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Zamboanga Mayor Climaco vows more reforms, pro-poor programs

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(Zamboanga Post)

THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT continues to introduce various reforms and pro-poor programs aimed at further improving the lives of the people here and bring more progress and development to Zamboanga.

For the past 6 years of the administration of Mayor Beng Climaco, the City Government had spent about P2.272 billion for the education sector, and P661 million for health, P1.427 billion for security, P585 million for social services and P3.55 billion for barangay development programs.

Climaco said Security, Health and Education (SHE) Program of her administration will remain her top priority to ensure public order and safety as she vowed to make Zamboanga one of the most progressive and peaceful cities in the South.

She said with the steady growth of businesses and influx of investors here the past 6 years, the local government is bent on improving its tax collection efficiency with projected target income of P4.1 billion, which is also Zamboanga’s annual budget next year.

Climaco appealed for the cooperation and support of barangay officials in the implementation of plans and programs espoused by President Rodrigo Duterte and her administration under the Executive Legislative Agenda with special emphasis on the anti-drug campaign, including the local traffic situation, potable water supply, electricity, garbage collection and disposal, and informal settlers.

She said the City Government will also provide financial subsidy to each of the 98 barangays in the amount of P250,000 for strengthening the Barangays Anti-Drug Abuse Council, and finance the operations of the Violence Against Women and Children Council Desk, and for fuel, repair and maintenance of city garbage truck or dump truck, and another P5,000 will be allocated for barangay festival or tourism-related programs.

But Climaco stressed that it is very important for all the barangays to comply with all the rules and regulations in the preparation of their individual budget. She also reiterated this during the recent Barangay Budget Administration Forum where the mayor briefed officials on the expenditure directions of her administration for Fiscal Year 2020.

In the forum initiated by the City Budget Office, Climaco gave greater focus on ensuring the implementation of projects and programs to be funded by the local government. The barangays are expected to request funding for projects that can be implemented within the year.

“Before you want projects to be done in the barangays, please make sure the necessary documents are submitted to the concerned offices,” Climaco told barangay officials during the forum held at Patio Palmeras in Barangay Santa Maria.

She stressed on continued adaption of reforms on public financial management systems, specifically the timely submission of the Annual Investment Program (AIP) to the City Planning Office. “Only barangays with AIP will be given priority in funding due to limited budget,” Climaco said. The City Budget Office said at least 42 barangays have no AIP.