AS the city of Parañaque reaches new heights in its quest to become a modern metropolis, Mayor Florencio Bernabe, Jr. credits good governance as the key element to the many achievements that the city has made since he took office in 2004 with the goal to effect real change that residents can both see and appreciate.
The mayor believes that in order for real change and progress to come about, a public official must put his personal interest aside and concentrate on the needs of the city and its residents which is the essence of what governance is all about. He also said that this is achieved by identifying the key issues that need to be addressed and formulate concrete and feasible solutions that would solve them.
“Being tuned in to the needs of our constituents is vital for any kind of change to take effect because the many programs and projects that we implement must put the welfare of our constituents first and foremost.”, Mayor Bernabe said. The mayor added that maintaining open communication with residents and keeping up with the latest trends in technology have also contributed to the city’s progress.
With a deep emphasis on fast delivery of public services as well as improving the lives of its residents, the mayor’s programs and projects are also geared towards protecting the environment. It has sustained its efforts in preventing the despoliation of the Parañaque River and adopted environmentally-friendly programs including the adoption of the waste segregation, recycling and composting schemes. To improve the capabilities of barangay government units, the city government provided them with dump trucks to ensure the fast collection of garbage.
In terms of infrastructure, it has repaired roads, rehabilitated sidewalks and installed streetlights, making travels convenient and safe for both pedestrians and motorists even at night time. It has constructed new schools, particularly in barangays where there used to be none thereby resolving the issue of overcrowding among students; producing a more conducive atmosphere for education; and promoting various youth and sports programs, giving the young citizens a venue and a forum to channel their energies more productively.
It has boosted the city’s crime-fighting capabilities by installing the state-of-the-art surveillance and monitoring system, Close Circuit TV cameras, in particular in several parts of the city, enabling law enforcement operatives to quickly respond to a potential criminal situation. The city government also supplied the local police with new patrol cars and motorcycles; firearms and ammunition; communication equipment and computers; and provided them with a new headquarters which it shares with the city’s fire department. As a result, crime solution efficiency rating increased while crime rate dipped. Similarly, the city now has less fire incidents. It has also solved the issue of overcrowding among inmates with the construction of a new jail facility.
It has made great strides in terms of healthcare with the implementation of the Adult Reproductive Friendly Reproductive Health Service which has benefited the youth of the city, likewise with the adoption of the Urban H.E.A.R.T. (Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool) which effected the balanced distribution of health resources and materials to the different health centers in the city. One direct result of this program is the San Martin de Porres Birthing Facility which is the first public lying-in clinic in the Second District of the city. With this additional birthing facility, the city government continues to lower the infant death mortality rate as well as the maternal death ratio. The Florencio V. Bernabe, Sr. Memorial Hospital now has a new extension wing and additional medical equipment for expanded service to the city’s poor residents. The Parañaque Elite Rescue Unit was created by the City Health Office on orders of Mayor Bernabe to respond to medical emergencies. It is on a 24/7 status.
The city government continues to care for the disadvantaged sector including persons with disabilities (PWDs); indigents; women victims of violence; abused and abandoned children. It periodically issues Philhealth cards to poor residents of the city. Senior citizens continue to enjoy benefits under the law. In addition, the city government builds multi-purpose halls for their recreation and social activities and sponsors programs for their entertainment and health. The socialized housing program of the city government has given birth to 30 Gawad Kalinga villages. This is the second biggest number among local government units in the National Capital Region.
Apart from good governance, the mayor credits the many accomplishments made in the city through the efforts of city officials and workers who have dedicated themselves towards the socio-economic improvement of Parañaque.(Public Information Office)
Agree? – (Editor’s Note)