Last week’s State of the City Address (SOCA) is the 9th and the last delivery of the Honorable PEDRO B. ACHARON, JR. as City Mayor of General Santos City.

The SOCA was delivered at the SP Session Hall of the New Legislative Building.  Two days prior to that, at the inauguration of the new building, he remarked that the state of the city for the Year of Legacy will occur at the building which is testament to the stability of the local government of General Santos City.

Here is a short synopsis of the State of the City Address (SOCA) of the Mayor for GenSan.  Thanks to Millette Kaindoy, Goddess of Milk Maidens.

RE-ENGINEERING THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT

The SOCA first reported on the efforts of re-engineering the local government organization that made its personnel customer focused through the Total Quality Service of the Organizational Development Program.

The result of the redesigning has reaped tremendous positive gains for the city quantified according to the City Development Strategies of Good Governance, Competitiveness, Bankability and Livability.

INVESTMENTS SOARED

The city has become more competitive as manifested in the number of new investments registered, tourist arrivals, employment generated, money in circulation, infrastructure development, agricultural sustainability and food security.

Total amount of investments for 2009 soared high with new businesses registering 1.397 Billion pesos capitalization. Weighing high on the investment scale is the wholesale and retail trade, which registered 577 new firms.

Hotel and restaurant industry came by leaps and bounds with 83% growth from last year’s 73 to 143 new firms this year. Community, social and personal services listed 261 new businesses. Total number of new businesses for 2009 is 1,259 indicating a 126% accomplishment vis-à-vis the 1,000 yearly target.

These new business registrants paid a total amount of 3.121 Million for taxes and fees and generated employment of about 3, 765 jobs.

Tourism investments posted more than 100% increase compared to 2008. Based on approved capitalization, new investments of 615 tourism-related establishments registered 274 Million pesos as compared to 137 Million pesos of 2008. These investments generated 1,084 jobs for the generals.

MORE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS IMPLEMENTED

Most noted among its various achievements for 2009 are infrastructure project implementation by the government and the private sectors.

68 projects were implemented with a total contract cost of 240 million pesos of which 56 projects were completed. Most of the projects fall under Buildings and Other Structures, which account for about 52% of the total number of projects and 46% of the total contract costs.

Roads and Bridges represent about 35% of the total number of projects but 41% of the total project costs. By the year-end, an aggregate of 3.1 kilometers of roads were concrete-paved, 1 bridge was completed, 6.6 kilometers of farm-to-market road were improved and opened, a total of 1.4 lineal meters of sidewalk were constructed, 2 intersections were improved and traffic signal systems were installed.

Lastly, comprising the remaining 13% in the number of projects and in project costs are the construction of gabion dikes at Barangays Fatima, Mabuhay and San Jose amounting to 24.56 million pesos under our disaster preparedness and prevention projects charged to calamity fund.

BOOST IN AGRICULTURE SECTOR

Increased certified palay seed producers from 8 in 2008 to 17 in 2009 or an increase of 210%, thus ensuring continuous supply of certified seeds for our local rice producers.  Area of seed production likewise increased 137% from 16 hectares in 2008 to 22.00 hectares in 2009. Average yield per hectare increased by 124% from 6.30 metric tons per hectare in 2008 to 7.82 metric tons per hectare in 2009.

Under the animal health and disease control program, there were 32,395 vaccinations undertaken, 15,401 animals treated against different animal diseases, 33,051 given Vitamin Supplementation, 16,026 animals dewormed.

STATE OF EDUCATION STRENTHTENED

The city becomes increasingly livable as more Generals and their families enjoy a healthier and safer environment.  More Generals have access to health and medical services, more are able to send their children to school, more are able to live decently in homes within a secure community.

There was a 100% participation rate in our public early childhood education program. Participation rates for public elementary and secondary levels are at 93% and 80% respectively.

Two new schools were opened,  Dadiangas North High School that decongested Ireneo National High School, and Samboang-Ngilay High School at Barangay Batomelong.  These  were made possible through our local Special Education Fund and through the generosity of the Honorable Congresswoman Darlene Antonino-Custodio.

HEALTH MAINTENANCE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND KIDS

6,749 pregnant women have been provided with pre-natal care at our public health facilities.  According to the 2007 NSO census, there are 65,506 children who are five years old and below; among these 58,774 or 90% of this age group are well nourished.   Of the 507 TB smear positive detected among the Generals, 411 have already been cured; thus reducing tuberculosis mortality rate in the city.

DISASTER PREVENTION AND PREPAREDNESS AND CRIME PREVENTION

All of our 26 barangays have disaster prevention and disaster preparedness plans.  THE PNP reported that of the 126 Index crimes committed, 117 have been solved, and of the 124 non-index crimes that occurred, 121 have been solved, giving a 93% and 98% crime solution efficiency, respectively.  This makes General Santos City a very livable city.

BILLIONAIRES CLUB

The city is in a healthy financial condition.  It is bankable.  Local revenue collection is at its highest which says much about the trustworthiness of the local government.  Thus, people are more willing to pay taxes and fees.

Year 2009 was when General Santos City hit the billion level in its revenue collection, a total of 1.238 billion pesos.  The first time in the history of the Local government unit, which include the share for the special education fund of 69.1 million pesos and 30.6 million pesos for the baragnay.

The net revenue of 1.138 billion pesos is 24.93% over our estimate, the highest ever.

The aggregate expenditure (2001-2009) was 6.259 billion pesos, of which:

  • 36.89% or 2.309 billion pesos was used for general public services,
  • 32% or 2.003 billion pesos for economic services, particularly on infrastructures;
  • 23.52% or  1.472 for social services that include health and education programs;
  • Finally 7.58% or half a billion pesos were used as statutory accounts such as calamity fund and interest payments.

According to the latest report from the City Bankers Association of General Santos (cbags), total money in circulation in 2007 reached 14.1 billion pesos and it increased to 16.9 billion pesos in 2008.  This is the combined total of peso and dollar deposits in the 45 banks operating in General Santos City.

In 2002, volume of deposit was only around 7 billion pesos.  we have doubled the volume of money in circulation in the city within 6-year’s time.

CLEARER PERSPECTIVE

In conclusion, there was also a short reiteration of the accomplishment highlights of the entire nine-year term GenSan Mayor Acharon.  This hindsight provides a clearer perspective in the continuity of programs and projects and its significance in the future development of General Santos City.

For the whole copy of the Mayor’s State of the City Address (SOCA) for 2010, scroll down…

SOCA 2010

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