Mayor Erlon C. Agustin's 2017 State of the Town Address
Vice Mayor and Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Bayan, Hon. Jesus A. Corpuz; members of the Sangguniang Bayan, our department heads, chief of offices and the rank and file employees of the Local Government Unit of Camiling, Tarlac; our active barangay officials; our partners for governance and development from various national government agencies detailed in the municipality; representatives from the academe; our dynamic youth leaders from the various student councils and organizations, officers and members of various religious, civic and people’s organizations; the business community; friends, ladies and gentlemen, mga mahal kong kababayan sa Camiling: Good Morning.
It has been one year, 1 month and 8 days since I took a solemn oath before the people of Camiling that I would serve them as their Local Chief Executive with utmost dedication and sincerity, utilize public funds with prudence and efficiency and govern with integrity and competence. This vow which I consciously took to my mind and heart, served as my guide post in my day to day life as head of the Local Government Unit of Camiling, Tarlac.
One of the challenges for any new local chief executive or mayor is to equal if not surpass the accomplishments of the previous administration. Truly, comparisons cannot be avoided. These could be in ways from which problems are confronted, on how LGU manpower or personnel are managed, and how do we achieve the vision that we want to fulfill for our beloved Camiling and to all of our constituents.
Today, I appear in this august chamber with seeming pride and honor for all what we have accomplished in the past year and at the same time face all of you with humility and diffidence because there are still so much work that has to be done in the coming days ahead.
In this second State of the Town Address pursuant to the provisions of the RA 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, this humble representation would like to apprise the Sangguniang Bayan regarding the current state of our municipality and at the same time present the programs, projects and activities for the support and consideration of the legislative department as they are essentially for the general welfare of all Camilenos and the needs of the municipal government.
I want to give a review of the past administration’s last year of performance vis-a-vis our current performance with regards to all aspects of governance. Since there is no baseline data yet for comparison with regards to our year per year performance, common sense if not logic dictates that comparison would be with the past administration’s last year versus the current dispensation’s first year of accomplishments.
On the Economic Front
I would like to focus first on the fiscal management of our LGU or munisipyo. As records would show it, that in the period of the second semester covering the months of July to December of 2015, the local income generated by the LGU under the past administration was P6.5 million as compared with the current administration’s July to December 2016 local income collection of P17.2 million. This registered a difference of P10.7 million or 164.61% increase in collection. For the first semester covering the months of January to June of 2016, local income generated by the LGU was P 26.6 million as compared to this year’s first semester’s collection of local income which amounted to P34.3 million. This generated a P7.7 million or a 28.95% increase in local income collection.
Noteworthy to mention here is the admirable if not excellent revenue collection coming from our state or municipal enterprises which comprises the public market and the municipal slaughterhouse. For the same period covering the first and second semesters, the current administration’s market and slaughterhouse revenue collections amounted to a total of P15, 867,419.54 as compared to the past administration’s total collection of P6, 636,249.31 or an increase of 9,231,170.23 million or equivalent to 139 percent. This was made possible by the weeding out of dishonest and unscrupulous market personnel who we believe were the main causes of low collection in our public market and slaughterhouse. We are still conducting our own investigation regarding reported anomalies in the public market and slaughterhouse and in the process of determining the extent of their nefarious activities. Though some of these personnel have already been weeded out from the civil service they will not be escaping their liabilities. Rest assured that we will not be tolerating these misfits in our local government because under this administration, I will not consent nor tolerate such.
In the agriculture sector, the first cropping season for rice showed a dismal harvest of 363,845 metric tons or an average yield per hectare of 52.4 cavans. This could be ascribed to the damaged wrought by typhoons during the wet season of 2016. However, we saw a significant increase in rice yield with 472,554 metric tons or an average yield per hectare 89.1 cavans. This reflected a 70.04% increase in yield per hectare and could be attributed to the proper utilization of open water surface pumps to irrigate rice fields in non-NIA service areas. Moreover, the assistance provided by the national government thru the Department of Agriculture by means of the provision of subsidized and free palay seeds for our farmers also contributed to the increase in our palay production.
On the other hand, total corn production in Camiling according to the Office for Agricultural Services increased from 2,932 metric tons in 2016 to 10,218 metric tons in 2017. This could be attributed to the increase of land area planted to corn from 413 hectares to 1,349.5 hectares.
