SOCA 2020: Climaco spells out projects under P4.266 billion budget

Mayor Beng Climaco rolled out in her State of the City Address (SOCA) yesterday what she described an even bigger budget marking another history in the city government of Zamboanga at the whooping amount of P4.266 billion.

“This time, we must think big and dream even bigger for Zamboanga,” Climaco declared in her 1 hour and 30 minutes address during the maiden session of the City Council even as she stressed that her administration remains faithful to its purpose of improving the well-being and social needs of her constituents.

She said a sizeable bulk of this year’s budget has allocated for the social services sector with its 43% fractional share. “The overall standing of this sector in this year’s total allocation clearly manifests our unceasing efforts to promote Security, Health and Education above all else – these have always been the battle cry of this administration since day one.”

Also allocated was P100 million for the “Largo Vida” Program for senior citizens for their daily maintenance medicines, P26 million for their birthday cash incentives and P6 million for their free cinema.

This year, for the very first time, 500 Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) will soon have their cash incentives from the city government by virtue of City Ordinance No. 505 with the approved amount of P1,000 each, amounting to a total of P5 million for them to enjoy yearly.

The city government will also construct Zamboanga’s very own “Balay Silangan” in Pasonanca in the amount of P10 million as an in-house reformation center for drug offenders and a new building for the expansion of the Mendicants Center in Culianan at P5 million.

The 2020 budget also included allocation for the completion of the ongoing climate-change resilient school buildings at Don Gregorio Evangelista Memorial School in Sta. Catalina, Arena Blanco West Elementary School, Calabasa Elementary School, Landang Gua Elementary School, Upper Pasonanca Elementary School, Sinubong National High School, Mercedes Central School, Vitali Central School, Boalan Elementary School, Cristino M Paragas Memorial Elementary School in Quiniput, Baluno Elementary School, Canelar Elementary School, Lunzuran Elementary School, Pasobolong Elementary School, Sinubong Elementary School, Rio Hondo Elementary School and at the Zamboanga City High School Main, all amounting to P306 million.

Adding up to the number, the mayor said is an P80-million worth of school building at the Colegio de la Ciudad de Zamboanga plus the hiring of additional teachers, personnel and staff to expand the operation and programs of the new Local City College.

Further rehabilitation and improvement of the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex at P30 million and at the Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum at P40 million are also underway this 2020 to include rehabilitation and improvement of the main public market and Sta. Cruz Commercial Complex all at P8.7 million.

Yesterday’s SOCA, Climaco’s 7th since she assumed office in 2013, the mayor assured to put up resettlement and evacuation centers in the amount of P150 million and will continue to fund the site development of the CDRRM Building with Command Center in Cabatangan at P30 million which will eventually serve as the command, control and coordination unit on all emergency responses in the city.-(Vic Larato)