Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza’s State of the City Address

Posted on July 20, 2011

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STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS 2011

Hon. Paz C. Radaza

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor

July 20, 2011, Hoops Dome

 

 

Hon. Congressman Arturo Radaza, Hon. Vice-Mayor Marcial Ycong, Honorable Members of the City Council, Barangay Officials, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow Oponganons… good morning!

 

This year, our city is celebrating its 50th charter anniversary. It was on June 17, 1961 when President Carlos P. Garcia signed Republic Act 3134 that converted the municipality of Opon to what is now Lapu-Lapu City.

 

In 2008 alone, investment in Lapu-Lapu City reached 4.7 billion pesos. On that same year, the Asian Institute of Management and the World Bank, both highly respectable institutions, ranked the city as second in ease in starting a business.

 

I am blessed to have inherited a fast growing economy, a highly urbanized city and a lone congressional district. I am grateful to the former administration who laid down the foundation to allow our city to achieve greater heights.

 

There is no denying that our city, once a sleepy town and only reachable by barge from the mainland of Cebu decades ago is growing fast. I will even dare to say without fear of contradiction that Lapu-Lapu City is growing very very fast.

 

I stand here before you, as Lapu-Lapu City’s first woman mayor… [Pause]

 

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the State of the City.

 

Economic Indicators

 

In the first quarter of this year alone, the city experienced its fastest growth rate since 2008.

 

During my inaugural address, I promised the Oponganons that I will focus on efficient tax collection so that the city’s budget will reach the one billion peso mark. And in my first year in office, I am proud to report to you that we have done it!

 

Our massive tax mapping operations and tax information campaign yielded significant increase in tax collection.

 

Income from local sources – without the Internal Revenue Allotment – saw a big jump of 23.4%.

 

Business taxes alone rose to 35.7%. This shows that the city has provided a positive business atmosphere that spurred economic activity. We recorded a steady growth of more than a thousand new businesses yearly.

 

As proof that the city is attractive to live and do business, there is a dramatic rise of 153.7% in real property transfer tax.

 

I attribute this significant growth to the business confidence the city gained from the business sector.

 

To the business community, we value your continued trust in my administration. I thank you for religiously paying your taxes. I assure you that your taxes will go to making Lapu-Lapu City the best place to do business this side of the country.

 

The rapid urbanization of Lapu-Lapu City is not without its challenges. Like you, I sometimes get stuck in traffic along Basak road while on the way to inspect a city project. Like you, I experience traversing a national road that has potholes. Like you, I get concerned when there are reports about crimes happening here in our city.  Like you, I sometimes pass by a barangay that failed to collect their garbage.

 

When accelerated development occurs, population increases, jobs become available, the number of vehicles on the road dramatically rises and the economy strengthens.

 

Along with these favorable economic indicators come challenges that your city government and we as a people face.

 

Make no mistake about it, the phenomenal growth that happened from the time former mayor and now congressman Arturo Radaza was at the helm of City Hall will not be used by my administration as an excuse for traffic, potholes on the streets and uncollected garbage.

 

My administration since day one, has and will continue to focus on addressing the challenges brought about by rapid urbanization.

 

That is why I have asked the City Council to pass a towing ordinance to once and for all clear the streets of illegally parked vehicles.

 

Admittedly, there are some complaints on the implementation of the towing ordinance. But I know most of us who commute the city streets everyday have seen for ourselves that vehicles are no longer found illegally parked on the city streets thereby easing traffic.

 

To ensure the proper implementation of the towing ordinance, I have ordered the towing company to take a video of every activity so that if a complaint is lodged against them, a review of the video can be made and proper action can be instigated.

 

I will not tolerate any abuse by the towing company, nor will I allow those who refuse to obey the towing ordinance to bully the city government and force us to ease the implementation of the law.

 

My administration is fully determined to address the traffic situation of our city.

 

I have ordered the strict implementation of the ordinance designating a tricycle lane along Basak road to give vehicles smoother access.

 

Ako lang hangyo sa mga tricycle sa Basak, atong tumanon ang maong lagda aron mas hapsay ang trapiko sa maong dapit.

