Team Belen-BK assures another pro-poor, pro people administration
THE Team Belen-BK will continue its vigilance to safeguard the people’s money to ensure that this will be returned to the people in terms of meaningful services and projects and not to somebody else’s pockets.
This was the assurance made by Vice Mayor Bryan Kua at the rally in Bonuan Gueset last week, as he reiterated that he and former Mayor Belen Fernandez will ensure that every centavo of taxes paid by the people of Dagupan City will be used to improve their lives.
Citing programs started by then Mayor Fernandez, Team Belen-BK will continue to support youth and sports activities, scholarship program, health care of senior citizens and will resume its focus on creating more jobs and livelihood for the people.
He vowed that their administration will completely eliminate “kotong” and corruption while speeding up the delivery of basic services to the people, like the distribution of “ayudas” regardless of political affiliations, and more importantly, will restore the PhilHealth insurance to indigents that was denied them by the current city administration.
Vice Mayor Kua is seeking a second term of office while Fernandez is seeking to return to her old post as mayor of Dagupan City.
Meanwhile, Fernandez assured she will again bring about another pro-poor and pro-people city administration in keeping with the hallmark of the President Ramon Magsaysay in the 1950s that said “those who have less in life should have more in laws”.
She said she will again be a 24/7 mayor, unlike the current mayor who is seldom seen in his office and instead has other people run the affairs of the government in his place.
Fernandez recalled that when she was still at the helm, she had to wake up early to conduct an early morning inspection of the public market and only managed to go home to rest in the middle of the night, but not after attending to requests for assistance by people needing help.
Informed by indigents citizens that they have been deprived of PhilHealth insurance by the incumbent city administration, Fernandez assured that restoring PhilHealth coverage will be one of her priorities when she returns to office in order to free the poor of any expenses when they get sick and hospitalized.
“Kawawa ang mga mahihirap dahil sadyang pinabayaan sila sa loob ng dalawang taon o mag-iikatlong taon na”, Fernandez sighed.
Some former scholars of Fernandez, many of whom are now teachers, accountants, engineers and have gone to the U.S. to seek greener pastures, thanked Fernandez profusely, for without her help, they would not have been able to get out from poverty they and their parents were in.
A former scholar of Fernandez recounted that because her parents were too poor to send her to college, she decided to work as housemaid of a family in Baguio. But before she left for Baguio, she took a chance and applied for a scholarship offered by the Dagupan City government.
While she was doing her home chores, she received a text message from her mother informing her that she was selected by Mayor Fernandez as one of her scholars. She was overjoyed, tearfully bid goodbye to her employers and hurriedly went back to Dagupan to be one of Fernandez’ scholars.
After four years and after passing the examination for teachers, she was taken in to teach in one of the public elementary schools in Dagupan, and is now able to help provide for her parents, and to send her siblings to school.
Then Fernandez recalled that Dagupan became the richest city in Region 1 under her watch in 2018, the only billionaire city in Region 1 by posting a revenue collection of P1.1 billion. This distinction is lost under the current administration. She said she aims to recover all that’s lost and vowed to institute an effective fiscal administration that is corruption-free.
Fernandez said when she took over the helm in 2013 after being vice mayor for six years, the city had a deficit of P37 million and at that time was unable to pay its electricity and water consumption and contractors.
By moderating expenses and by implementing a strict belt-tightening measures and by intensifying collection of fees and revenues, she was able to turn around the economy of Dagupan and able to pay all unpaid bills and contractors.
Malimgas Market also became an earning enterprise, from a losing enterprise under the previous administration, enabling the city to pay all the loans obtained by the city from the Land Bank of the Philippines that bankrolled the construction of the same. (Leonardo Micua)
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