𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘛𝘢𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘊𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘈𝘥𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘔𝘢𝘺𝘰𝘳 𝘈𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘭𝘰 𝘖. 𝘔𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘢 𝘥𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘥𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘙𝘦𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳 𝘚𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 8𝘵𝘩 𝘚𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘨𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘨 𝘗𝘢𝘯𝘭𝘶𝘯𝘨𝘴𝘰𝘥 𝘍𝘦𝘣𝘳𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘺 3, 2021
Almost one year into this COVID-19 pandemic, we are still coming to grips with its devastating effects. On the part of our Local Government Unit, it almost exhausted our financial resources and drained the energy of our health workers and other frontliners.
But on the other side of the coin, these past difficult months, we, the people of our beloved city, were able to show and manifest our resilience and discipline. The many months of wearing face masks and observing social distancing are important manifestations of that discipline. In other places, the so-called ‘pandemic fatigue’ has started to set in among people tired of observing those health protocols. We should not let that happen to us. The decreasing number of active cases in our city should not be a reason for us to lower our guard. This is the time to be more vigilant, disciplined and cooperative. And this is also the time to bravely face more challenges. This is the time to step up our actions.
Many countries have already started rolling out their vaccination efforts. In the Philippines, our national government made a pronouncement that vaccines could reach our general population by third or fourth quarter of this year. Our national government has committed to provide us with free vaccines but with many other LGUs waiting for vaccines coming from the national government, there is no assurance on when will the vaccines arrive. This is why there is a need for our LGU to allocate local funds to purchase our own vaccines. Last week, I made an announcement that our LGU will allocate P20 million for the vaccines. We still plan to increase the amount so that we can reach more of our target population for the vaccination.
To realize our desire to have the vaccines, I will be needing the help of our Sangguniang Panlungsod to give me the authority to enter into possible tripartite agreement with either the League of Cities of the Philippines or the national government and our identified partner Pharmaceutical Company. I am very grateful to Vice Mayor Lino Montilla and the esteemed members of the 8th Sangguniang Panlungsod for working closely and harmoniously with the executive department since the start of our battle against the pandemic. I know that I can always count on your important support.
Right now, we continue to strengthen our interventions and responses to mitigate the effects of the crisis. Our frontliners and the members of the Incident Management Team continue to perform their mandates to control the spread of the virus. We are also increasing the capacity of our isolation facilities to cater to our returning residents as well as our returning OFWs. Aside from our existing two isolation facilities in Barangay Upper Katungal, we are expecting the construction of two more isolation facilities to be funded by the Department of Health and the Office for Civil Defense. We are assuring our people that we will continue to step up our efforts to combat this pandemic.
Moving forward with other development projects
While COVID-19 interventions get the majority of our attention and focus, we do not abandon our mandate of implementing our other development programs and projects. Before the onset of COVID-19, we have been fast-tracking the implementation of several of our projects. The pandemic delayed the progress of these projects but right now, the implementation is back on track.
The construction of our People’s Dialysis and Diagnostic Center with P27.5 million budget is underway and we already obligated around P17.5 million for that project. We also allocated another P14.9 million budget for the purchase of dialysis machines and other laboratory equipment. When I assumed office as your city mayor, I made a promise that our dialysis center will be in operation before my term ends in 2022. Based on the progress report of our City Engineering Office, we are on track with our target date.
Our solar street lights project is also set to be completed. The installation of the P10 million solar lights for several of our city streets is already at 98 percent. On the other hand, our P50 million worth of solar lights funded by the national government intended for our national highways are expected to be installed within this first quarter.
Meanwhile, our Engineering Office is already finalizing the detailed engineering works for the proposed P92 million redevelopment of our public market. Our P5 million fuel depot project at the public terminal area is also nearing completion. With the operation of the fuel depot, we expect to save on the consumption of fuels for our vehicles since we will be buying fuels in bulk.
