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

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND SANITATION

            The city government has continued to be true to its promise to protect its environment and preserve its ecology. Last June, the City government, in cooperation with the CENRO, planted 3,500 seedlings at the Gulayon Housing Project in celebration of World Earth Day. And to really show that the  city government means business in cleaning the environment, it also conducted a foreshore clean-up drive the whole day of September 19 at Barangay Olingan in celebration of International Coastal Clean-Up. During a recent visit of Japanese businessmen affiliated with OISCA, the city government had also conducted a tree-planting activity at Pamansalan, Diwan to signify the continuing friendship of our city and Japan.

During a recent visit of Japanese businessmen affiliated with OISCA, the city government also had conducted a tree-planting activity at Pamansalan, Diwan to signify the continuing friendship of our city and Japan.

            To discourage illegal logging activities in the interior barangays, the CENRO had conducted regular checkpoints along known routes of transport and had confiscated gemelina flitches on separate occasions. Though this administration may have earned the ire of those engaged in this trade, it did not falter in its drive to stop on its tracks the proliferation of illegal loggers.  To fully discourage indiscriminate cutting of trees, the city now requires a thorough site inspection prior to the issuance of certifications or permits for the cutting of various trees situated in private lands.

            Dipolog's Ordinance 123, by far considered as the most popular ordinance in the city, has, since day one of its implementation, continued to reap results. This year, a total of 1,530 citation tickets were issued to violators of this ordinance. On the brighter side of things, this ordinance is the reason for our clean city streets and public places, making Dipolog one of the cleanest cities in the country today.

 

PEACE AND ORDER

            Our local police force has remained steadfast in its prevention and fight against criminality in the area. The Dipolog City Police Station had sent its personnel in important trainings to further improve and enhance the effectiveness of its members. These seminars were conducted in Pagadian, Davao, Bukidnon, Marawi, and Zamboanga.

            This administration continues to work closely with the police force.  In fact, the local government consistently supported the force by giving a monthly gasoline allowance for its patrol and surveillance vehicles. To further upgrade the capability of the force, the government had purchased 20 units of Automatic Rifles with 70 pieces magazines (30 rounds) and ten units of bullet-proof vests. While we do not wish that these firearms be put to test, we consider these vital also as a deterrent against crimes and terrorist activities of unscrupulous people who are out to destabilize the peace and order condition of the city.

            The unified efforts of the PNP and the city government did not come to naught.  This claim can be further attested with the fact that Dipolog had been chosen by the PNP Regional Command as the “Best LGU for 2003”.  For two consecutive years now, Dipolog PNP was also chosen as the Best City Police Station and Chief Inspector Alvin Ruby Consolacion as the Outstanding Chief of Police for 2003.  This administration likewise appreciates the efforts of the non-government organizations who continuously help the local police force in its operations.

            As further proof of the sterling performance of the police, 197 criminal cases are filed in 2003 compared to 263 in 2002. For its crime solution efficiency, the PNP has solved 469 cases out of 494.  On the other hand, intelligence operations   also received a booster from the city government as it released adequate funding for its regular operations. In totality, the city government reiterates its unconditional support to the PNP in the implementation of its programs for the general well-being and welfare of the Dipolognons.

EDUCATION

            Since the beginning of my first term, I have always emphasized the importance of education for the youth.  Hence, it is not surprising then that my administration continues to give whole-hearted supported to the City Division Office in its various educational and sports promotion programs. For 2003, the city government has hired 82 contractual teachers so as not to deprive children of the much-needed education due to lack of teachers. The city has also continued doing construction, repair, rehabilitation and beautification works of school buildings, including offices, comfort rooms, outdoor stage, perimeter fence, concrete benches to name a few. The city has also extended financial help to student-contestants in regional and national press conferences outside Dipolog.

