|Inaugural Address by Mayor Jeffrey Jubal C. Nalupta|
The Honorable Inducting Officer, Judge Isidoro Pobre, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
At noon today, I will be assuming anew my position as the city mayor, for my second term of service to the people of Batac.
Time indeed flies so fast, that three years have already lapsed, since I took my oath of office on June 30, 2007.
As we all believe, three years is like eternity, if your leader is no good or a non-performer. But on the other hand, three years is like a “flitting second”, if your leader is able to show and demonstrate hardwork and good work.
If I were to score myself then on these standards, with both pride and humility, I am much confident that I belong to the “flitting second” kind of a leader.For indeed, the record of accomplishments of our administration in the second half of 2007, the full years 2008 and 2009, and up until now, can very well speak for itself.
Perhaps, only our fierce political enemies would not attest to these realities for very obvious reasons. In 2007 I said it. Today I say, and reiterate it again, because this is true. And I quote it verbatim from my message of 2007:
“To me, I look at these people [political enemies] as pathetic lot, possessed by the demons, prophets of doom, bedeviled by envy. Greed and envy have always been reasons for the fall of man, since the beginning of time.” End of quote.These people, full of hatred, rancor and envy in their hearts and minds, and full of negativism and bad chi in their being, will always be sore, Always Crying deep inside. Lonely people in the world.
I do not believe in the political and strategic thought, that he, who wants the position the most, gets it. What I believe in, is that, he, whom God wants to put into the position, gets it.
And that I call destiny. And no one can escape his or her own destiny. For proverbially, they say, that the moment you are born, your destiny is already written and etched at the palm of your hand.
Some are destined to be leaders, others as followers. Some are destined to be academicians, others as health providers. Some are destined to be builders, others as officers of the peace. Some are destined to be tillers of the land, others as servants of the Lord. And the litany goes on and on and on…
I believe that I was destined to be your mayor. And so I kept that trust and confidence, with the true care and diligence, a responsible father of a family, would exercise.
For it would be embarrassing to be called father of the city, if I could not handle the responsibilities that go with the position I am holding.
I am not the type of leader you would call a ceremonial mayor. I am a working mayor, a hardworking mayor at that. Exposed to the sun and rain. Conferring with common folks under the shade of trees, or in the middle of the farms. Discussing, listening, and addressing the needs, wants, and aspirations of my constituents.
I am not the typical mayor you would see, wearing barong and formal shoes. I only wear that on occasion like today. From the vantage point of the common tao, I would look stiff and unapproachable if I were in barong all the time.
My everyday wear in office, in on-site inspections, and brgy visits, are just my worn out pairs of jogging pants, denims, t-shirts, my shades, and black rubber shoes.
For in the end, what matters most, is not what you wear, but what you had done. For in the end, what matters most, is what is in your heart, and what is in between your ears.
As I begin my 2nd term of office as your city mayor, I am as excited and as challenged as my first term, to serve you all, including those who did not vote for me.
The many anchor projects we have done in our first term as city officials, will be sustained. As we all know, the success of a project depends on its sustainability.
Our anchor projects were not crafted as one shot deal projects. But rather, they were envisioned to be implemented for as long as it serves its purpose.
We have a wholistic and an all-encompassing blueprint of development, for the new City of Batac, that is very well ingrained in the Vision for Batac by our Team Aramid Pakakitaan. A vision that is good and valid for 25 or more years.
All our key programs and projects, target the attainment, directly or peripherally, to that vision. Any and all projects that do not support that vision, are not signature projects of our team.
P1M Commitment to Brgy. Development:
My administration’s commitment to funding P1 million worth of development projects to the barangays, may and will continue. Never has significant development occurred in the barangays, before the dawning of the P1 Million worth of projects.
This is in line with our goal to bring development in the grassroots levels; so that the people become instantaneous and direct beneficiaries of development.
I will always be the prime mover for rural development as I was in the last three years. That is part of the legacy my administration would want to be remembered and appreciated someday.