As an additional support for our farmers under this administration, the LGU thru the Office for Agricultural Services in cooperation with DA aligned agencies has provided farm machineries to increase their productivity. Two combined harvesters, six mini 4 wheel drive tractors, two hand tractors, nine shallow tube wells, a floating tiller, and forty one shredders were awarded to various multi-purpose cooperatives and farmers irrigators associations.
Likewise, the LGU purchased a brand new backhoe amounting to P11, 490,000.00. The new backhoe is intended for the dredging of silted irrigation canals and for the construction of small farm reservoirs or rainfall catch basins to ensure that irrigation water would be sufficient for our rice crops.
Moreover, much needed production support infrastructures particularly irrigation canal lining projects were constructed for the Bulaney Diversion Dam at Barangays Papaac and Bacsay.
In the business front, 323 new businesses were established and 997 business establishments renewed their business licenses in the municipality as compared to last year’s statistics of 98 new businesses and 898 business renewals. In addition, it has been reported that some big malls and supermarkets such as Shoe Mart, Robinson’s and Walter Mart have signified their intention to establish their branches in the municipality. This reflects the confidence of entrepreneurs and investors in our administration and forebodes greater economic opportunities in terms of tax revenues for our LGU and at the same time employment for our kababayans. However, it is my fervent hope and prayer that this investor confidence will not be eroded by any unfortunate instance or instances of soliciting favors or cases of extortion by some sectors in and out of government. Such devious acts would surely turn-off investors and deprive our LGU these much needed revenue and job opportunities for our constituents. In such event, I warn everybody that I will not tolerate this and I also promise you that I will use the full extent of the law in apprehending and prosecuting these people who would dare tarnish the good image that we have painstakingly strived to build for our municipality.
Social Sector Developments:
At the forefront of our LGU’s social welfare services, are the services being rendered by our Municipal Social Welfare Office. The MSWDO continues to provide welfare programs for the youth, women, PWDs, Senior Citizens, and disadvantaged families. Also, under their care are 1,592 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps. These 4Ps are given conditional cash transfers which aims to provide these poor families resources for their health, livelihood and their children’s educational needs.
Under this administration, we have introduced several innovations for social welfare assistance aside from the regular Assistance In Crisis Situations or AICS. We have initiated a separate AICS for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and for disadvantaged families.
Starting July of 2016, we have provided our indigent senior citizen constituents with a Burial and Medical Assistance with a total amount of P108, 200.00 which benefited 92 clients; medical assistance amounting to P60, 000.00 for persons with disabilities with a total of 32 beneficiaries; and family assistance in crisis situation amounting to P56, 000.00 which benefited 44 families.
Moreover, four livelihood projects have been implemented under the Sustainable Livelihood Program for the first six months of the current year.
Likewise, our MSWD Office has also been very active in the house to house delivery of social pension for our elderly pensioners. Currently, this program provides P1,500.00 per quarter per pensioner and has benefited 601 elderly social pensioners.
The LGU in cooperation with the DSWD Regional and National Offices is also currently implementing the Day Care Service Supplemental Feeding which regularly provides nutritious meals for 120 days to our 2,020 day care pupils in the 72 day care centers in the municipality.
The educational sector during the last year of the previous administration under the Special Education Fund received P1, 952,341.49 for the various objects of expenditures such as personnel services, maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlay. On the other hand, the LGU under the present dispensation spent much lower for Personnel Services, MOOE and capital outlay in 2016. The minimal spending on PS, MOOE and capital outlay is based on the belief of the Local School Board which this humble representation heads that we should prioritize much needed infrastructures for the improvement of school facilities and making the educational environment for our students and pupils more conducive to learning. Hence, we have spent almost P6.5 million for the three districts for infrastructure and school improvement projects. This is the biggest budget allocation of the LGU for the educational sector since the advent of RA 7160 in 1991. The breakdown are as follows: Camiling Central District - Construction of Pathway Shed and Tooth brushing Area at Tuec Elementary School, Extension of Stage Roofing at Cayaoan Elementary School, Construction of Nursery Room and Rehabilitation of BOD Building and Rehabilitation of Canteen and Improvement of School Gate at Surgui Elementary School; Setting of tiles at Faculty and Computer Room at Camiling North Elementary School; Camiling West District – Extension of Stage Roofing at Pao Elementary School; Construction of New Home Economics Instruction Room at Bacsay Elementary School; Camiling East District – Construction of Comfort Room and Septic Vault at Sta. Maria Elementary School; Rehabilitation of Home Economics Room and Tiling of Faculty Room at Camiling East Elementary School; Construction of one Classroom at Caniag Elementary School; Block paving along school pathway/concreting of approach and fabrication of school gate and rehabilitation of kindergarten windows and roofing at Lasong Elementary School; Extension of shed at San Isidro Elementary School; Continuation of Construction of one Classroom at Telbang Elementary School and Construction of one classroom at Malacampa Elementary School.