 

“Since the beginning of my first term, I have always emphasized the importance of education for the youth,” says Mayor Roberto Y. Uy during his State of the City Address (SOCA) held last March 16, 2004 at the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dipolog City. Photo shows Mayor Uy giving his SOCA in front of the City Council as well as to a number of high ranking government officials such as Gov. Isagani S. Amatong among others.

            Out-of-school youths who are financially-hard-up but possessed above-average intelligence quotient availed of the City's Alay Lakad Scholarship program.  In the same manner, sports activities are also encouraged in the school curriculum so as to create well-rounded citizens in the future.

NUTRITION, SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

            It has been my belief that an empty stomach cannot effectively absorb new ideas. This particularly applies to children who are not well-nourished because of poverty. Because of this, this administration has exerted all its efforts for its continued support to the nutrition program of the government. An aggressive supplemental feeding for the city's children has been implemented and a total of 2,357 children in 21 barangays of the city had been recipients of said program last year alone.

            There has been a reduction of the prevalence rate of malnutrition among pre-school    children from 23.49 per cent in 2002 to only 13.13 in 2003. For schoolchildren, there is also a reduction of the number of malnourished  children  from 28.13 % in 2002 to only 20.80 %.  About 720 families received vegetable seeds  to help increase household food supply.  Income-generating seminars such as tokwa-making, nito and bag making, seafood processing, nutri-garden  and hog dispersal were also conducted to augment the family income.

            As in previous years, the city's active involvement in the nutrition program paid off.  Its efforts were rewarded when the Regional Office of the National Nutrition Council awarded Barangay Nutrition Scholar Veronica Taboniag of Barangay Galas as the “Regional Outstanding BNS”. For her exemplary service, she received a cash prize, a trophy and a plaque of recognition. On the other hand, City Nutrition Action Officer Meriam O. Lacaya was also recognized as “Regional Outstanding City Nutrition Action Officer” while Dipolog City is also a “Green Banner Awardee”.

            On the other hand, the City Social Welfare and Development Office has also continued implementing its regular services to various sectors of society such as the women sector, the youth, the elderly  and the disabled. These regular services are relief assistance, counseling, self-employment assistance and family planning. For the year 2003, the office has extended a total of P111,800.00 for its AIC program or the Assistance to Individuals in crisis situation. To lighten up the mood during the Christmas season, basic food items such as rice and noodles had also been given to needy families in the barangays.

            For the elderly, a total of 98,000 were given as assistance for their various activities and programs. An on-going project is the regular twice-weekly physical therapy session conducted for free for the elderly patients.

            The City Health Office had also continued to discharge its medical, dental and sanitary services to the barangays.  Believing on the principle that prevention is better than cure, the CHO has intensified its campaign on preventive activities by introducing the Philippine Health Promotion program to the barangays wherein various sectors of the barangays are represented and informed of the latest health bulletins. Immunizations against diseases are also regularly done while some health personnel are also sent to seminars for updates in health services. Environmental health is also closely monitored. Food establishments are regularly inspected to ensure sanitary procedure in the preparation  and handling of food aside from regular inspection of toilet facilities, water system and garbage disposal. Free medicines are also distributed to qualified indigent patients at the City Health Office and at the barangay health centers.

INFRASTRUCTURE

            In keeping up with this administration's dream to transform Dipolog into a city that is comparable to other progressive cities in the country in terms of infrastructure, I can safely state that we are not remising in this department.  I have proven in my first term, as I have constantly proved until now that the infrastructure facilities of a city are the gauge of its progress. It goes without saying that the physical makeup of a city partly speaks for the standard of living of its people.

Rehabilitation and construction of the breakwater at Barangay Galas.

            Locally-funded projects undertaken by administration take center stage as most of these have been completed before the year ended with only a few that that is still on-going. These are mostly for the construction of concrete pavement of roads, construction of concrete drainage canals and the construction and repair or maintenance of school buildings and other facilities.

