State of the City Address
Tuesday, March 16,2004, 2:00 p.m.
Sangguniang Panlungsod Session Hall

Dipolog City
The Honorable Presiding Officer,Vice-Mayor Edelburgo L. Cheng,
Esteemed Members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dipolog,
Chiefs of Office;
Members of the Media;
Honored Guests,
My Fellow Dipolognons;

            A Pleasant Afternoon to all of Us!

            The year 2003 has been in my conservative estimate, a colorful one for this administration. I say colorful because the continuing negative feedbacks of some quarters did not, in any way, make a dent in my governance and in the dispensation of services for the people especially those in the barangays. Despite all these issues, whether real and properly addressed, or simply imagined, just to discredit this administration, we have remained steadfast on our vow to give what is due to God, to the people, and to the community.

            Today, I am honored to report to you what this administration has done for the last 365 days of year 2003, covering different areas of concern. I shall also enumerate some of the projects for this calendar year, which this public servant aims to undertake to the best of his ability and capacity. As the Norwegian dramatist and poet Henrik Ibsen has said, “ the great secret of power is never to do more than you can accomplish.”

AGRICULTURE

            In the field of agriculture, the city government is still pursuing and continuing its projects to develop and promote various agri-fishery programs that are aimed to benefit the farmers and fishermen in the community.  The Office of the City Agriculturist is undertaking the “Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) of the Department of Agriculture, to help augment the rice production of the area. This is especially of importance since rice is considered as the staple food of our people, with around sixty percent of our population eating rice while only around forty percent eats corn and other products. Last year, bags of hybrid rice and corn seeds had been distributed to farmers in the barangays to help improve the quality of rice produced in the City. Fertilizers had also been distributed to farmers to boost food production. And we are happy to report that total rice production posted an increase of around 10.2%, from only 12,038 metric tons in 2002 up to 13,264.2 metric tons in 2003. 

The city government is pursuing its projects to develop and promote various agri-fishery programs that are aimed to benefit both the farmers and fishermen in the community. We are happy to report that total rice production posted an increase of around 10.2%, from only 12,038 metric tons in 2002 up to 13,264.2 metric tons in 2003.

High value commercial crops like ube, mango, banana, root crops, fruits and vegetables had also enjoyed a year-round production that adequately met the needs of the people in the community. Two hundred thirty nine packs of various vegetable seeds were distributed to 188 farmers in 13 barangays. Another 53,520 seedlings of various fruit and lumber trees were given to farmers, and 7,290 seedlings were also given to the DILG in support for their tree-planting project.  Mango production (of carabao variety) yielded an average production per hectare of 3.4 metric tons or a total production of 272 metric tons. Abaca production, which is an on-going project, is primarily located in barangays Cogon and Diwan. Presently, 8.5 hectares have been utilized by around thirty farmers to produce more of this native crop that offers a lot of opportunities as a cottage industry.

            The offices of the City Veterinarian and City Agriculturist had also pursued the implementation of the Sagip Hayop Program. From September to December of 2003, or a period of only four months, at least twenty indigent farmers mostly from barangays Diwan, San Jose, Cogon, Sangkol and Punta were made recipients of the program. In addition, fifty-two (52) farmers were made beneficiaries of the cattle and swine dispersal programs while a number of qualified farmers had likewise availed of the Barangay Livestock Breeding Loan Program (BLBLP).

For Dipolog’s in-land fishery program, the city had dispersed around 10,000 hito and tilapia fingerlings for free to farmer-beneficiaries especially in the hinter barangays.

            For our in-land fishery program, the Office of the City Agriculturist had dispersed around 10,000 hito and tilapia fingerlings for free to farmer-beneficiaries especially in the hinter barangays.  This program is aimed at promoting backyard fishponds in order to make available to the people, more variety and balance in their diet. This is also a means to supplement our farmers' income since these fish species are in great demand these days. I intend to continue this program this year and disperse more fingerlings to more farmers who are willing to take up the challenge of branching out to in-land fishery farming rather than concentrate on traditional agriculture.

LIVELIHOOD AND SKILLS TRAINING

            Contrary to the insinuation from some quarters that the City Government has done nothing to develop the agricultural sector, this administration can humbly share to the people that 24 farmers associations or cooperatives with a membership of 1,284 are now formed in at least 18 barangays to address various concerns involving agriculture. Not only adult farmers are the targets of development. Everyone in the farmers’ households is given the chance to contribute their share towards improving the living condition of their respective families. And among those tapped by the City Government to fulfill its role in nation-building are the youth. In 2003, at least one hundred forty-two (142) youth were trained in different aspects of self-reliance as part of the 4-H Club Rural Youth Development Program. They are now engaged in poultry, piggery, food processing, and handicrafts like bag-making, papier mache, stuffed toys and vegetable and flower gardening.