 

The opening of the diversion road connecting Kadugoy Road and corner Aviation Road has eased the traffic in Basak.

 

The two hundred-meter road from the corner of Grand Mall to Agus will be concreted starting next week.

 

We have also appropriated a budget for the expropriation of affected lots from the corner of Aviation Road to the corner of Sudtunggan Road, purposely for road widening.

 

The road rehabilitation project along Maximo Patalinjug Avenue, funded by the national government, will be completed by December 2011 according to DPWH.

 

Naay uban kanato nga ni-reklamo kay guba ang uban natong mga kadalanan. Akong klarohon nga naay mga dalan sa atong siyudad nga ang nag-maintain ang DPWH.

 

Basta dalan nga ang siyudad ang nag-maintain, akong gimandu-an ang City Engineering Office nga kung guba na gani, ayuhon dayon.

 

Dili malikayan, tungod sa ka progresibo daghan proyekto nga gi-tukod nga ni-resulta sa pagkaguba sa atong kadalanan. Ug sa dihang atong gi-ayo, duna sa‘ y mu-reklamo kay mu-traffic pud.

 

I call on my fellow Oponganons for your understanding. The city government will see to it that if there are ongoing road repairs, be it by the DPWH or the city, traffic rerouting scheme must be in place to mitigate traffic jam.

 

Peace and Order

 

With the rapid urbanization that the city is experiencing, you may have noticed lately that crimes in the city have been given attention by media.

 

A comparative index crime data show that we have slightly reduced theft from 53% to 50%; carnapping reduced from 4% – down to 1%; homicide from 2% – down to 1%; and physical injuries from 24% – down to 21%.

 

However, there is a significant increase in robbery from 14% – it went up to 24%.

 

I would like to call the attention of the police force and barangay officials to bring this volume down by half in the next six months.

 

The police force together with the barangays have instituted a more comprehensive reporting system where crimes or offenses reported to the barangays are now sent to the police stations and finally, to the police office.

 

This allows us to formulate a better program by getting a clearer picture of the peace and order situation of the entire city.

 

To cope with increasing criminality that comes with rapid urbanization, growth and development, the City Government together with the police, initiated several peace and order programs.

 

We have activated a Unified Task Force composed of trained barangay tanods and police personnel to conduct joint patrols and operations. Barangay Tanods under the Unified Task Force has operational jurisdiction even outside their barangays. This makes them a force-multiplier to our existing police.

 

Our Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) has proven to be a crime deterrent in the barangays, adding another level of peace keeping force within the community.

 

Lapu-Lapu City boasts of its highest logistical and operational support to the police in the region. This is the reason that the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office continues to remain outside the top three most crime prone areas in Cebu.

 

Helping our Police maintain peace and order in our city is the Philippine Airforce, especially during special events. I would like to thank the men and women in uniform for your continued support.

 

My administration has given the police a modern office building. The City Government undertook the repairs of the police communication equipment that include their radio repeaters. We have built new police stations and outposts. For operational support, we turned over to the police additional firearms, vehicles that include motorcycles.

 

We can proudly say that our SWAT is the best equipped and highly trained in the region. They have the capability to operate under total darkness with their night vision goggles. We recently turned over a new assault van to our SWAT.

 

The city government donated a lot to the Supreme Court for the expansion of the Lapu-Lapu Hall of Justice.

 

 

Environment

 

Since I was first lady of this city, I spearheaded the Clean and Green program of Lapu-Lapu. I worked with the past administration to establish a Materials Recovery Facility or MRF.  Lapu-Lapu City has the only fully mechanized MRF in the Visayas.

 

From an average volume of 60 tons of garbage per day, the MRF managed to bring it down to 10 tons a day. Ang malata, atong nahimong abuno nga napahimuslan sa tanom sa dakbayan. Ang di-malata, na recycle ug nahimong hollow blocks nga gigamit sa mga construction projects sa siyudad.

 

Preserving human dignity is one of the attributes of our city that embodies the ideals of a true Oponganon.  For this reason, more than 250 former scavengers are now gainfully employed by the city’s MRF, earning more than the minimum wage.

