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Balaoan lady mayor lawyer Aleli U. Concepcion made good her election promise to double her accomplishments during her term as she delivered before the town’s multi-sectoral group of citizens representing the government and the private sector her first State of the Municipality Address  at the Balaoan Farmers Civic Center on June 30, 2017 highlighting the accomplishments of her administration in its  first year which the people saw as a confirmation of her determination to fulfill her promises when she assumed office last year.

In her more than 40-minute SOMA that was applauded several times by an audience of select members of the community, national line agency representatives and non-government and civic organizations, mayor Concepcion reported that during her first 365 days in office, peace and order situation greatly improved; financial resources continued to grow; programmed infrastructure were completed; agricultural production remained healthy; health, sanitation and nutrition were sustained; educational support improved, adequate social welfare services was assured, environmental protection was secured and disaster preparedness was ensured.

She said that some 212 legislative measures had been passed by the local Sangguniang Bayan that addressed the different concerns of the municipality.

The lady mayor credited the Sangguniang Bayan for having doubled the number of NGOs accredited in local special bodies compared to the past years; reclassified properties as to their actual uses; restored proper traffic order in the public market; authorized the creation of a municipal corporate website; granted death benefit to heirs of indigent senior citizens, regulated  the use of plastic and Styrofoam including  the sale and distribution of firecrackers and allowed the installation of a free public WIFI system, among other legislations.

Incaric idi nga aramidek ti amin a kabaelak so I can approximate the work done before me and double the accomplishments,” mayor Concepcion said.

The town mayor said that all these things have been accomplished through the collective efforts of every member of the community, the municipal council, departments heads, NGOs, municipal employees and even volunteers  who were the real partners of the municipality in these undertakings. She thanked the provincial government headed by Gov. Pacoy Ortega for the financial and other assistance to the barangays and to all the town’s constituents.

Health services made for everyone

The town chief executive said that during the first year of her administration much has been undertaken in all areas of health and sanitation concerns ranging from maternal and child care, assistance to persons with disability, tuberculosis control to  blood letting activities, zero defacation campaign and other services.

Mayor Concepcion said that different vaccinations have been applied to infants to maintain their health like BCG, hepa B, measles and mumps. Undernourished children were provided micro nutrients and vitamin supplementation.  Deworming and circumsition were also administered to indigent children. Expectant mothers were given free checkups and provisions of  ferrous sulfate, folic acid and vitamins to ensure health of mothers and newborn babies. Breast feeding was encouraged and so with the conduct of the Talakayang Buntis as a venue to discuss topics on pre and post natal care, breastfeeding, immunization and family planning.

The lady mayor said that the municipality adheres to contraceptive self-reliance by allocating annually for family planning supplies and contraceptives and making them available for free.

She said that the municipality has also conducted Pabasa sa Nutrisyon in the different barangays on ways to healthy living, intensified its blood letting campaign to ensure adequate blood pool for needy residents, continued with its anti-tuberculosis drive and provided assisting devices as wheelchairs, walkers and canes to the municipality’s Persons With Disability.

“These various programs provided by the Municipal Health Office had its share of appreciation. We were awarded as the Best Performing LGU for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition in December 2016 by the Department of Health Region I” , mayor Concepcion said.

Made social assistance available

The municipal mayor said that the municipality has not neglected the plight of the poor and underprivileged in the municipality by partnering with the national government agencies in the continuing enrolment of indigent families to the Medicare Para sa Masa Program; facilitating skills and livelihood trainings like swine production and fattening, goat production and management, pre-licensing course for security guards, carpentry, meat processing, dressmaking and welding; distribution of social pension to indigent senior citizens and cash for work and emergency shelter aid to victims of typhoons; and providing jail inmates in the municipal district jail with hygiene kits and food packs.

The lady mayor said that the town’s partnership with the DSWD in the implementation of productive undertakings for the 4Ps beneficiaries has earned the municipality its recognition as the Most Functional Municipal Action Team for 2016.

Under her administration, some P500,000 pesos was allocated for the assistance to indigents in crisis situation, the town’s disabled persons were formally organized and heirs of indigent senior citizens were given death benefit assistance.

