The city continues to gain headway in the implementation of programs and projects geared towards achieving the overall objective of making a better Baguio.
In his first State of the City Address (SOCA) delivered during the 111th Baguio Charter Day anniversary program held at the Baguio Convention Center, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong stated that the city was a recipient of prestigious international and national awards, the Nutrition Honor Award, the highest award given by the National Nutrition Council (NNC), the Champion in the Digital Governance Award of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Clean Tourist City Standard Award; and the Best eGov Systems for Global Competitiveness Award.
He vowed to sustain the gains of the previous leaders and bring them to a higher level as the city positions itself to become a Smart City.
The city chief executive claimed the city ended 2019 by reaching the income targets with a surplus of P323 million, P158 million was over collection.
According to him, prudence in the city’s spending and optimizing the city’s resources produced a savings of P164 million.
Further, he succeed in getting the approval by the city council of a supplemental budget worth P900 million to fund urgent programs and projects to improve public service delivery.
He disclosed that after two decades, the city council approved the long overdue revision of the schedule of market values that will bring an additional P50 million during the first year of its implementation next year where the generated revenue will be used to fund the city’s priority programs and projects.
He said the city government is also complaint with the Ease of Doing Business in the city but efforts are being done to enhance the services, particularly in simplifying processes like the automated business permitting system, and soon, the online building permit system which will be launched after it completes development.
Moreover, the city government is innovating the social services systems to provide ease and convenience to the transacting public.
Magalong claimed the lack of funds to implement necessary and high impact projects has never been so real as the city aggressively explored different ways of acquiring financing, partnerships, and discovering access to legitimate external funding mechanisms, especially for big and strategic development programs and projects.
The mayor stated the city will continue working on the gins of the previous year to improve the delivery of basic services to the people and further enhance the implementation of priority development projects that will form part of making a better Baguio in the future. By Dexter A. See