DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Days before the filing of candidacy on October 11, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio delivered her second State of the City Address (SOCA) on Tuesday, highlighting the continued gains of her administration.
Duterte-Carpio again underscored her vision for her constituents under the Byaheng Do30 program, namely: employment, decent housing, health, and education, among others.
She said the local economy in the Davao Region remain “bullish,” posting a 10.9 percent Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) last 2017 with the industry sector gaining the highest growth rate.
Duterte-Carpio said that the city would undertake big-ticket infrastructure projects from 2018 up to 2045, following the Infrastructure Modernization for Davao (IM4-Davao) study made by the government together with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
A total of 517 infrastructure projects from July 2017 to June 2018 amounting to 570 million pesos have been completed in the city, she said.
Meanwhile, employment and job opportunities have increased in the last two years, but employing job seekers remain to be a challenge, the local chief executive said.
Around 140 thousand job vacancies were opened by various employment sectors, but only 18 percent or around 25 thousand jobs were filled.
She stressed that equipping this workforce with skills require a collaborative effort of both public, private and academic sectors, “to ensure that they can be gainfully employed.”
The mayor also noted the increase in tourists arrival in Davao this year brought about the big events hosted by the city. Tourists are expected to continue to come in Davao with events to be hosted again by the city next year like DAVRAA, IRONMAN and Palarong Pambansa 2019.
In her speech, Mayor Duterte-Carpio lauded the police and military in ensuring the peace and security in the city with the conduct of anti-criminality and anti-terrorism operations.
She also highlighted her platform for education, under the Pagbabago Project on Education and Educational Benefit System Unit (EBSU) where scholarships were given to deserving students. She plans to provide scholarships for student athletes as well.
To address the classroom shortage in the city, the city government allotted P500 million pesos for 2018 which will be sourced from the Special Education Fund.
On health, the city has 14 newly-constructed Barangay Health stations and 21 are still being constructed and renovated.
“The idea is to make the health services reachable by each Dabawenyo, no matter how far-flung they may be located,” Duterte-Carpio said.
A Waste to Energy project is in the pipeline with nearly P2.5 billion grant from the Japanese government to partially fund the construction of the facility.
The city is also finalizing the implementation plan for the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) project in the city which will be started in 2019.
In the middle of her speech, Duterte-Carpio revealed that pushing these projects for the city is the reason she wants to seek reelection in the upcoming May 2019 election.
Development for whom?
While labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Southern Mindanao Region welcome the developments here in Davao, they, however, questioned who will actually benefit from these big infrastructure projects.
Romelito Pablo, KMU spokesperson said that the massive infrastructure projects to be undertaken by the city government will result in displacement of urban poor communities.
“The city government has no clear plan where these dislocated urban poor families will be relocated,” Pablo said.
The group added that what quality of jobs for the people will beprovided by the government with its infrastructure projects when majority of workers are contractual and receiving low salary with no benefits.
Pablo said these developments by the government only serve the interest of foreign capitalists and those who are rich, while letting the affected poor Filipinos continue to suffer to the economic crisis in the country, with rising prices of food and other commodities.(davaotoday.com)