For secondary schools we also concreted the pathway at Camiling School for Home Industries and the pavement of school covered court at Birbira High School.
Moreover, school teachers and school heads are happy with the fast processing of reimbursements and other financial transactions with the Local Government Unit. This is in line with our commitment to uphold the Anti-Red Tape Act and at the same time adhere to the frontline service offices’ Citizen Charters.
I would like to share with you what our teachers are saying with regards to our efforts in promoting quality education for our pupils and students and at the same time provide them with excellent public service with their transactions with the LGU.
For health services, according to the Municipal Health Office, there is an increase of patients being served by our Rural Health Units. From an average of 2500 patients per month in 2015 up to 2016, the RHU is now serving more or less 3,500 patients per month since the start of 2017. This increase is due to the additional RHU doctor which is supported under the Bottom-Up Budgeting fund.
Moreover, the Municipal Health Office is already a qualified primary care facility which provides Out-Patient Services, Maternity Care Package, TB-DOTS and Malaria Outpatient Package. Corollary to this, the LGU is working out for the RHU Birthing Clinic’s accreditation as a Point of Care Enrollment Program facility of the Phil Health. In 2016, in support to the Maternal and Child Care Program of our RHU, the LGU sponsored 100 Phil Health insurance coverage for pregnant women who wish to give birth at our RHU Birthing Clinic. Furthermore, with our funding of P240, 000.00, we were able to enroll 700 indigent families in the Phil Health para sa Masa program. The LGU’s intent for its RHU Birthing Clinic as a Point of Care Provider and enrollment of indigent families to social health insurance is congruent with Phil Health’s goal of ensuring that all Filipinos especially the most vulnerable are covered by the State’s health insurance program.
Likewise, it has always been my intention to provide the much needed medicines especially for our marginalized sectors and constituents because I believe that the health of our people is truly the wealth of our municipality. The LGU through its efficient procurement system has managed to buy more quality medicines for the same budget. It has been noted that despite the fact that medicines are always lacking due to the huge demand from RHU patients, it is only this time that we in the LGU were able to procure more quality medicines using the same amount of budget.
Aside from our RHU personnel, we also have our health partners in the grassroots level which we continuously support. These are our Barangay Nutrition Scholars who are directly under the Office of the Mayor. These BNS personnel persevere in combatting malnutrition especially for school age children. Under this administration, our BNS have conducted the second cycle of feeding programs and is about to start its third cycle. The feeding program initially covered 13 schools with 700 pupils as beneficiary for the first year, 17 schools with 750 pupils for the second and probably for the third cycle this would be further increased. This noteworthy endeavor is a joint project of the Local Government Unit of Camiling, the DepEd and the Provincial Government.
Moreover, our BNS staff also conducts a quarterly Operation Timbang for 0-71 month old children in the barangays to monitor their nutritional status and health. Aside from the feeding program, other maternal and child care advocacy endeavors also include the conduct of Mothers’ Club Information Class on Infant and Child Feeding particularly the promotion of breastfeeding. This is also supplemented with the endorsement of backyard vegetable gardening for sustainable protein and nutritional sources in the grassroots.
With regards to the peace and order situation in the municipality, according to the Camiling Police Station, the index crimes recorded for the period January to July 2017 is twenty six, lower by four or eighty six percent as compared to the thirty index crimes registered during the same period of 2016.
The over-all crime situation in the municipality remains manageable although there were isolated incidents/cases which affected the peace and order situation.
