MBTF: Dagupan at its strongest state since 1947


DAGUPAN has overcome the difficult challenges and succeeded in, transforming itself into a robust, stable economy never before seen since it attained cityhood in 1947.

This in essence was the State of the City Address (SOCA) that  Mayor Belen T. Fernandez delivered during a special session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod at CSI Stadia on March 20.

“For the last five years, the sun has always been shining in Dagupan. The fruits of our labor cannot be dimmed, darkened nor concealed — it simply cannot be done, neither by wizardry nor magic,” said Fernandez in a fiery speech that was also directed against peddlers of fake news.   

Mayor Fernandez delivers her fifth State of the City Address during a special session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. (CIO photos by Arriz Fruelda and Jojo Tamayo)

The mayor revealed that the city is now the richest local government unit in the entire province and the Ilocos region after breaking into the threshold of P1.010 billion pesos in 2019. This, she said, marks the fastest and highest economic growth rate in the city’s history, as compared to a measly P512 million in 2012 during the past administration.

Fernandez also revealed the influx of new investors to the city with the help of the Dagupan City Investment and Development Board that ensured investors their entry will be facilitated.

Among the new major players that came were Filinvest Land Inc., SM Supermall, the City Mall, Sta. Lucia Land Development for Almeria Verde as well as ACE Hospital.

“Dagupan is in its finest and strongest state than when we first found it in 2013. How did we do it? We were uncompromising and forceful – walang korapsyon, walang tong-pats, walang red tape, walang ghost projects, at walang magic,” intoned Fernandez.

Responsible fiscal management has led the city to register its highest cash surplus yet of P178 million in 2018. This is the fifth consecutive cash surplus of the city and so far the biggest in a decade.

With the city being awash with cash, city employees were able to enjoy a bigger windfall. Dagupan marked its highest appropriation for additional bonuses in 2018 at P22 million, as compared to zero in 2010 under the past city administration.

Market collections have nearly doubled from P37 million in 2010 to P71.8 million in 2018 while restroom collections reached an all-time high last year at P9.8 million, compared to only P655,000 in 2010.

“I am often asked: What do we do with all these money? Mga kaibigan, ang sagot ko: Lahat napupunta sa serbisyo. Serbisyo para sa tao, para sa bayan, para sa lahat – katumbas ng lahat ng inyong pagtitiwala at pagmamahal,” said Fernandez.

She reported the achievements of each department in city hall.

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