Lucena City Mayor Roderick ‘Dondon’ Alcala delivered his State of the City Address (SOCA) at the Session Hall of the Sangguniang Panlungsod on Monday, July 26.
Zeroing in on his local government’s successes despite coming into office in 2012 and “managing CALABARZON’s only highly urbanized city with a budget of only 650 million pesos”, Mayor Alcala highlighted the significant achievements, programs, and services that were successfully implemented under his tenure.
At the centerpiece of his social welfare program is the Yellow Card, which provide quality and expanded public service to the vulnerable and marginalized sectors of the city. Known for its “womb to tomb” services, the YC has over 100,000 beneficiaries.
The mayor is particularly proud of the education programs and the business environment which significantly improved since 2012.
The city’s own tertiary institution Dalubhasaan ng Lungsod ng Lucena is the first LUC (Local Universities Colleges) in Quezon to be granted HEI status by CHED. From three courses, it now offers nine academic programs including three board courses. And just recently, a DLL scholar Arwin Rocas Trinidad placed in the Top 5 of the Licensure Examination for Social Workers.
Alcala also reported a 25 percent increase in the number of businesses from 4,271 in 2012 to 5,333 as of July 2021. He said the city can look forward to more investments from business tycoons including Frederick Go of Robinsons Land Corp., Lucio Co of S&R and Pure Gold Price Club, Edgar Sia of Double Dragon Properties and Andrew Tan of Megaworld Corp.
The area where the new Lucena City Government Complex stood now will soon be a commercial hub due to the exit of SLEX TR 4 ending right at the Diversion Road in front of the complex. He thanked SMC Pres. Ramon Ang for this boost of development.
Mayor Alcala also underscored the city government’s accomplishments in public housing. In the entire Southern Luzon, Don Victor Ville is the first socialized housing initiative of a local government in partnership with PAG-IBIG Fund where 197 units have already been awarded to beneficiaries with 120 more units before the end of the year. Ongoing is the construction of five three-storey buildings, a Tenement Housing Project for 625 Informal Settler Families. Under the Resettlement Assistance Program for Local Government Units (RAP-LGUS) of the National Housing Authority, 77 housing units will be constructed for ISFs with 300 more in the second wave.
The city under Mayor Alcala will receive full marks for its contribution to the national government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program with the following infrastructures: Lucena City Government Complex, Lucena City Public Market, New Lucena City Police Station, New City Health Building, the restored Heritage Building which is the Old City Hall and the Lucena City Convention Center and Sports Complex.
With the pandemic of COVID-19, Mayor Alcala’s programs shifted and focused more on mitigating the effects of the health crisis.
The city government allocated P350 million budget for COVID-19 response measures, including the P6 million support to the first molecular laboratory in Quezon, located at Lucena United Doctor’s Hospital and Medical Center. The city also set up its own quarantine unit at the former Sulu Riviera Hotel, one of the first PHILHEALTH accredited isolation facilities in the region. Rolling stores were deployed to barangays making basic goods more accessible to the people during the lockdown.
Entering the second phase in its fight against COVID-19, the city aims to complete the immunization of its people. To ramp up the vaccination program, the city rolled out its offsite vaccination at the two big malls in the city.
Mayor Alcala ends with a resounding message for the Lucenahins.
“Whatever we have achieved in the course of our journey, know that you have been the central and most important capital resource of our progress.”