Consistent with his vision of bringing about an all-embracing approach to progress and development, Mayor Herbert Bautista presented his accomplishments, plans and challenges his administration has faced in his first year of office, during the 2nd State of the City Address held last October 10, 2011 at the Carlos Albert Session Hall.
Mayor Bautista thinks of Quezon City as a “city of contrasts”: as it is a dynamic economic center but at the same time a home to a segment of society who live in poverty, it is a known wellness center but it also recognizes the need to make health services available to the poorest of the poor. Mayor Bautista has worked to address these gaps through “closer synergy between our legislative and executive bodies; in the same way that we are working hard to have a smoother coordination of our efforts with the national government, and with our barangays” as this framework allows for greater participation from the QC citizenry further strengthening the democratic ideals espoused by the current administration.
The Mayor identified the following focal programs of his administration: Housing and Resettlement, the Effective and Efficient Delivery of Social Services, sparking Livelihood Initiatives by supporting Small and Medium Enterprises, Pro-Active Health Programs, Improving the City’s Education System, Disaster Risk Mitigation, and a Balanced Green Management and Economic Development. In the coming year, as guided by the Comprehensive Development Plan of Quezon City, Mayor Bautista will be pushing for more projects that will concretized the city’s role as the Green Lung of Metro Manila, Knowledge Industry Capital of the Philippines and Health and Wellness Center of Asia.
Housing as a priority program, the city government must continuously adopt strategies to help resettle informal settler families in Quezon City to safer grounds.
To date, Quezon City is one of the very first local government units to comply with the deadline set by President Aquino for the submission of its shelter plan which gives QC a five-year framework to define the strategies needed to reduce the gap in the city’s housing needs.
To meet QC’s housing requirements, Mayor Bautista launched one of the city’s major housing projects during the city’s celebration of the 133rd birth anniversary of the city’s founding father, President Manuel L. Quezon, at Barangay Payatas. Aptly known as Bistekville I, the housing project is expected to benefit about 400 informal settler families, including public schoolteachers in Quezon City.
QC will also launch this year the Bistekville II project at Barangay Kaligayahan.
In his speech, the Mayor also commended the 26-member city council for passing legislations that encourage the development of additional housing funds for the city. Chief among these measures is the imposition of the idle land tax beginning January this year and the socialized housing tax ordinance that was approved recently by the city council.
Mayor Bautista also mentioned a proposed ordinance that will require private-sector subdivision developers to allocate the same amount of land area or its equivalent for the establishment of new settlements or townships, public-private housing ventures, and community mortgage programs.
The Mayor also said that the full development of the new Quezon City Central Business District is a critical component of the city’s economic development agenda. It is the Mayor’s belief that though there is a lot of progress that is happening, there is still a lot to be done and together progress is within our reach.