With the growing population of the city hall employees and also the growing amount of work to be done, construction of additional structures has become a necessity. The progressive construction of our multi-purpose executive building that will house the personnel under the Office of the City Mayor is in progress. We have a total budget allocation for this project amounting to P31 million. We already obligated the amount of P16 million for this project and we still have P15 million to be obligated. Meanwhile, the progressive construction of our multi-purpose legislative building also continues. It has a total budget allocation worth P50 million. Out of that budget, P25 million has already been obligated.
On the other hand, you will notice that these past few months, several heavy equipment for our city have been arriving. This is a realization of our desire to accelerate the implementation of our infra projects, especially those projects implemented ‘By Administration’. These new lineup of heavy equipment will be of great help to expedite the implementation of our ever-increasing load on infrastructure projects.
I also plan to acquire additional set of heavy equipment to be primarily used for the road maintenance projects of our barangays. During our meeting with the punong barangays two weeks ago, they made a commitment to increase their barangay budget for road maintenance. On the part of the city LGU, I also made a commitment that I will create a Special Project Unit Team tasked to handle and oversee the road maintenance projects of our 20 barangays. We will capacitate this Special Project Unit Team through the acquisition of 2 units of 6-wheeler dump trucks, 1 unit grader, 1 unit road roller or pison, 1 manlift, and 1 unit payloader. This Special Project Unit Team will be under the Office of the City Mayor but will be headed by the engineer who also heads the Construction Section of our City Engineering Office.
One important plan that our LGU is very eager to materialize within this year is our request to the Department of Public Works and Highways to allow our LGU to implement all DPWH projects intended for the City of Tacurong. This is another reason why we are boosting our lineup of heavy equipment because one of the requirements is for us to justify that we are logistically capable to implement infra projects. We are already preparing the necessary requirements and once the DPWH grants our request, I will be requesting again the help of our Sangguniang Panlungsod to grant me the authority to enter into MOA with DPWH.
When I started my term as mayor, there were two important legislations I sought for enactment from our Sanggunian. One was the ordinance Adopting the Fair Market Value for General Revision of Real Properties. I was informed by our City Assessor that their office have already received a copy of the ordinance approved by our city council which was subsequently reviewed and approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. This month of March, the personnel of the City Assessor are expected to commence with their field work for the general revision. With this development, I am conveying my gratitude to you— our dear Sangguniang Panlungsod members — for enacting the ordinance. It is worth noting also that compared to other LGUs in the province of Sultan Kudarat, isa gihapon kita sa may pinakamanubo nga balwasyon sang real properties.
Secondly, I also sought legislative support for the revision of our City Revenue Code since we are still using the revenue code that was enacted in 2011. After 10 years, it is high time to have a new revenue code. I was informed by the Committee of Councilor Atty. Remo Flores that the proposed ordinance on the revision of our revenue code is already scheduled for public hearing this month of February. I am hoping that the ordinance will be approved before the first quarter of this year ends. Salamat gid sa aton konseho sa madasig nga pag-aksyon sa sini nga mga ordinansa.
I am also grateful to our business sector who serves as the lifeblood of our local economy. We are deeply committed of translating the taxes you have been paying into programs and projects that will benefit the general population. I am proud to say that in 2020, we were one of the very few LGUs in the region to exceed our tax collection targets despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, we have a collection target of P121.8 million. Our City Treasury Office was able to exceed the target and was able to collect P131.3 million. That means that we have around P9.5 million collection surplus that we can use in our development projects. This is a manifestation of the support and trust of our business sector. Madamo gid nga salamat.
Meanwhile, in the conduct of our annual Business One Stop Shop this January, our LGU was able to collect P16,520,811.29 as of January 29, 2021. Due to some precautionary measures, we extended the operation of our Business One Stop Shop as a very simple way of giving consideration to our business operators and owners who have been supportive to the programs of our LGU. We are happy to note that base on the record of our Business One Stop Shop, a total of 2,158 business establishments have processed and paid their business permits. That figure showed an increase in business registrations compared to our record last year where we recorded 1,953 business registrations. In other words, despite the effects of pandemic, we can still see the vibrancy of our local economy.