 

It is our social responsibility to ensure that no scavenger will be displaced that is why we have provided them with an opportunity to work as a garbage collector or as a gardener at the city’s nursery.

 

To effectively implement RA 9003 or the “Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000”, we have organized seminars and workshops for all barangay officials, who are responsible in carrying out the mandates of the law.

 

I will spare no one in the implementation of environmental laws.

 

Na-ay pipila ka mga barangay kapitan nga na-isyuhan na og citation ticket ug nakamulta tungod sa ilang violation.

 

The Task Force Kalikasan has been created to serve as the lead implementing unit in the enforcement of environmental laws within our City and municipal waters.

 

To monitor the compliance of RA 9003 and City Ordinance 484-97 also known as the “Comprehensive Environmental and Sanitation Code of Lapu-Lapu City”, I have signed an Executive Order creating an Assessment Team.

 

We have worked closely with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources or BFAR, and conducted trainings for our Fish Wardens in all coastal barangays.

 

They will monitor fish sold in the markets that have been caught through illegal fishing practices.  They will also arrest violators of fishery laws within the municipal waters of Lapu-Lapu City.

 

In partnership with USJR Law Department, we have organized the School Ecotourism Police in all Public Elementary and High Schools in the City to serve as environment marshals in their respective communities.

 

 

Last May, the city council created the Talima Marine Sanctuary Board who will take charge in the administration, management and supervision of the Talima Marine Sanctuary.

 

The Board will spearhead efforts and adopt measures to monitor eco-tourism activities, as well as protect, conserve and ensure the sustainability of our marine sanctuary, which serves as the habitat and breeding for fish, corals and other aquatic life.

 

 

The Unified Task Force has been instrumental in the confiscation of the multi-million endangered corals in Punta Engaño.

 

I would like to ask the Unified Task Force and Police Station 2 to stand and be acknowledged for a job well done.

 

Infrastructure

 

The city has quality infrastructures that create healthy investments and a business-friendly environment.

 

With the support of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, 40 projects were implemented with a total contract cost of 134 million pesos of which 25 projects were completed. Most of the projects fall under Concreting of Roads and Building Constructions.

 

As an island, Lapu-Lapu City does not have rivers and streams that can cause flooding.  However, to manage our runoff water due to rapid urbanization, the city has drawn up a Comprehensive Drainage Master Plan.

 

As of now, we have implemented phase by phase, 20% of the Comprehensive Drainage Master Plan.

 

Twelve thousand meters of water pipelines are being laid by MCWD which will benefit approximately 50,000 Oponganons.

 

Health & Social Services

 

For the duration of my first year in office, I have championed the importance of health and social welfare amongst our community, including the cause for women and children of this City.

 

With your support, we were able to maintain the status of Outstanding City Nutrition Award bestowed upon us by the National Nutrition Council of Manila for three years.

 

I have added 7 more Botika ng Barangays to continue the service of providing quality medicines at cheaper prices and making it convenient by bringing it to areas that are accessible.

 

Under the Maternal Newborn Child Health Care and Nutrition program of the Department of Health, we have improved medical facilities by constructing the Basic Emergency Maternal Obstetrical and Newborn Care health facilities in Sta. Rosa Community Hospital and Sta. Rosa Health Center.

 

We were able to procure new and modern equipment for blood chemistry, home examination and a cardio-verter machine to improve the delivery of health services of our City Hospital.

 

We provided weighing scales and height boards to help monitor the health and nutrition of our pre-schoolers.

 

From the young to the old, your city government provides a comprehensive social program.

 

My administration – through the Office for Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) of Lapu-Lapu City, implemented the AddQuaLiTY program, which stands for Adding Quality Life to Years.

 

Over and above the mandated benefits given to senior citizens, the AddQuaLiTY program provides its 13-thousand members a Welcome Party, birthday cake, Christmas cash gift in the amount of Php1,000.00, burial assistance of Php5,000 and 100% free hospitalization in Lapu-Lapu City Hospital and Sta. Rosa Community Hospital.