I will continue to initiate the construction of more farm to market roads in your communities; and to connect passage to the poblacion, by a network of paved and concreted main roads in the rural barangays.
Perhaps, for a period of 3 years, our administration has built the longest length of roads in Batac.
Integrated Drainage System of the Urban Brgys.:
In the urban barangays, you are all practically done, in the construction and improvement, of your respective open canals, to support our goal for an integrated drainage system.
We are now in the second phase of connecting your respective network of canals, to realize the integration process; and as well, the improvement of the water outlets by way of our rivers and creeks.
We have already raised the embankments of the Quiaoit River along the poblacion. As practicable and as funds are available, we shall continue to rehabilitate sections of the ageing protection walls of the river. And at the same time, we endeavor to put up protection walls on critical areas of the river.
The Sta. Rosa Creek is a choke point for run-off water. There are many constraints to improving the Creek. It’s narrow, it’s heavily silted every year, and full of houses along the banks of the creek.
Be that as it may, we shall be working on what we can do with it, to minimize floodings that may occur.
On the other hand, we are also contemplating and exploring the construction of a parallel creek, that will run from south to north, or from Payao to Billoca, to mitigate the excessive flow of rainwater through the Sta. Rosa Creek.
This is a medium to long term solution to the problem of urban flooding. Expensive it may seem, but a lasting solution nevertheless.
I work hand in hand with you barangay officials, in bringing development to your respective barangays. If you think you do not share my vision for your barangays and the city, better rethink your options as to whether or not run in the forthcoming barangay elections; because I only want to work with people who believe in my leadership.
Program on Agricultural Development:
Undoubtedly, agricultural development is at the center of my administration; and is getting a big slice of the development funds of the city government.
That topmost priority will continue in my second term of office. A strong and committed support to agricultural development, will hasten faster development of our city, which is primarily agricultural.
We shall continue to give farm implements like tractors, threshers, flatbed dryers, shallow tube wells and other post harvest facilities to organized zanjeras in the barangays.
And farm inputs like premium quality seeds and fertilizers will continue to form part of the array of assistance we are giving to the farmers.
Technical support of various kinds, and the construction or rehabilitation of irrigation canals, diversion dams and impounding dams will continue.
Ecological Solid Waste Management & Segregation:
To be frank and honest with you, sad to say, but we are fairing not good in the compliance of the Solid Waste Management Act, close to being sued already by the DENR for low compliance.
We have to work harder on this problem this time. Majority of the LGUs are non-compliant, of the conversion of open or controlled dumpsites, into sanitary landfills, because of the millions of pesos needed for conversion. Ours is still a controlled dumpsite.
We shall be engaging the services of a consultant for sanitary landfill conversion.
At the same time, we shall in the next few months, facilitate the construction of materials recovery facilities (MRFs) in the urban barangays as required by law; so that we can now begin enforcing the implementation of waste segregation at source.
Save the Quiaoit River, Save Batac’s Mountains and Watershed:
In 2009, another pioneering project for Batac was launched by the City Government, together with the Batac Water District and the MMSU. The “Save the Quiaoit River, Save Batac’s Mountains and Watersheds”.
We thought of this project, as the lasting solution to our flooding problems in Batac. Surprisingly, a lot of sectors of our population supported this project. Hence, we were able to plant about 70,000 narra and mahogany seedlings in the mountains and watershed areas.
Last Independence Day on June 12, as we did in 2009, we re-launched this most ecologically relevant project, with the city officials and employees, jumpstarting the tree planting for 2010.
Once again, with the support of the multi-sectoral segments of our population, our goal is to be able to plant 100,000 seedlings this year.
Philhealth Program and other Health Services:
My administration’s goal, of eventually seeing all families in Batac, enrolled to the Philhealth Para sa Masa Program, is very much nearing its fruition.
In just one year alone in 2009, we were able to enroll close to 7000 new Philhealth cardholders, the biggest batch of enrollment ever done by LGU Batac.
We are not done yet. Hopefully, this year and in 2011, we shall have completed that goal, so that all families in Batac, will now be beneficiaries of the Philhealth.
