By Ercel Maandig
In his first 100 days as Cagayan de Oro City Local Executive, Mayor Rolando “Klarex” Uy rolled out a pro-poor administration at City Hall and a solid roadmap for economic recovery.
In a Press Statement, Mayor Uy spent his first 100 days reaching out to the poor — bringing City Hall services to the barangays, with his Klarex nga Serbisyo sa Barangay (KSB) while leading the local bureaucracy to craft the city’s roadmap to bring back Northern Mindanao’s biggest economy that has taken a beating from the Covid-19 pandemic.
In an interview, Bonbon Barangay Captain Allan P. Mabalacad said that he saw the present administration in no political color and that he felt equality in his service whether you are in an opposing team in the last election. The reason I became confident in attending the first 100 days report of the mayor” Mabalacad said.
Mayor Uy laid down RISE CDO slogan, which stands for regional leadership, metropolization and connectivity, Institutional development and participatory governance, Security and safety, social services, and Economic recovery.
Economic restart, employment
To address the problem of unemployment, the city’s employment office under Mayor Klarex Uy already facilitated the job placement of 5,131 residents. This substantially dents the almost double-digit unemployment rate in 2021 which reached 9.3% or around 30,000 unemployed persons according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Mayor Klarex Uy had approved the P8.289 billion Annual Investment Plan proposed by the City Development Council for 2023.
Of this, P3.5 billion or 43% will be for the pump-priming of the local economy; 38% for social services, and 18% for general services.
Mayor Klarex Uy underscored the need for very sound fiscal and financial management to fund the Anual Investment Plan (AIP). The Local Finance Committee is set to submit to the City Council the 2023 budget later this month.
The City Council has already started committee deliberations on the proposed fiscal incentives and economic reforms package, which the mayor had certified as urgent. The measures include the granting of a 20% discount to advance payers of 2023 and 2024 real property taxes and a 10% discount for those who will file their business and other local taxes on time.
To further improve the ease of doing business and spur back-to-life infrastructure, Mayor Klarex Uy has asked the City Council to pass ordinances to streamline the processing of Business Permits and Building Permits.
“Gusto nako nga daghan nga Kagay-anon ang makakuha ug mabulukon nga trabaho. Mahitabo kini kung makabalik-bakud ang mga negosyo nga naapektuhan sa pandemya, matukod pa ang daghan nga mga bag-o nga negosyo, ug madugangan ang mga tigpapatigayon o mga investors nga mosulod dinhi sa atong syudad,” (I want more jobs for Kagay-anons. This will only happen if our businesses affected by the pandemic restart; and more businesses open with investors coming to the city.), Uysaid.
Aside from discounts, his non-fiscal incentives package includes:
Relief on penalties for delinquent payers of Real Property Tax and Transfer Tax;
Relief on penalties for businesses operating without Mayor’s Permit, those who failed to retire their business permits, and those delinquent in paying business taxes;
Relief on the penalties imposed by Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA); and
Relief on lease payments by public market vendors.
Peace and order, traffic
To attract more investors and reinvigorate the economy, Mayor Klarex Uy worked to enhance the city’s peace and order situation. The city government is constructing prime real estate in the Divisoria area, the building of the Police Precinct 1 of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) in the City Hall-owned Post Office compound. He also ordered the speedy release of 10 Toyota Fortuner patrol cars from the 2022 budget. His family donated eight units of patrol big bikes.
In his speech, he asked the City Council to study and pass the necessary ordinances for the creation of the Oro Police Auxiliary and Special Cafgu Auxiliary Army to augment the city police and enhance the border security of the city.
He lauded the Cocpo for its 95.8 crime resolution rate.
On traffic, the mayor stopped the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) from collecting excessive fines, and to work for the implementation of the newly approved Local Public Transportation Route Plan which increased public utility transportation routes around the city from 53 to 78.
Dedicated local bureaucracy
To ensure the quality of City Hall services, Mayor Klarex Uy authorized the release of five-month salary differentials under the third tranche of the Salary Standardization Law, for regular, casual, and co-terminus employees.
Job orders were also given a reprieve as he retained job orders whose contracts ended on June 30, 2022. pending performance evaluation by department managers.
“Daghan nga mga empleyado ang nabalaka nga mapulihan ubos sa ako’ng administration. Apan wala ko dayon kini gihimo kay sakit sa ako’ng dughan nga adunay mawad-an ug trabaho nga mao ra gyud ang gisaligan para sa ila’ng pamilya. Apan naghatag ako ug pasidaan nga kinahanglan tarungon nato ang ato’ng mga trabaho sa paghatud sa serbisyo sa katawhan,” (Many employees were anxious they would be replaced by my administration. But I did not do it because it pains me to see people losing the jobs their families are dependent on. But I have given fair warning for them to do good and sincere in delivering services to the people.) Mayor Klarex Uy said in his 100-days address today at the City Hall Quadrangle.
Education, health, resilience
Mayor Klarex Uy also delivered on his campaign promise of continuity. In his first 100 days, he approved the construction of 50 classrooms and two technical learning education laboratories.
The city government-owned JR Borja General Hospital has also been on track in its quest to gain Level 2 classification from the Dept. of Health. Last month. Mayor Klarex Uy inaugurated the hospital’s dialysis center, CT scan facility, and molecular/ RT PCR laboratory. The Lumbia hospital is already open and the Tablon hospital set to open before the year ends.
On Covid 19 response, the city government is ramping up its vaccination drive to reach 90% vaccination of senior citizens and 50% of the population 12 years old and above.
Work has also started for the modern five-story building of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department.
Housing, social services
The City Housing and Urban Development Dept. has also unloaded backlogs in the distribution of houses to informal settler families with the distribution of 451 new dwellings and 57 home lot titles.
To ensure the efficient delivery of social services, the City Social Welfare and Development Dept has opened five district offices around the city.
Finally, Mayor Klarex Uy enjoins the City Council and agencies in the local bureaucracy to ensure the accomplishment of the Executive-Legislative Agenda that focuses on flood mitigation, modernization of public markets, more infrastructure, grassroots tourism development, and water sanitation and environment.