The Rural Improvement Club composed of 884 rural women and housewives worked actively the whole year by engaging in various skills trainings and livelihood projects.

            The women were not also left behind.  The Rural Improvement Club (RIC) composed of 884 rural women and housewives worked actively the whole year by engaging in various skills trainings and livelihood projects, with financial assistance from the Local Government Unit of Dipolog.  A total of 277 RIC members are now engaged in swine raising, flower production in pots, catering, cassava cake making, sardines-making, tokwa processing, nata de coco-making, smoked fish processing, coco-calabasa candy making and kroepeck making.

 

REVENUE COLLECTION

            The growth and development of a city largely depends on its sound financial standing and capacity.  By far, Dipolog is one city which is doing its best to achieve this financial strength without having to depend much on its Internal Revenue Allotment. 

            The total general collection from local taxes, permits and licenses, service income, business income and sales revenues were posted at P 34,288,220.82. This administration had conducted the so-called One-Stop-Shop during the early part of the year where national offices like the PNP, BFP and other agencies held office at the lobby of the City hall for a faster and more efficient processing of applications or renewals of business permit.  The City Treasurer's Office had also conducted business tax campaign in the 21 barangays, conducted checkpoints to collect annual fixed tax from all delivery trucks and vans.  It had also branded large cattle and registered motorized and non-motorized water vehicles.

By far, Dipolog is one city which is doing its best to achieve this financial strength without having to depend much on its Internal Revenue Allotment.

            For its economic enterprise, the City’s total collection for the Bus Terminal increased to P3,705,722.44 compared to 2002's collection of only P3,639,035.09.  The total market collection, considered as the mother of all economic enterprises, also increased to P 8,843,253.25 compared to the previous year's collection of only P8,610,645.10.  The operation of the slaughterhouse last year collected a total amount of P 1,481,461.45 up from 2002's P 1,312,434.71. Finally, the Fish Port operation collected P1,625,466.50 as compared to 2002's P1,382.756.

            In sum, the City’s gross income for CY 2003 amounted to P 224,825,938.82 while the actual income for CY 2002 was only P 223,309,085.68. With these figures, we can be assured that Dipolog is in the right path towards financial maturity, with the help of investors who continue to put up new businesses in the city, thus, boosting our claim for a rosy business climate in the next few years.

 

TOURISM

            Selling one's place to the world is just one of the positive ways to draw people and boost its economy through the healthy business climate it creates.  This is the primary thrust of the City Tourism Office. Compared to year 2002, there was an eighty percent increase of tourist inflow due to the completion of many tourism projects and the holding of tourism-related activities coupled with the aggressive promotion of tourism sites by the City Tourism Office and the City Tourism Council.

Compared to year 2002, there was an eighty percent increase of tourist inflow. Just like the celebration of Zamboanga del Norte’s Sardines & Mango Festival, it attracts both the tourists and investors towards the city.

            This year, the Cogon Eco-Tourism Complex boasts of new facilities and amenities.  The unique physical features and eco-tourism potential of the area is an ideal ecological destination for ecology enthusiasts. It is a favored site for laboratory or study area for students of related sciences of various schools and universities in neighboring cities and municipalities within Zamboanga Peninsula. In fact, two universities, the MSU-Marawi and WMSU in Zamboanga City, had conducted their phythopathological studies and recreation activities in the area. On-going projects at the area includes assistance and information building, deer cage and signage’s along the highway.

The Cogon Eco-Tourism Complex boasts new facilities and amenities which is an ideal ecological destination for ecology enthusiasts.

            An added feature and landmark that boosts tourism in the city is the Estaka-Turno Y junction Fountain. The statues represent the tri-people of Mindanao  which symbolize the diverse cultures prevailing in Dipolog. The bowl raised to the heavens is a gesture of thanksgiving and offering to God Almighty for the generous outpouring of graces and blessings, bountiful harvests and sustained peace and prosperity.

            Other tourism activities are the annual Sinulog, Katkat Sakripisyo at the Linabo Peak, Pagsalabuk Festival in May, Mutya sa Dipolog in July, the October Fiesta and the Pasko sa Dipolog nightly shows in December. Not contented with the local tourism activities, the city government of Dipolog grabbed the chance to go national in its tourism campaign by sending contingent to the WOW Philippines celebration in Intramuros, Manila last August.  The gesture paid off since Dipolog generated much interest from both local and foreign tourists while promoting local products to the world.  The city government is continuing its programs to push tourism activities to entice tourists to visit our places of interest and savor the unique hospitality inherent in Dipolog.

 

PAGE  1   2

*

 

 

NOTE: SEND US YOUR NEWS.  Tell us what's going on in your barangays, clubs, schools, businesses and non profit organization. You can also send notices and announcements.
          

 

    Email to webmaster@dipolognon.com