In this regard and pursuant to our Peace and Order and Public Safety Plan for 2017-2020, we have taken the war on drugs as the priority peace and order focus area. These could be gleaned from police reports under the PNP Oplan Double Barrel/Alpha/Reloaded wherein there were 736 illegal drug users and pusher who voluntarily surrendered since July 2016.
Slowly but surely, we are trying our best to rehabilitate these former drug users and pushers so that they could go back in the mainstream and become active, drug free, law abiding and productive members of society. We have tapped the support of civil society groups, professionals and the religious sector for this endeavor. I adhere to the belief that illegal drug use and pushing should be stopped. But the solution does not lie in the killing of suspected drug users and pushers. What is needed is the rehabilitation for these drug users and pushers.
This is in accordance to the over-all strategy of the Municipal Peace and Order Council to reduce demand and supply in the municipality. The LGU and the PNP have established the Bahay Pagbabago in Barangay Tuec for the reformation of these drug surrenderees. The Bahay Pagbabago is a Reformatory Center for drug users and pushers who voluntarily undergo reformation and rehabilitation. Under the reformation and rehabilitation program in Bahay Pagbabago, the drug surrenderees shall undergo a 30-day reformation, livelihood trainings and value formation so as to do away with their drug abuse and other illegal activities. A total of 239 drug surrenderees have undergone the reformation at Bahay Pagbabago. Lately, the Bahay Pagbabago has graduated 40 enrollees for the seventh batch of the 30-day reformation program for drug surrenderees.
Lately, the assassination attempt against Poblacion ”F” Punong Barangay Mike Tolentino is being rumored to be drug related. However, it is still too early to speculate that this shooting incident is really drug related. I want to assure the public that the PNP is doing its job and is currently following up leads to solve this despicable crime. We could not elaborate further on this matter since divulging information regarding this case might jeopardize police operations against the perpetrators of this crime.
While it is sad to note that such incident happened, this is an isolated case and in general, the over-all crime situation in the municipality remains manageable and our community remains peaceful.
Municipal Investments in Public Works
In the field of infrastructure development, total amount of LGU investment in public works amounted to P42, 315,457.33 in 2016. Various infrastructure projects funded under the 20% Economic Development Fund, savings and other sources such as construction of multi-purpose driers; evacuation centers, covered courts, school buildings, and concreting of farm to market roads were undertaken. Distribution of the P42.3 million infrastructure fund are as follows: District 1: P3.25 million; District 2: P5.63 million; District P3: 3.71 million; District 4: P4.33 million; District 5: P4.78 million; District 6: P4.0 million; District 7: P3.62 million; District 8: P8.26 million and District 9: P4.72 million.
Currently, the LGU has utilized the first and second quarter fund releases for the 20% EDF totaling to 51 infrastructure projects and amounting to P22,649,995.24, to wit:
It is estimated that these infrastructure projects would impact the over-all development of our municipality. Moreover, these projects are aligned with the Annual Investment Program as defined in the Comprehensive Development Program of the LGU.
Moreover, the replacement of the old Camiling Bridge is already in the process of implementation. We were able to request the national government for fund allocation for its replacement. As of today, according to the DPWH, the contract for its construction has been bided and would be implemented soon.
Corollary to this, we are also currently doing the repair/upgrading of the whole of Burgos Street from Romulo Street up to Osmena Street which was funded from the Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities grant of the DILG. The road works for this road section is due to the increased traffic of vehicles passing through the new bridge brought about by the rerouting of buses, trucks and other heavy equipment from the old bridge. This brought a toll on this municipal road which caused potholes and the destruction of some sections of Burgos Street. Moreover, two other road networks are included in the grant particularly the farm to market roads located at Sitio Pugo at Barangay Libueg and Barangay Bobon 1st to Barangay Cayasan.
Environmental Protection Endeavors
The municipality is vulnerable to flooding, cyclones, typhoons, fire, earthquake, and other hazards which bring untold sufferings to our people. These natural disasters poses a grave concern for us in the LGU since we are at the frontline in safeguarding, preserving and protecting the lives, health and over-all well-being as well as the properties of our disaster stricken populace. Likewise, our Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office is tasked to minimize if not avoid the adverse effects of disasters and other hazards by conducting the necessary mitigating measures.
