STATE OF MABALACAT CITY ADDRESS Garbo banners 9 pillars of good governance

July 11, 2018 5:46 am /

(SOCA. Mayor Cris Garbo basks in celebration of his first year in office. Photo by Bong Lacson)

CLARK FREEPORT – Anchored on the nine pillars of good governance, Mayor Crisostomo C. Garbo delivered a most applauded State of the City Address (SOCA) on Monday.

“One year has passed, since we started this journey for progressive change in Mabalacat City. I made my promises to you … Today, I am proud to tell you that we did not only deliver each and every promise but even surpassed what was expected of us,” Garbo said.

Starting with the first pillar, “Equal Access to Education,” the mayor said the city was “the envy of the whole country when we distributed 1,193 laptops to our teachers.”

Garbo said the deed was “heard all over, as far as Ormoc, Siargao, Bacolod, Metro Manila and everywhere else. It goes to show our sincere eff ort to make public education at par with the private school system.”

He also said 200 scholarships were granted. Garbo said the Mabalacat City College surpassed the national passing rates for elementary and secondary school Licensure Examinations for Teachers (LET), where 62.71 percent and 63.50 percent, respectively, were the passing rates which are testimonies of his strong support to the local educational system.

The mayor also said to encourage the youth to engage in sports, the first Mayor Cris Garbo (MCG) Open Invitational Basketball Tournament was held as well as a bike fest and volleyball tournament which tallied more than a thousand participants.

“We just might be looking at Sports Tourism especially if chosen as the track for the SEAGAMES 2019 Duathlon event,” he said.

Health care

The second pillar is in fact, our top priority, “Excellent Health Care,” Garbo said.

“From the moment we stepped in office, we have provided 3,034 medical assistance and 440 hospital bills assistance amounting to almost P34 million. There are times that we are spending more than half a million for almost every day for medical assistance which includes hemodialysis, chemotherapy and hospitalization of various medical cases,” he said.

The mayor said an additional Toyota Hi-Ace ambulance with defibrillator, the first of its kind in the province, was acquired to provide better and faster crisis response and rescue operations.

Garbo said the city has partnered with seven hospitals, one of them is The Medical City-Clark, “because we say, saving lives of our fellow Mabalaqueňos has no price.”

He also said the city will build a “Women and Child Care Hospital” which will cater to the medical needs of pregnant women, newborn infants and children.

Garbo said the city spent P9.2 million for dispensing free medicines through the “Central Pharmacy.”

For this year, 10,000 more will also benefi t from the PhilHealth distribution and as many as 3,000 beneficiaries of health insurance will also be provided before the year ends.

Garbo said in eradicating malnutrition, he provided a feeding program scheduled twice a week where more than 100,000 plates of healthy and sumptuous meals were given to school children.

Fiscal management

The third pillar is “Economic Development” where the improved fiscal management has shown an increase from P400 million to P600 million collection from Clark.

He said business tax collection grew from P56 million to P62 million in a figure comparison of the first and second quarters of 2017 and 2018.

The mayor said “better small enterprise fl ow” was achieved by improving the public market.

“Just in the first quarter of this year, the Public Market Office has accumulated more than half of their projected annual revenue of P306,142 for 2018,” he said.

Crediting their diligence in ocular inspections for assessment and reassessment of real properties within the city, a total collection of more than P33 million on basic tax collectibles and another P33 million on special education fund tax collectibles on 55,590 real property units was obtained.

For barangay development, Garbo said P1 million was allotted to each barangay, the first tranche was already released and this month the second tranche amounting to P500,000 will be released.

The fourth pillar is “Better Employment Opportunities” where he commended the Public Employment Services Office which increased the job placements from 400 in a year to 1,200 quarterly.

Garbo said the fifth pillar is “Culture and Heritage Awareness” where he cited Mabalacat as a city with rich tradition and culture that is worthy of celebration.

“Thus, we celebrated the grandest Fiestang Caragan,” he said. He also said the city received a P500,000 grant from the National Commission on Culture and the Arts for the preservation of two heritage houses found in the city.

The old Mabalacat City Hall will be restored as well as other heritage structures and sites, he said.

