Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Zamboanga: SOCA 2022: Mayor Beng wraps up 9-year term accomplishments

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In her emotionally-charged State of the City Address (SOCA) Tuesday morning, Mayor Beng Climaco gave members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, city officials and the audience a walkthrough of city government’s significant achievements over the past nine years under her administration.

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She recalled that just three years after the 2013 siege, Zamboanga City was adjudged 1st place “Most Improved LGU” among 33 highly urbanized cities in the country and 4th “Most Resilient City in the Philippines” by the National Competitiveness Council, recognizing the ability of the city government to recover after a crisis. “We were also bestowed the ‘Seal of Good Local Governance’ by the DILG for two consecutive years based on indicators on economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure and resiliency.”

Climaco also took pride in having been recognized as the “Most Outstanding Mayor” by the Federation of Local Councils of Women in the Philippines in 2017 and among “World’s Best Mayors in 2018.”

“All these awards and recognitions are feats never before achieved by any administration. And with all these querido Zamboangueños, we can proudly say that we have shown the nation and the rest of the world that we are strong, that we are brave and that we are united in rebuilding a better Zamboanga. Mafuerza, Valiente y Unido,” she declared in her three-hour long address, which she appropriately titled it “Mi Ultimo SOCA 2022” as she will end her term on June 30, this year.

Amidst all the security threats and challenges after the siege, Climaco stressed “we have persevered and we have gained overwhelming results!”

For nine years, her administration put in a historic amount of more than ₱ 2.3 billion pesos in security, which was more than 200% higher in terms of appropriations on the city’s peace and order program compared to the nine years of the previous administration combined. “We have engaged an inclusive community of Christians, Muslims and Indigenous Peoples who contributed to the safety of our city. Human security is our priority not just for a safer and crime-free Zamboanga but we also envisioned the city to be disaster-ready able to respond to secure and save human lives.”

The mayor further stressed that the city government under the administration for nine years has been steadfast in its support to the security sector, turning over a plethora of vehicles and equipment in the total amount of ₱ 748 million, gave cash incentives and allowances to the PNP, TFZ, BFP and BJMP personnel amounting to ₱ 199 million and constructed security related infrastructure projects such as new police stations amounting to ₱ 249 Million.

These various forms of support also redound to the barangay level with the tanod and BINS receiving increased monthly allowances from P1,000 to P3,000 and starting this 2022 they will receive P4,000 of monthly honorarium. “All these will calibrate further our overall capacity in securing our communities and sustain our efforts in maintaining peace and order.”

One of the biggest projects of her administration in terms of security was the construction of the new Zamboanga City Police Office right at the back of City Hall, which was eventually adjudged as the country’s most outstanding police office in 2019 as it also houses the city’s multi-million peso command and surveillance center – a high-tech and digital approach with CCTV cameras and 911 hotline system to man the streets, prevent crimes and enhance the police’s crime solution efficiency.

Today, the city’s crime volume has smashed one record after another as it goes down every year in significant percentages because “we never let our guards down.” With the combined forces of the local police and Task Force Zamboanga, the city had neutralized and arrested almost a hundred Abu Sayyaf members, and maintained zero piracy with the arrest of culprits behind seajacking incidents.

She likewise reported the significant accomplishments in the campaign against illegal drugs, smuggling, illegal recruitment and human trafficking, including the arrest of most wanted persons in the city.

Last December, the city’s security forces also foiled a planned bombing attack on Zamboanga City, when the operating troops had recovered improvised explosive devices. In preventing this planned bomb attack, “we have again maintained the record of zero-bombing and zero-kidnapping in Zamboanga City since 2016!”

“This six-year record can never be put down by any administration. This is peace and order at its best in Zamboanga!” Climaco declared.

She likewise took pride of such a historic accomplishment being the chairperson of the Regional Peace and Order Council in Zamboanga Peninsula appointed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for six consecutive years. “Por sais años ya ta sale librao el Ciudad de Zamboanga na mal actos de terorismo. This is our formidable legacy on security!” Climaco said.

The thought of leaving the city government after nine years on June 30 made Climaco even more emotional and at some point in her address she even sobbed when she thanked everyone, from the city councilors down to the department heads and personal staff under the BC Team for their support and standing by her through difficult times.

She specially thanked the police, military and other law enforcement agencies for not failing in her marching order: “deny the enemy the opportunity to conduct terroristic activities in Zamboanga City”. (Vic Larato)

(Source: Beng Climaco Facebook page)

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