Subsequently, all others who are yet to benefit, shall be considered for the next tier of enrollees.
The Maternal and Child Health Care Unit, or Lying-In Clinic at the City Health Office, is now on its finishing works, and will be opened soon. Another major accomplishment of the 2007-2010 set of city officials, for the people of Batac.
I am confident that henceforth, the giving of birth by mothers who are being served by the midwives of the City Health Office, will now be done in this facility, as required by the Department of Health, for better safety and welfare of both mother and child.
More frequent conduct of medical and dental outreach programs in the barangays will be done as well, to allow our constituents better access to free medical and dental services and medicines.
Program on Education:
In this year’s graduation exercises of the schools, the DepEd theme reads: “Education Changing Lives”. No doubt about it, education is the great equalizer. Education empowers. And education is the means to realizing our hopes and aspirations.
And your city government has been all out in support for education: from pre-school, to elementary, to secondary, and even college.
In 2009, the city government cut to 50% the monthly fees being paid by parents in sending their kids to the day care centers.
Beginning this June, the monthly fees are now 100% free, and fully subsidized by the city government. Three new day care centers were also built in 2008, 2009 and 2010, in Bullilising, Mariit and Lumba-ao, respectively.
A lot of improvements were undertaken in all of the public elementary schools, in cooperation with school and PTA officials; the latest of which, was the granting of P100,000 worth of improvement materials for each of the 26 elementary schools.
From the humble beginnings of just about 40 city scholars, this figure has already ballooned to about 470 scholars both in high school and in college, beginning this school year. The biggest percentage increase of scholars was realized in our administration.
Hopefully, by 2013, we shall have already reached the level of 600 to 700 city scholars.
All the combination classes in Parangopong, Naguirangan-Capacuan and Cumcumraas Schools are now monograde classes as I committed. By next year, we shall have completed also the splitting of the last remaining combination classes in Baoa East Elementary School.
Locally paid teachers continue to be engaged by the city government, to address the lack of teacher-item positions in our schools.
Program on Peace & Order:
With a substantially less than ideal number of police in our city; but with our hardworking barangay tanods, who serve as force multiplier, still, we are able to preserve the peace and tranquility in our city, in our barangays, and in our homes; save for the petty crimes that happen every now and then.
Criminalities are isolated happenings. Drug pushing and addiction are tightly watched, controlled and curbed.
Batac is able to maintain itself, as a good haven for residence and investments; even by non-locals, who have come to love and found their luck in our city.
However, police manpower still need to be increased, equipment to be beefed up, and the main headquarters to be rebuilt, which is now in a state of disrepair.
With In-coming Councilor Orlando Mangapit as part of the team of city officials now, he can see to it that remarkable developments will happen on these concerns. He used to be an officer of the Philippine National Police, with access to PNP higher ups who could help.
Within the next 2 to 3 months, we shall put up a police detachment at the Riverside Empanadaan, to be 24 hours manned by police and our traffic enforcers.
And likewise, surveillance cameras will be installed in key facilities of the city government like the city hall, riverside empanadaan, and other public areas, to monitor and protect 24 hours these important facilities.
Program on Livelihoods, Jobs Generation & Skills Empowerment:
The City Government wants its constituents to be productive. We have a rich pool of educated, and easy to train human resources that may be harnessed for productive work and gainful employment, be it domestically or abroad.
At every opportunity, we sponsor seminars and skills trainings, to better empower our people, especially the women, the out of school youth, and the unemployed.
In the next three years, we are going to be more aggressive in promoting the “one barangay one product” project. This is a way of giving opportunities for the unemployed and underemployed citizens of the barangays, who are willing to be trained, and subsequently work for such ventures.
Our linkages with the Department of Labor and Employment, the DOST and the DTI, makes it easier for us in the city government to realize this goal.
As a manifestation of our support and seriousness of developing more Made in Batac products, our Souvenir Shop at the Riverside Empanadaan has opened during the Empanada Festival. This shop will showcase the products that are produced by our city government-assisted small cooperatives.