 

Urban Poor

 

During my first year in office, the Urban Poor Affairs Office has continued to provide housing to the informal settlers of the city.

 

Along the shoreline from the first bridge to Punta Engaño, 1,500 households have been identified for screening as beneficiaries of our relocation project.

 

At Suba Masulog, 63 families were awarded lots and given building materials by the city. They also received 5,000 pesos cash assistance plus groceries from the lot owner.

 

Over 3,651 urban poor households were identified from 62 accredited urban poor associations in 14 barangays for screening by the beneficiary selection board. They will be the beneficiaries of the Canjulao Housing Project that will be started within the year.

 

The Canjulao Housing Project is a medium-rise socialized housing project that will have around 4,000 housing units, as a start, within a 25-hectare area.

 

It will be developed into a community complete with a market, school, recreation center and a transportation terminal.

 

Education

 

As promised in my inaugural address, the City of Lapu-Lapu has taken vigorous action to focus on the quality of the academic aspect of our City’s education.

 

In order to provide teachers and students with an environment that is conducive to learning, additional classrooms have been built.

 

This year alone, we have completed the roofing of Pajo National High School and finished constructing 29 classrooms.

 

Currently, we are renovating 13 more classrooms. In addition, we will be constructing 19 classrooms in the coming months through the Special Education Fund (SEF).

 

But we have a long way to go.  We still need 500 classrooms and counting, to meet the ideal standard of 40 students per classroom and the growing population.

 

The Lapu-Lapu City College which was established by then City Mayor, now Congressman Arturo “Boy” Radaza, to serve indigent students of the City by providing them access to quality and affordable education, has marked its First Commencement Exercise with 32 graduates in Special Trade Technical Course.

 

I am happy to announce that Lapu-Lapu City College has a passing percentage of 100% in the NC2 Competencies of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

 

Additionally, the newly-activated ROTC of Lapu-Lapu City College ranked number 7 in Tactical Inspection among other colleges in the provinces of Cebu, Bohol and Negros Oriental during the very first Regional Annual Administrative Performance Evaluation for schoolyear 2010-2011.

 

As a manifestation of our steadfast support to the Lapu-Lapu City College, the construction of ten classrooms for the City College is ongoing.

 

With enrollment that doubled this year, the City has been taking proactive steps to secure an area for the permanent campus of Lapu-Lapu City College.

 

We have identified the future site in Barangay Gun-ob, negotiated with the lot owners, and have already set aside the budget for land acquisition.

 

Together with the Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Lapu-Lapu City, we hosted the 2010 Regional Schools Press Conference, which gathered approximately 4,000 participants from the different divisions in Region 7 – Central Visayas, comprising of DepEd officials, campus journalists and school paper advisers in both elementary and secondary levels.

 

A delegate from Marigondon National High School, bagged the 4th Place in the Photojournalism contest during the 2011 National Schools Press Conference held in Butuan City.

 

Proudly, the Schools Division of Lapu-Lapu City became the Champion of the 2010 Regional Elementary Math Fair.

 

I hope that you will be pleased to know that during my first year in office as mayor, 27 Asatidz (Muslim teachers) have been funded by the City.

 

To increase efficiency of our educators, the city hired an additional of nearly a hundred teachers so that those handling day classes will no longer be overburdened with night classes.

 

This includes more teachers to handle the new K-plus-twelve program of the Department of Education.

 

In addition, day care centers have been put up in the different barangays, using the new DepEd pre-school curriculum.

 

For the out-of-school youth, the City has conducted the Alternative Learning System (ALS) which engages in Basic Literacy, A&E Elementary and Secondary, Livelihood Skills including High Speed Sewing, Cosmetology and Culinary Arts.

 

Twenty-eight para-teachers have been hired and paid by the City while 2,425 constituents are currently enrolled under the ALS program.

 

Education serves as a medium for growth, progress and sustainability.  Indeed, it is our responsibility to educate our youth, as they are the creators of better tomorrows.