This 2021, we have an estimated annual budget of P736 million. P601.5 million of that budget or 82 percent is our IRA or our allocation from the national government. Other programs and projects are already in the pipeline aimed to generate income for our city government. Our objective is to lower our dependency from IRA and boost our local income.
I am confident that we will achieve our objective of lowering our IRA dependency sooner. This is the reason why we are planning to embark on big-ticket projects that will ensure generation of additional income for our city coffer. In the pipeline are our plans to establish three big projects: one is the establishment of a septage facility. We are already working with the DPWH for a partnership in this project. A feasibility study has already been submitted to the central office of the DPWH for review and approval.
Second, we also plan to establish a toxic waste facility that intends to collect not only the toxic wastes generated by hospitals and similar establishments located in our city but also those in our neighboring cities and provinces. The facilities I mentioned will be housed in the city’s recently purchased 18.2-hectare land in Barangay Kalandagan. In that 18.2-hectare land, Third, we also intend put up another sanitary landfill to address our city’s growing need for waste disposal. We are also working out a partnership with the Environment Management Bureau of the DENR for the establishment of sanitary landfill and we have already submitted a feasibility study of this project to the EMB’s central office.
Having a vibrant local economy in the midst of this pandemic is also due to the preservation of peace in our locality. I am thankful to our security forces — the Tacurong PNP and the Mobile Force, the 601st Brigade and Joint Task Force Talakudong, 1st Mechanized Brigade, 40 IB, 7 IBBureau of Fire, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, PDEA, Intel Communities, Fire Volunteers, EORA, SCAA, rescuers, BPATs, and other force multipliers — who have been tirelessly securing and protecting our city. We always believe that a peaceful and orderly city produces a stable community and vibrant economy.
Sa mga pinalangga ko nga mga pumuluyo, madamo pa kita sang ginahandum nga mga programa kag proyekto para sa aton syudad. Sa bulig sang aton Ginuo kag sa inyo padayon nga pag-ugyon kag kooperasyon, nagasalig ako nga malab-ot naton ini nga mga handum.Sa mga partners ko sa Sangguniang Panlungsod — Vice mayor Lino Montilla kag sa mga myembro sang aton konseho — madamo gid nga salamat liwat sa pag-ugyon sa akon mga plano. Sa aton Department Heads kag mga empleyado; national government agencies; mga barangay kapitan kag sa mga barangay officials kag purok officials; sa aton Sangguniang Kabataan kag iban nga youth organizations; sa senior citizens, women’s group, persons with disability, kag sa LGBTQ community — salamat gid sa inyo kooperasyon; sa aton business sector, academe, civil society organizations, religious sector, kag media organizations — madamo nga salamat sa inyo partisipasyon. Sa aton mga health workers, BHERTS, barangay health workers, barangay nutrition scholars, day care workers, kag sa tanan nga frontliners sa gobyerno kag pribado nga sektor — nga sa pihak sang inyo kakapoy, nagapadayon sa pagtuman sang inyo mga trabaho — madamo gid nga salamat. Sa tanan nga katawhan sang syudad sang Tacurong, salamat sa padayon nga suporta kag kooperasyon. Kag sa aton Ginuo, kabay pa nga padayon Niya kita nga protektahan kag kabay pa nga hatagan Niya kita sang mabaskug nga lawas para atubangon ang aton mga problema.
Lastly, nagapangabay gid ako sa tanan-tanan nga empleyado sang gobyerno halin sa department heads asta sa job orders kalakip na sa aton elected officials kag amo man sa national line agencies nga ipadayon naton ang maayo nga pagserbisyo nga tampad, sinsero kag may yuhom sa mgakatawhan sang aton pinalangga nga ciudad. Ugyon, Yuhom, Tahom Tacurong! Ciudad ko, Palangga Ko!
——– end ——–