Entrepreneurship & Investments:
As an infant city, certainly, Batac is a potential area for investments and other business opportunities. As much as we support and maintain our domestic entrepreneurs; we also welcome new investors and investments, to provide new dynamism to our domestic economy; and more opportunities for employment.
It’s already a given that a lot of well to do constituents are averse to risks. That is why they just park their money in the banks.
Hence, we are relying on our young entrepreneurs to be more active and aggressive in getting into business ventures; instead of the opportunities going to non-locals.
If interested locals would only study the market and dynamics of consumption, needs and wants in Batac, then they will see the opportunities that abound.
As it is now, we are happy of the steady stream of new businesses and business ventures coming into Batac. However, property owners in the commercial areas should also look at the possibility of developing their lands for commercial use. Better yet for them to sell such properties if they are not inclined to develop such.
Infrastructure Development & Tourism:
On my second term, we shall see the rise of the City Inn at the Government Center, adjacent to the Kalipi Training Center.
A modern three-storey building in style, this will be a showcase of the hospitality of the Batacqueno. This is one type of facility which is lacking in our city. And this will complement our Kalipi Center for in-house trainings and seminars.
We shall also see the completion of the posts and beams of all the 6 permanent buildings in the public market, in anticipation of more leaseable spaces that may be needed in the future.
We are now working in the development of our new government center. The drainage system and the road network within the center have started. In that way, we can intelligently plan the optimal use of this prime property of the city government.
Within the next three years, we shall begin the development of the eastern section of the riverside empanadaan, the section currently occupied by the miki and noodles vendors and roasts. This will complete the development of the area into a mini-pueblo, where people dine, shop and stroll.
A new facelift is also in order for our city hall building which is already decades old. And likewise a reconfiguration and refurbishing of the offices are in order.
With improved facilities and buildings, and near-cosmopolitan look and a better vista of the landscape of the centro and parks, tourists and visitors will continue to flock in our city, and contribute to our domestic economy.
Our two major festivals; the Empanada Festival and the Farmers’ Festival, will continue to draw interest for visitors and tourists to visitBatac.
“Can you do it?”
You just heard from me substantial programs and projects which we commit to undertake in the next three years. If you were to ask me once more if I can do it. The answer is the same. I cannot, but we can.
Hence, I call to you once again for your full support and cooperation in the next three years; just as you have done in the last three years.
You are here officials of the barangays. And you are witnesses to what we can do if we put our acts together. You have never seen a development for the barangay, as we did in the last three years. If we continue to harmonize your barangay aspirations to that of the development plans of the city, we can continue to bring substantive projects to your barangays.
To the agencies of the national government, especially those stationed in the city, I have always believed in the power of more heads working together for a common goal.
Let us continue our linkages and synergies for the benefit of our people here in Batac. Your expertise in the fields you work on, can help make life and work easier for our people.
To the NGOs, especially the very active groups of women in the Kalipi, you have just made work easier and faster by assuming responsibilities and assignments for the city government, with passion and dedication. May you continue to demonstrate that eagerness to help.
To our city employees, we have been working together for so many years now. You are aware how I despise mediocrity in government service; and how impatient I am if I do not see results as speedily as I want to.
You may be good now, but I will continue to exact the best in you. As frontliners for the city government, you always carry the name and badge of our city. Let us show to our people how professional and committed we are in serving them.
As you all know, I never lay claim to the honors for the many accomplishments that we do. I always recognize the efforts of all who share and work for such accomplishments.
Lastly, to my teammates in Team Aramid Pakakitaan. We have been given again the seal of approval and trust by our people to steer the affairs of our city government in the next three years.
We had almost duplicated the 100% performance of our team in 2007, save for one member of the team who failed to make it.
Be that as it may, the addition of the Honorable Ibarra Crisostomo to the Sangguniang Panlungsod is welcome. We hope to work with you on a high plane, for we know that you also have the best intentions and plans for the people whom we are all duty-bound to serve.
With the grace of our Lord, and the intercession of our Patroness, we shall continue to soar to bliss, peace and happiness.
Thank you very much and good day to all of you.