 

Youth and Sports

 

Parallel to education is youth and sports development which promotes physical activity, alertness, a healthy lifestyle and ultimately, a dynamic community.

 

As promised, we created the Youth Affairs Office in the last quarter of 2010, to assist the City in organizing youth and sports activities.

 

We have recently finished the construction of a canopy around the Subabasbas covered court while the roofing of Maribago Basketball Court is nearing its completion.

 

We have organized sports events such as the City Intramurals held last September 2010 and the Inter-Barangay Summer Sports in April 2011.

 

Sports development does not only cater to the youth.  The City has established the Mactan Island Basketball Association (MIBA) to serve as a special avenue for the personal growth and development of Lapu-Lapu City residents aged thirty-five (35) and above, through participation in the recreational and competitive team sport of basketball.

 

Economic Enterprise

 

Economic enterprise is reflective of a City’s sustainability – this is why my administration is constantly seeking ways to provide opportunities for advancement, and to develop well-trained and competent individuals.

 

But most of all, we are committed not only to economic growth, but also to the enrichment of values through active involvement in socially-oriented programs.

 

During my first year in office, 194 graduates completed the Skills Training for Dressmaking and Industrial Sewing Machine conducted by the Lapu-Lapu City Manpower and Human Development Training Center.  90% of the graduates are now employed in affiliate garment companies while 10% are self-employed.

 

As of today, 56 more trainees are expected to graduate by the end of August 2011 while 71 enrollees are waiting to be trained commencing on the first week of September up to the end of November 2011.

 

Samtang nag-training pa, duna nay seguradong trabaho nga nagpa-abot nila.  Di ba nindot kaayo?

 

Since the Center’s establishment during the incumbency of then Mayor Arturo Radaza, we have had over a thousand graduates.

 

On the other hand, the Skills Training in Basic Reflexology has a total of 130 graduates – 80% of which are employed locally, 10% went abroad for employment and 10% are self-employed.

 

Together with the Office of the Lone District of Lapu-Lapu, we have collaborated with the Marine Science Institute of UP Diliman that recently conducted an orientation on the City’s Sea Urchin Stock Enhancement Project for nine potential coastal barangays.

 

Sea urchins, also known as swaki, are sought-after delicacy in Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries that include the Philippines.

 

This project aims to assist fisherfolks in the propagation of sea urchins which offer them an alternative livelihood to curb illegal fishing activities.

 

Along with livelihood opportunities, I have been a strong advocate of cooperativism and women empowerment.

 

Barely two days after my inauguration, I directed the expansion of the programs and services of the Lapu-Lapu City Cooperative and Livelihood Resource Center (LCLRC) in order to address the continuing challenge for economic upliftment of families.

 

I believe it is worth mentioning that Lapu-Lapu is the only city in Region 7 that has organized the cooperatives as a Network.  Since July 2010, the Lapu-Lapu City Cooperative Network became an active partner of the City on matters concerning cooperative development.

 

The first Lapu-Lapu City Cooperative Network Fiesta in October 2010 was participated by 39 cooperatives including the Kababayen’an and the Muslim community.

 

Also established in 2010 is the Kababayen’an sa Opon nga Nagkahiusa Alang sa Kalamboan (KONKA) which was finally registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 1, 2011.

 

To date, 45 types of Skills Training have been conducted in the different barangays.  From July 2010 up to the present, a total of 6,054 Kababayen’an participants have benefited from such trainings.

 

Interacting with the Kababayen’an has been a fulfilling experience.  A number of Kababayen’an groups have already applied the various competencies they acquired from the Skills Trainings and are now engaged in organization enterprises.

 

The following Kababayen’an groups are taking the lead in terms of organization economic enterprise:

 

Kababayen’an sa Poblacion now has an estimated assets of Php17,120.75; Kababayen’an sa Gun-ob Producers Coop has Php50,000.00; Hugpong sa Kababayen’an sa Pajac Producers Coop has Php228,520.00; and Kababyen’an sa Ibo nga Nagkahiusa has Php400,000.00 in assets.

 

All the other Kababayen’an barangay clusters continue to participate in the catering services for our elderly constituents under the City’s Adding Quality to Life program.  A total of Php52,038.00 was raised from these projects.