To better cope with the challenges of disasters brought about by climate change, the LGU has formulated its Local Climate Change Action Plan which was adopted by the legislative body. Moreover, a draft Climate and Disaster Risk Assessment (CDRA) is currently being completed through finalizations and further trainings on Geographical Information Systems so as to present a factual and objective evaluation of the geo-hazards, risk factors, vulnerable sectors and LGU capacity to meet such challenges.
Likewise, the procurement of much needed rescue and communication equipment is already in the works. It is to be published in the PhilGEPS and we are ready to accommodate prospective bidders for said rescue equipment.
In the environmental aspect of governance, our Municipal Materials Recovery Facility located at Brgy. Bacsay continue to do recycling of waste materials into items which can be used or utilized. The MRF currently produces 50-100 bags of organic fertilizer which are distributed to farmers and other interested individuals.
Likewise, garbage collection at the central business district is done two times a day particularly at 4:00 up to 6:00 o’clock in the morning and 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon up to 6:00 o’clock in the evening. Moreover, garbage is being collected in the poblacion area and eight other sub-urban barangays once a week. Residual garbage, those which can no longer be re-used or recycled is transported to the Clark Development Corporation Sanitary Landfill located at Kalangitan, Capas, Tarlac. An approximate of 300 tons of residual wastes is transported to the Sanitary Landfill per month.
Also, the LGU has procured two brand new dump trucks in the amount of P10, 620,000.00 to augment existing equipment for garbage collection. The new equipment will be delivered before the end of the month.
To complement our campaign for an efficient solid waste management program in the grassroots level, the LGU through the MENRO and in coordination with the provincial government conducted last August 2-3, 2017 a seminar on solid waste management for the 10 poblacion and 2 sub-urban barangays. This seminar was aimed to inculcate to our barangay officials and folks about the importance of proper waste disposal, the necessity of reducing, recycling and re-using wastes and environmental laws which the barangay could be employed to help implement.
The LGU also initiated two tree planting activities last year. One is at the former municipal open dumpsite at Sitio Nagtuturikan, Barangay Matubog and at Barangay Bacsay. Approximately 1,000 mahogany saplings were planted during these two tree planting activities. This activity was participated in by LGU employees, barangay officials and socio-civic organizations.
Institutional Capacity Building
Currently, the LGU has 259 personnel composed of the seventy two (72) first and sixty seven (67) second level permanent, two (2) contract of service, fifteen (15) casual, and eleven (11) elective employees and ninety two (92) job order personnel. For the distribution of personnel according to eligibility possessed, the LGU has 56 under RA 1080, 28 Civil Service Professional, 3 CSC Sub-Professional, 3 NC II, 5 BOE, and 27 others.
Our LGU through the Human Resource Management Office has embarked on an endeavor in promoting good people management, organizational development, advancement of local growth and in addressing red-tape and corruption. An efficient local government bureaucracy is the key in providing quality service to our people.
I know that we still have a long way to go in fully developing our public servants in our municipality. After a year in public office as Camiling’s Local Chief Executive, please allow me to venture to present to you our modest accomplishments in developing our civil service employees in the LGU and whatever shortcomings that we still have, it is a work in progress. I hope that these will serve as a challenge and an inspiration not only for our Human Resource Management Office but to all employees of the LGU.
First among these is the crafting of our Updated Citizens’ Charter for frontline offices of the LGU. Though this is mandatory as per RA 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 and is needed in the ARTA assessment, we have ventured in updating our Citizens’ Charter for frontline offices so as to meet customer expectations and blue printing a matrix of individual office services being provided by mapping out service flow. Procedures were analyzed to reveal inefficiencies and streamlined to make services faster and more efficient. Currently, the Updated Charter is now being strictly implemented and feedback mechanisms to solicit additional ways to serve clients are in place.
Second, the LGU thorough our Human Resource Management Office has conducted several trainings and seminars to further enhance our employees’ knowledge on their duties and functions as civil servants. The LGU has continually pursued the alignment of individual employees’ values with the LGU organizational value and culture through the conduct of such trainings and seminars. Foremost among these are about Civil Service Laws and Rules, Frontline Service Provider Empowerment, and regular attendance of second liner employees to CSC Supervisory Development Course (SDC) Tracks 1 to 3. Almost our entire LGU department heads have finished their SDC 1 to 3 and the second liners are being prepped up to finish their SDCs.
