The city’s new administration tackled its priorities in a planning session held at The Plaza Hotel on September 20.
Dubbed as Executive-Legislative Agenda (ELA), the said session allowed the new administration to formulate its plan for the next three years. Aside from Mayor Francis Anthony S. Garcia, Vice-Mayor Vianca Lita Gozon and Sangguniang Panlungsod members, city government department heads, community stakeholders, and Multi-Sectoral Governance Coalition delegates were also present.
Ms. Evelyn Matias and Ms. Mildred Sazon, both from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), facilitated the discussion of items on the agenda.
Matias defined the ELA as a combination of programs and policies that an administration should implement within its tenure. All programs and policies should be crafted based on the eminent needs of a local government.
Also, all newly-inducted administrations are required to undergo an ELA planning so their programs will be congruent with the national government’s.
Among government officials, Mayor Garcia was first to present his priority list. According to him, education and employment are his main concerns.
Mayor Garcia said that his administration is planning to allocate PhP20-M for scholarship programs. His brainchild, the Barangay Learning Hub, will also be put up in nearly all communities in Balanga.
Since Balanga City is aiming to be a hub of tech-driven businesses, Mayor Garcia also included business incubation in his list of education-related programs.
Health, environment, and agriculture rank second in Mayor Garcia’s priorities. The establishment of a Health Promotion Board, sustenance of the anti-tobacco campaign, and construction of wellness parks were particularly mentioned by Mayor Garcia.
As for the city’s physical development, Mayor Garcia said that PhP10.5-M will be allotted for the development of the city’s drainage system. He also said that Cabog-Cabog, Dangcol, and Tanato, all upland barangays, will benefit from road projects and livelihood trainings.
Portions of St. Joseph Street will undergo face-lifting to resemble the themed design of Plaza Mayor.
As for peace and order, Mayor Gracia said traffic management and crime prevention will receive particular attention.
Finally, the city government will allot funds for a socialized housing program and for the construction of a rehabilitation center for illegal drug victims.
More Tasks Ahead
After Mayor Garcia’s presentation, city department heads discussed specific plans on health, economic, and environmental concerns.
In return, the DILG expects the department heads to draft these plans in accordance with the city’s local development and investment program. By Arli Joshua Atienza