.
–Jezereel Louise C. Billano (LGU-Information)