Moreover, we have conducted the first ever LGU Family Day during the Civil Service Month last year. This is to give employees the opportunity to develop friendships in a casual and relaxed atmosphere and based on interests outside the working environment. During the first LGU Family Day, our employees devoted a day of friendship games, a short program, and inter-office presentations and were capped by a boodle fight lunch at the Camiling Sports Complex. This we plan to institutionalize by holding it annually.
Furthermore, the LGU has facilitated the offering of a Masteral Degree for interested employees who wish to pursue higher studies aside from their undergraduate degrees. This is to provide an opportunity for employees for career advancement and promotions, higher pay and increasing job responsibilities in view of the developmental thrusts of the LGU. This is a project of the LGU in partnership with the Lyceum Northwestern University - College of Graduate Studies. The Masteral Program offers a one-year customized program for employees to earn a Masteral Degree in Public Administration through a modular curriculum and the preparation of a Policy Paper which could serve as a tool for analyzing public service issues and challenges and improving processes at the LGU level.
Corollary to this, the LGU in its recent Comprehensive Development Program for 2017-2023 has included in its priority institutional development program the development of a comprehensive staffing pattern and individual career development for our rank and file employees. Admittedly, there is a defective and insufficient staffing pattern in the LGU organization. The LGU relies on the Scrap and Build scheme for the promotion and creation of new positions to address present personnel needs of the municipal government.
It is noted that in the past, the crafting of a comprehensive staffing pattern is often overlooked if not neglected by past administrations. This resulted in the understaffing of some LGU offices and the overlapping of tasks and responsibilities of employees.
Moreover, there is no formulated career path tailored made for each individual employee. It is a reality that some personnel who entered government service in our LGU at a Salary Grade 10 level and upon reaching retirement is still at SG 10. Stagnation is a problem that every organization should be contending with. How could we attract the best and brightest to be in government service if we could not provide career advancement? Of course, we lose our crème de la crème to the private sector or even worse, to employers abroad.
As part of our developmental thrusts, we have started in the development of a comprehensive staffing pattern. This is to provide the ideal number of manpower personnel vis-à-vis the needs of the concerned LGU office. Aside from the number, the necessary qualification standards should also be identified so as to provide the optimum quality of service and efficiency the office personnel should have to fulfill its mandated tasks and functions.
We also envision our rank and file employees to be advancing in their respective careers. This we aim to realize through the formulation of a career path tailored fit for each individual employee. By the end of our strategic development plan, we aspire that no employee would retire in the Salary Grade in which he has started his government service in the LGU.
As a matter of fact, our Human Resource Management Officer has embarked on this endeavor. As part of the employees who are taking the customized Masteral Degree Program, the HRMO has taken this responsibility at heart by undertaking a Policy Paper to Craft the Comprehensive Staffing Pattern of LGU offices and the Individual Career Path development of rank and file employees of the municipal government. However, as I am sure that with adopting a responsible people management strategy and with the guidance of the Civil Service, a strong, accountable, responsible, efficient and patriotic culture will set in and provide our LGU with a professional and competitive edge in the long run.
In the aspect of participatory governance, people’s participation in the planning of plans, programs and projects of the LGU is strengthened. Pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991, we have organized and convened Local Special Bodies like the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council, Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Local Health Board, Local School Board, Municipal Development Council and the Municipal Peace and Order Council. These councils are composed of officers of the LGU, NGO and CSO representatives, the academe, barangay officials and other governmental agencies. Through these Local Special Bodies, the LGU is ensuring that the people are part in the formulation of plans, projects and activities of which they are particularly concerned and directly benefiting from it. We have tapped the expertise of the academe, the hands on experience of sectoral groups and peoples’ organizations and the assistance of the business sector in formulating our programs of action for our LGU. Currently, we have more than thirty three accredited civil society representatives which will represent the various sectors of society in the various Local Special Bodies like the Local Development Council among others.