            To literally create brighter barangays for our constituents to enjoy and also to help prevent the occurrence of crime, the City had worked on and completed 18 electrification projects last year.  Not to be outdone and to give ample supply of potable water, 18 water supply projects were completed in different barangays. Thirty-six other structures for various purposes such as box culverts, benches, and perimeter fence to name a few were likewise completed.   

The LOGOFIND-LGU-funded construction of the seawall and foreshore development project popularly dubbed as the “Boulevard Project” has been going on and this administration intends to see it completed soon.

            I am happy to announce that the concreting of Sicayab Circumferential Road with funding from the city's share of the 20% Local Government Stabilization and Equalization Fund or LOGSEF has been completed and is now fully paved.  I likewise wish to announce that the LOGOFIND-LGU-funded construction of the seawall and foreshore development project popularly dubbed as the “Boulevard Project” has been going on and this administration intends to see it completed soon. The same holds true for the rehabilitation and construction of the breakwater at Galas; the concreting of Dipolog By-Pass Road and the concreting of Sinaman-Sangkol national highway as well as other on-going projects with the same import.

PLANS AND VISIONS

            Every Chief Executive dreams of transforming his local government unit into the ideal haven conducive for residence and economic purposes.  I am not an exception.  Personally, I share the same dream for Dipolog.  It is my vision to build more good road network in the interior barangays to afford ease and comfort for farmers who bring their produce to the city. Whenever good roads are existing, growth and progress are not far behind.  Another goal I wish to make for the people of Dipolog is to uplift their living condition. This is quite an ambitious plan.  Yet, there are certain ways to realize this goal.  One is to equip residents without permanent jobs with the necessary technical skills for livelihood programs. This administration is not too keen on spoon-feeding them by giving dole-outs forever. Thus, there is a need to continue training them with in-demand technology for livelihood purposes.

Thirty-six other structures for various purposes such as this bridge in Barangay Diwan were likewise completed. Photo taken last January 12, 2004 during construction.

            Dipolog enjoys a strategic location when it comes to economic opportunities.  It is even considered as the gateway to Mindanao. This administration wishes to exploit this advantage to the hilt by developing a business climate that is beneficial for the City of Dipolog as a whole. Dipolog shall be properly represented in business summits for this purpose. We have ample resources and brains to sustain this not only for the present but also for the future.

            Education, as stated earlier, is one of my pet areas for intellectual growth.  It is my fondest dream to see every child of school age inside classrooms to get quality education needed for their bright future. With this in mind, I shall continue to build school buildings and hire additional teachers to fully give meaning to the real essence of quality education.  Other worthy educational programs shall also receive top priority in my administration.

            Most of our population here largely depends on farming for their daily existence. Because of this fact, I shall likewise continue to give full support for agriculture projects which can address the particular needs of our farmers. Agri-based programs shall be made available to the farmers. Our City has the manpower to fully implement these programs with intensified zeal and enthusiasm. Statistical figures for year 2003 can certainly attest to the sincerity of this administration to help uplift the living conditions of our farmers in the barangays.                                      

CONCLUSION

            My fellow public servants, this administration is still embarking on a journey for the betterment of our City and our people.  We do not claim to know what lies ahead of us. We do not claim to have all the solutions to the storms that may rock us in our voyage.  But we do know that with your unequivocal support, your fervent prayers and firm belief in our capacity, hand in hand, we can weather the storms and reach our goal to make Dipolog an ideal place for us, and our children, to live in.

To the honorable members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, you have been true partners of this administration in working for the greatest good for the greatest number of our people. I thank you for your dedication and sincerity.  

To the city government employees who helped my administration in dispensing the basic services to the people, I warmly thank you for your full support and cooperation. My administration could not have done it without your help. To the people of Dipolog City, once again, my gratitude goes out to you for your faith in my administration.

Now let me call on you once again, “let's help achieve this dream.”

Thank you for your precious time, and May God Help us All!”

 

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