 

The Kababayen’an groups were the prime movers in the recently held Lapu-Lapu City Festival of Delicacies as part of the City’s 50th Charter Anniversary celebration. It had 153 official entries from the different barangays of the City.

 

 

Indeed, the success of the cooperatives and Kababayen’an groups has been achieved through extensive skills trainings which have maximized their potentials, provided them with gainful livelihood opportunities while making them partners in development.

 

The Public Employment Service Office (PESO) has conducted Career Guidance Seminars and organized two major Job Fairs.  It has assisted 2,823 successful job applicants who are now employed locally and 584 have been hired overseas in Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan.

 

Market vendors have been an integral part of our community. Nearly forty years have passed since the Lapu-Lapu City Public Market was constructed.

 

Upon Building Evaluation last year, it was discovered that the Public Market required immediate repair as it posed imminent danger to life and property.

 

Hence, in August 2010, I ordered the repair of the Public Market.

 

Meanwhile, the delinquency status of market vendors has decreased.  Around 85% have already updated their monthly rental and business licenses.

 

As to the Lapu-Lapu City Slaughterhouse, its structure has been recently completed.  Our City’s newly-constructed Slaughterhouse will start operations as soon as the necessary equipment will be completely installed.

 

It will have a double A classification, but ultimately we will be aiming for a triple A classification.

 

Tourism

 

Around 60% of tourists who visit Cebu stay in Lapu Lapu City.

 

My administration is fully aware that the city’s bread and butter is in tourism. Tourism is the proverbial goose that lays the golden egg for Lapu-Lapu City.

 

At the start of my term I immediately called for a tourism summit. I sat down with the different tourism stakeholders to openly discuss issues and concerns regarding the industry.

 

Among the top concerns of the tourism stakeholders is peace and order. My administration has provided logistical and operational support for the tourist police.

 

We have established three tourist police stations at barangays Mactan, Maribago and Marigondon.  We have provided motorcycles for mobility and communication for tourist police.

 

At the height of the tourism crisis caused by the hostage drama in Manila involving tourists from Hong Kong, the city immediately went into action to mitigate the adverse effect.

 

I am happy to report to you that we have managed to cushion the impact of the crisis by launching the Island Experience promo that offered as much as 50% discount by participating hotels and resorts.

 

The program mitigated the expected drop in occupancy level to only 15% and provided a steady and fast recovery, that in three months time, it was already back to the August 2010 level, just before the crisis began.

 

We were able to avert the crisis because my administration and the private sector worked hand in hand to prevent a disastrous tourism crisis in the city.

 

After we launched in  September, local tourists increased by 28% in  October and another 40% in November.

 

When we culminated the Island Experience campagin in December, occupancy from local tourist reached 65% more compared to the August occupancy level.

 

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and congratulations to the tourism stakeholders for the continued support they have extended to the programs initiated by the city government.

 

To further strengthen our program on tourism promotions, we have positioned Lapu-Lapu City as a sports tourism destination.

 

The hosting of Davis Cup, an international tennis tournament was our city’s debut to the world of sports tourism. We have brought the games from the usual sports arena to the resort.

 

The completion and the launching of this Hoops Dome, an 8,000-capacity fully airconditioned stadium will strengthen Lapu-Lapu City‘s bid to become a prime sports and events destination in the region.

 

Hoops Dome will be one of the prime revenue generators of the City.

 

To expand the annual commemoration of the Kadaugan sa Mactan, we have introduced the Kadaugan Street Party featuring Rampada, a Rio de Jainero carnival-inspired festival.

 

This event which started last April will become an annual event scheduled every Saturday after April 27, the day the city celebrates the victory of Lapu-Lapu over Magellan.

 

As proud sons and daughters of Datu Lapu-Lapu, let us draw inspiration on his leadership as we travel the road of rapid urbanization and economic progress.

 

My dear Oponganons, we are all in this togeer. Hand-in-hand, we will journey to become the top tourist destination of the country.

 

Thank you!

 

 

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