Moreover, I would like to express my gratitude to the Tarlac Agricultural University represented by Dr. Max P. Guillermo for their valuable assistance in the establishment and development of the LGU website. The state university is immensely helpful in our developmental endeavors and I am looking forward to partnering again with the TAU in the future.
Let us hear the insights of one of our community members who actively participates in the developmental efforts and endeavors of our LGU, Dr. Philip B. Ibarra.
On our quest to be an awardee for the Seal of Local Governance for this year, I would like to inform everyone that we are in the final hurdle towards achieving this goal. This month, we are scheduled to be evaluated by the national DILG for the validation of the provincial and regional assessments that were conducted last June. Categorically, we have met the standards of the provincial and regional assessments and I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will be able to meet this challenge and pass the national evaluation. Mind you, the Seal of Good Local Governance is a measurement or gauge whether the LGU perform and practice good governance while providing better services and at the same time should pass all the four core assessment areas - Good Financial Housekeeping, Social Protection and Disaster Preparedness, and Peace and Order and at least one from the essential assessment areas – Business-Friendliness and Competitiveness, Tourism, Culture and the Arts and Environmental Protection to become an SGLG recipient. Moreover, if the LGU is not an SGLG awardee, this would mean that the LGU together with all employees will not qualify to be recipients of the Productivity Enhancement Bonus. Hence, the preparation for the SGLG assessment is not only an undertaking of the Office of the Mayor but rather it should be a collective endeavor by all employees of the LGU.
Dear members of the legislative body, such is the state of our town. Much has improved but much is still has to be done. As public servants, we have a solemn duty to uphold the mandate we have received from our kababayans. The mandate they conferred on us, when they wrote our names in the ballot, serves as a testament in their belief that we, their elected officials will serve them with utmost dedication and unites with one and all to collectively work for the public weal sans neither partisan politics nor selfish or self-serving individual interests.
Our Urgent Tasks
Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me therefore to proceed and submit to you, my plans and programs for the coming year which is of primordial importance to the general welfare and to push further the development which we have achieved. I expect that this august chamber would give preferential consideration and significant attention to these and likewise respond with swiftness and immediate dispatch.
First among this, is that I would like to ask the Sangguniang Bayan to consider all the objects of expenditures detailed in the proposed budget for next year as essential and needs to be supported to sustain our achievements in the past year.
Foremost among these are the economic projects itemized in the Local Development Investment Program enshrined in the Comprehensive Development Plan. Particularly, the construction of the proposed Negosyo and Training Center/Municipal Museum is on the top list. The Negosyo Center is a convergence point for the LGU, the Department of Trade and Industry and the private sector to promote ease of doing business and facilitating access to services such as business registration assistance, business advisory services, and business information and advocacy. Moreover, proposed to be housed also in the Negosyo Center would be a Museum which will showcase the municipality’s history and artifacts of cultural value for the purpose of education and enjoyment of our citizens. Together with the museum, it is envisioned that a coffee shop cum café shall also be established which will serve as a state enterprise to cater to visitors and the general public.
Second on the list is the rehabilitation of and concreting of roads with a total length of 19.12 kilometers at P47.72 million. These roads shall function as farm to market roads and at the same time serve to increase accessibility of trading posts for agricultural produce, provide a contribution to economic development and growth and bring important social benefits which is crucial in fighting poverty. Moreover, the LGU is also studying the prospect of rehabilitating the drainage system of the Poblacion area. This would entail a detailed engineering study so as to finally resolve the perennial problem of flooding in the Poblacion due to the lack or defective drainage system.
Third, to complement our Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the Sangguniang Bayan needs to enact a Zoning Ordinance. The Zoning Ordinance would provide the rules and regulations that define how property in specific geographical zones within the municipality can be used. Through this ordinance and with the CLUP as a guide, it would specify whether these zones can be used for residential, commercial, or agricultural purposes, and may also regulate lot size, placement and height of structures.
Moreover, there is also a need to review and update existing ordinances. Foremost to this, is the Ecological Solid Waste Management Ordinance enacted in 2006. With the stress of the national government on proper waste disposal and preservation of the environment in general, the Sangguniang Bayan needs to look into the Ecological and Solid Waste Management Ordinance to evaluate if the provisions of such ordinance are still appropriate with the needs of the times. Second, is the Municipal Children’s Welfare Code which was enacted by the then Sangguniang Bayan seven years ago. The growing concerns regarding reports of child abuse, neglect cases and the services to families that need assistance in the protection and care of their children necessitates for an appraisal of the Children’s Welfare Code. These may include the formulation of new programs and projects and the subsequent funding of such to cope with our duty in upholding the rights of the child.
