NAGA CITY — Mayor John G. Bongat delivered his 1st State of the City Report that covered his first six months as Naga’s local chief executive.
Dubbed “Pag-Paabot sa Banwaan,” Bongat’s report took place during the regular session of the SangguniangPanlungsod on Tuesday, Jan. 25, with Vice Mayor Gabriel H. Bordado Jr., presiding the session.
The session and the mayor’s report was held at the Arrupe Convention Hall of the Ateneo de Naga University because the occasion needed a bigger venue for the city’s stakeholders who listened and interacted with the chief executive’s maiden report to the city.
An open forum hosted by veteran broadcaster Elmer Abad followed the mayor’s address where Bongat answered questions from a panel of the city’s stakeholders representing various sectors, such as business, transport, professionals, urban poor, youth, and the academe, among others.
In his address, the mayor presented to the people the city’s budget for 2011, which seeks to strengthen the city government’s services with utmost impact on the life of the ordinary Nagueño and lay the groundwork for a more efficient bureaucracy.
Bongat, when he assumed office, launched Naga SMILES, which focuses on six key areas that he believed will propel the city to its next stage of development after the administration of then mayor and now DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Acknowledging that Naga under Robredo’s watch has been pretty successful in the area of good governance and urban development, Bongat said “my duty is to make our city an even better place for Nagueños and an even better place for others to (S)ee, and where others can (M)eet, (I)nvest, (L)ive, (E)xperience and (S)tudy in as well.”
As culled from the executive budget earlier submitted to the Sanggunian for endorsement and approval, the 2011 budget, placed at P609 million, foresees a revenue increase of P83.3 million, which makes it 16 percent higher than last year’s.
Bongat said that under his proposed budget, internal revenue allotment (IRA) will account for only 52 percent of the total projected income, the rest to be contributed by business taxes at 17 percent, economic enterprises at 9 percent, real property taxes at 6 percent, and the remaining 15 percent by various fees, charges and transfers.
“The increase in real property taxes will be driven both by new property development and by the relaxation of the cap this year from the previous year’s 25 percent,” Bongat said, adding that property taxes will further be boosted by regional magnets in the city and the forthcoming commercial developments by local businessmen in partnership with national conglomerates, and new business entrants this year.
The second part of the State of the City report was the awarding of prizes for the contest for the best conceptual design for revitalizing the Naga River. It was followed by the awarding of the city’s top taxpayers in two categories: Top 20 national corporations, Top 10 local corporations and Top 10 individuals in the business tax category, and; Top 15 corporations and Top 5 individuals in the real property tax category.
The third part of the program was the formal launching of the 2011 Naga City Mayoral Awards by Mayor Bongat with a brief presentation by J. Antonio Amparado, chair of the 2011 mayoral awards committee.
The Naga SMILES website was also launched during the occasion. The City Development Council (CDC) meeting to be chaired by the city mayor with various sectoral representatives as participatants was also conducted.