By Ignacio R. Bunye
(First of Two Parts)
On his very first State of the City Address, Muntinlupa City Mayor Rufino Rozzano Biazon, gave a progress report on his post-pandemic recovery programs and laid out a proposed program of “Moving Up Towards a Smart Future”.
The occasion, which coincided with Muntinlupa’s 28 th Cityhood Anniversary, was held at the jampacked Muntinlupa Sports Center last March 1 and was attended by city officials, representatives of national agencies, the business sector, Muntinlupa’s top taxpayers, civic and other NGOs, religious and people’s organizations.
Biazon recalled Muntinlupa’s journey towards cityhood, which started in 1986 when Muntinlupa was still classified as a fifth-class municipality until it achieved the status of a highly urbanized in 1995. He acknowledged this writer (who was then Municipal Mayor), former Vice Mayor, later Mayor and now incumbent Congressman Jaime R. Fresnedi; and former Municipal Attorney and now Majority Leader Raul R. Corro, who all actively laid down the groundwork for the attainment of cityhood.
He then made a progress report on Muntinlupa City’s priority “K” Agenda – Kalusugan, Karunungan, Kabuhayan, Katarungan, Kapayapaan/Kaayusan, Kalikasan, and Kaunlaran. To be sure, Biazon said that he could not have accomplished so much without the indispensable support of Vice Mayor Temy Simundac, the councilors, the barangay chairmen, City Administrator Allan Cachuela, the department heads and other city employees “hanggang sa magwawalis, BHW o utility worker”.
In a nutshell, here are Mayor Biazon’s accomplishments in the various “K” agenda.
-136 percent vaccination rate of eligible target population. 80 percent received booster shots. 80 percent vaccinated under the Chikiting Bakunation Program.
-Enhancement of the Putatan Health Center into a Super Health Center with extended operating hours and more medical and diagnostic services.
-Malnutrition rate of only 0.36 percent recorded in 2022. The lowest since 2018.
-Opening of the Ospital ng Muntinlupa Annex Building, increasing hospital bed capacity to 250, and opening 5 new operating room theaters.
-Establishment of a Women and Child Protection Desk at OSMUN to assist victims of VAWC.
-The Early Education Department received the Gawad Edukampyon for Early Childhood Care and Development.
-Launching of “Every Muntinlupeño A Reader”
-Continuation of the city’s P450 million scholarship program which has benefitted 82,000 Muntinlupa youth, including 600 with Latin honors, government exam topnotchers and other school achievers.
-Opening of Colegio de Muntinlupa Building 2 which provides 16 additional classrooms, technical and scientific equipment used in civil engineering laboratory, mechanical engineering pilot plant, equipment design and prototyping facility, electronics and electrical engineering laboratory, computer engineering laboratory and architecture studio.
-Launching of the CHED-approved Doctor of Medicine program under the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa (PLMUN) and Ospital ng Muntinlupa (OSMUN).
-CHED Gawad Parangal 2022 conferred on PLMUN.
-PLMUN garnered highest passing rate in Criminology, 96 percent passing rate in secondary education, and 89 percent passing rate in elementary education.
-Grant of incentive awards for 600 outstanding athletes and coaches
-Muntinlupa City landed 5 th among the Most Competitive Economies in a ranking of 33 Highly Urbanized Cities in the Philippines (A DTI Competitiveness Bureau Award).
-BPLO registered 2,251 new businesses in 2022, 50 percent up from 2020.
-More than P20 million was lent interest-free to 7,533 entrepreneurs.
-Almost 2,000 received upskilling and re-skilling training at the Technical Institute of Muntinlupa, headed by my fellow Kiwanian Francis Santella.
-Continuation of livelihood programs (eg, handicrafts, soap, and food and non-food products)
-Successful launch of Eco-Grocer which helped popularize eco-products and pasalubong products such as mushroom lasagna, Pink’s Peanut Butter and Dielle’s Honey Wine.
-Successful conduct of free bazaars, trade fairs and job fairs. Last year’s job fairs registered a 26 percent hired-on-the-spot rate.
-Formal re-opening of the wet section of the Alabang Central Market. In 2022, an average of 142,000 visited the market every month. Customer traffic and purchases are expected to triple when the whole market is fully open.
Due to space limitations, we will report on the city’s accomplishments in the other areas of Katarungan, Kapayapaan/Kaayusan, Kalikasan, Kaunlaran and Moving Towards a Smart Future in next week’s article.