Dagupan City, Philippines – Nearly a year after sitting in the city’s top position, Mayor Belen Fernandez is seeing her homeland Dagupan as an “emerging smart city.”
In her State of the City Address (SOCA) held at the CSI Stadia (owned by Belen Fernandez) on Thursday, Fernandez boasted the “turn-around of the financial crisis” as her major accomplishment for her infant term.
She cited the tremendous growth in revenue collection which reached P282.2 million on the year-end of 2013 or an increase of 163-percent compared to the same period of the 2012. Aside from the increase in business taxes, delivery trucks taxes, fishery rental and business registrations, Dagupan posted a tripple increase in income from the public markets because of “personally instituted reforms,” she noted.
“I have proven that a low performing unit or office , if properly supervised, can also increase its revenues,” Fernandez stated in front of the crowd, which consist of people from the barangays, executives, department heads and businessmen.
As for 2014, Fernandez said social services and economic services will be the her primary concerns. This will include key programs on healthcare services, education, culture, sports activities, livelihood, and programs for the youth, mothers and as well as senior citizens, Fernandez added.
The rehabilitation of educational institutions, multipurpose gyms and roads through the Road Users Fund, will also be her prioritized.
Given that Pangasinan is a flood prone province specially the city of Dagupan, disaster preparedness are also on her agenda to address which includes giving free swimming lessons to about 6,000 children, putting up a three-storey evacuation center in barangay Salapingao. On her delivery speech, Fernandez personally thanked the national government noting that with the help of Interior Local Government Secretary (DILG) Mar Roxas, the dredging machine for Dagupan City was transported easily from the Bureau of Customs.
The city also intends to rise a “Product Center” near the City Hall which will showcase not just the famous bangus but also the native products coming from the city’s 31 barangays.
“Rest assured that we will accomplish all these even if I work for 20 hours. I just want to give the best for Dagupenos,” Fernandez said before her SOCA ends.