“With a strong Tourism Office and the creation of Arts, Culture and Tourism Council, I am sure all these we envision will come true,” he said as he cited the assistance of Robby Tantingco, Alex Castro and Architect Ed Lingat “for helping in our cultural mapping.”

Values formation The sixth pillar is the pillar of strength in virtues which is “Strong and Moral Values of Citizenry,” the mayor said.

For this, Garbo cited the mass weddings at the Hotel Stotsenberg where 53 couples were wedded, “in something we know, that they will treasure for the rest of their lives.”

He also said the Badjao community from Samal de Badjao were led to their home in the South.

“I am proud that as Filipino, we gave the most compassionate treatment in their exodus,” Garbo said.

As for corruption, Garbo said it is the culprit in every government system which should not be tolerated and condoned which led to the establishment of the bids and awards systems where all suppliers have to go through processes imposed by the government without shortcuts and without influence of anyone in power.

“Although the process takes time, this assures our people with the accountability and transparency of our administration. We also established the Professional Selection Board to give chance to every deserving employee for permanency. No political accommodations. No favoritisms.”

Garbo said city employees’ “Service with Smile” has made them a finalist for the Best LGU in Customer Relations, Provincial Category, given by The Central Luzon Growth Corridor Foundation Inc.

The seventh pillar is, “Integration of Science and Technology in Governance and Delivery of Service.”

This has meant the use of online job searching and online job applications, he said. The mayor also said the city has recently purchased drones with infrared technology to aid in the master planning of Mabalacat.

“We do not only plan for five or 10 years. We plan for a sustainable development in a 20-year span and beyond.”

As for infrastructure, Garbo urged Mabalaqueňos to be patient because planning and design take time and careful preparation. “We do not want to be another congested urban jungle where buildings and roads just arise and intersect anywhere.”

New city hall

He said soon, the Comprehensive Land Use and Development Plan will be revealed. The first infrastructure that will soon rise is the New City Hall and Government Center which will be strategically located at the center of the city for accessibility.

“I want every Mabalaqueňos to be closer to home and to give that sense of pride na apin ing munisipyo mi, masanting ya, maragul ya, mabilis ing egana ganang serbisyu …(this is our city hall, it’s beautiful, it is big where every service is prompt).”

He said public Wi-Fi will be provided in almost all public areas of Mabalacat City.

“This summer we just signed a MOA with the Department of Information Communication and Technology for its implementation,” he said.

Garbo said in the future, LED walls in public spaces will be installed “so that no citizen will stay uninformed in our projects, programs, and services.”

Mabalacat is rich with natural resources, Garbo said citing the eighth pillar as “Protection of Environment.”

There are more than 697 street sweepers and the efficiency and frequency of the garbage collections by purchasing additional garbage trucks has increased, he said.

The last but certainly not the least on our 9 pillars of good governance is the “Promotion of Peace and Order,” the mayor said.

The mayor said the city has strengthened the police force by providing motorcycles. But in the line of duty, sad and unfortunate events can occur like what happened to Rogelio Baking who was shot and killed while on duty.

In remembrance, the mayor paused for silence. As the city continues to flourish and progress, Garbo said, new business establishments arise almost on a daily basis which has resulted to busier roads.

For this, the mayor acknowledged the City Traffic Enforcement Group for ensuring that the roads are safe and in order.

“A task that is nothing short of complicated and requires hard work,” he said.

The mayor expressed his gratitude to Vice Mayor Christian Halili as well as members of the City Council for leading “the passage of my visions into implementable laws.”

The mayor made a special mention to the City Legal Office headed by Atty. Emmanuel Ignacio and to his wife and family for their “unwavering faith in my leadership during the times that I doubted myself.”

But foremost, he said, is “to the one above… May God bless this administration, our employees and citizens, May God bless Mabalacat,” he declared.

Garbo’s Soca, held at the ASEAN Convention Center here, lasted almost an hour which was interrupted over 30 times by thundering applause from the audience. Among them were Clark Development Corp. officials led by president and CEO Noel F. Manankil and chairman Jose “Ping” De Jesus.