To increase food production, I am proposing for the establishment of water pumping stations from open surface water sources particularly from the Camiling River for irrigation purposes. This would entail the placement of large pumps to siphon water from the river and distribute it to farmlands. If realized, these open water source pumps can irrigate rice lands even during the dry season thus increasing the area for production and farmers’ productivity.
For our institutional development efforts, we need to establish the municipal government’s Management Information System and Geographical Information System infrastructure. This would entail spending for the complete computerization of the day to day transactions of key offices if not all offices in the LGU. Moreover, the GIS infrastructure is much needed for us to cope with the digital age wherein thematic plans and other decision making tools are very much dependent on geographical information systems. This system is utilized in capturing, storing, checking and displaying data related to positions on the Earth’s surface. This enables people to more easily see, analyze and understand patterns and relationships. This particular computer system is very much important in planning, disaster response and real property settings and locations.
Likewise, I am challenging the members of the Sangguniang Bayan to come up with legislation establishing the staffing pattern for each of the LGU’s offices. This is in line with the national government’s plan to streamline the bureaucracy thru the proposed “Streamlining the Government Act”. I am giving the marching orders to our Human Resource Management Officer to closely coordinate with the legislative body for the needed legislative support for the crafting of the LGU’s staffing pattern. This aspect of governance has been neglected in the past by previous administrations. This time, I want that each employee of the municipal government shall pave the way for their individual career paths. Through this, our employees will have something to look forward to in terms of promotions and career advancements. This however, would be based on merit and productivity of each employee.
The LGU cannot finance all infrastructure projects as well as other developmental efforts it wished to pursue if we would only depend on local funds. In this regard, I would like to call the attention of the Sangguniang Bayan to lay down the law for Public Private Partnership endeavors which the LGU may enter to with the private sector. This PPP Code would provide the mechanisms for the various PPP modalities such as Joint Venture, Build and Transfer, Build and Lease and Transfer, Build Operate and Transfer, Build Own and Operate, Build Transfer and Operate, Contract Add and Operate, among others. This would be a way to encourage private enterprise participation in projects to promote public good. Through the PPP Code, it will recognize how public-private partnership projects can result in more efficient, speedy and cost effective delivery of services to the public. This I am planning to pursue with regards to some of the priority projects listed in the Local Development Investment Plan under the CDP.
In view of the President’s Executive Order No. 26 series of 2017 which mandates the designation of smoke free public and enclosed places nationwide, it is the LGUs which should take the lead in the implementation of the said EO. The implementation of this E.O. through an enabling ordinance would immensely help our kababayans in kicking this nasty addiction, deter the youth from developing the smoking habit, and promote good health among the general populace. In this regard, I am putting the ball in your court to legislate the necessary ordinance to help implement this noteworthy Executive Order of the President.
The need to regulate the use of firecrackers not only during the celebration of New Year’s would ensure the safety of our constituents from firecracker related injuries and deaths. If left unregulated through the lack of an enabling ordinance, we could assure ourselves that fingers will be cut, eyes blinded, hands severed and the peril of lives lost during revelries such as New Year’s would continue. It is in this regard, that the Sangguniang Bayan, in using its police powers for the general welfare of our constituents, should enact an ordinance regulating the use of firecrackers during New Year’s and other celebrations.
Looking at the bright prospects of our collective governance for our municipality, we shall stand by the charted course for our municipality’s development. We have our plans for growth and development outlined. I am confident, that with the positive feedbacks as well as the constructive criticism we have been receiving from all sectors, we can transcend the odds against us. May this renewed faith in our local government by our kababayans provide also an inspiration for them to work hand in hand with us in bringing forth their welfare and happiness.
In ending this second State of the Town Address, rest assured that all our efforts and endeavors, are geared towards a good, excellent, and a local government with a clear vision of service and governance for our beloved town of Camiling.
Mabuhay ang bayan ng Camiling!