She said that the municipality has also undertaken rehabilitation work on several of the town’s day care centers, purchased new educational learning materials for daycare pupils and increased the allowances of day care workers citing them for their hardwork .

She complimented Almeida daycare worker Imelda Bongolan for being chosen one of the Ten Outstanding Day-Care workers in the province during the recent foundation Anniversary of La Union. Ms. Bongolan has under her ward Ayeisha Ashley Chang who placed 1st in the Draw and Tell Competition during the provincial celebration of Childrens Month this year.

“I am happy to report that our local council for the protection of children received a 110% rating during the evaluation of its functionality last March which overwhelmingly shows that Balaoan is indeed a child-friendly municipality. Accordingly, we received the Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance for 2016 just this Wednesday, June 28,” mayor Concepcion said.

Assured disasters preparedness

Underscoring the need for preparedness and the safety of victims during times of calamities, the municipal chief executive said that the municipality has already installed its own early warning system device in the form of a municipal siren system to alert citizens during typhoons and heightened its information campaigns and basic life support trainings in the schools and the barangays.

“In just a few months, you can expect nga adda metten emergency response vehicle tayon,” she said.

She said that the municipality has also prioritized the construction of a fully-equipped evacuation center on a lot that was recently bought by the municipality in Brgy. Butubut Oeste.

Properly managed the environment

“No environmental protection met ti pagsasaritaan, saan a maudi ti Balaoan. We are in the forefront. In the provincial search for the cleanest, safest and greenest municipality (1st to 3rd class category), Balaoan was the Provincial Winner and we represented La Union in the Regional Search where we won 1st Runner-Up honors,” mayor Concepcion said.

She said that her administration has intensified the town’s solid waste management program by rehabilitating its sanitary landfill to accommodate bigger volume of wastes, providing it with a backhoe loader and plastic granulator and extending the material recovery facility (MRF) to allow for the storage of recovered waste. A vermiculture project was also put up in the site for composting of biodegradable waste and regular cleanup drives, mangrove planting, and tree planting activities were.

The local chief executive said that on June 27, the municipality was given the Implementer of Solid Waste Management in the Public Market Award by the Environmental Managment Bureau for its effective waste water treatment facility in the public market, among others.

“In fact, officials from Tigaon, Camarines Norte headed by Mayor Pamela Rinah B. Fuentebella visited our Sanitary Landfill, Sea Urchin Farm, Public Market and selected barangays to observe and emulate our good practices when it comes to clean and green,” she said.

She lauded the town’s 2017 Earth Day Celebrations last March attended by some 4,000 participants.

Boosted agriculture and fisheries

The municipal chief executive said that her administration to continue implementing different programs on agriculture like farm modernization and organic farming and in fisheries by providing fishing gears and paraphernalia to community fisherfolks.

“Ninayunan tayo pay iti suporta iti hybrid ken certified seeds tapnu dumakkel iti produksyon tayo. Malaksid kadagitoy, tinulungan tayo pay nga maparang-ay iti livestock production,” mayor Concepcion said.

She cited the only Rice Processing Center in the whole of La Union in Brgy. Bet-Ang that was awarded to the San Pablo Multi-Purpose Cooperative under Mr. Paterno Opena which was made possible through the partnership of the Department of Agriculture, PGLU and LGU Balaoan.

The local chief executive also said that gillnet materials, fishing gears and drying tools were distributed to local fisherfolks to improve their catch and soon a Community Fish Landing Center will be built in the coastal barangay of Paraoir in collaboration with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

Prudently managed financial resources

Mayor Concepcion reported that as of May 31, 2017, the total finances of the municipality has now reached more than P309 million which is an  aggregate  of its accumulated savings in 2016 and 2017, share from the tobacco excise taxes, and other income sources and these are all intact with the Land Bank and DBP.

“Rest assured that all our money is intact and properly accounted for”, she emphasized.

She said that when she assumed office last year, the total finances which she inherited from the past administration was more that P 33 million. At the end of 2016, the total income of the municipality registered at less than P113 million from business taxes and licenses and real property taxes collected and shares from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA). During the same year, the town posted and accumulated savings of more than P45 million after netting out more than P 102 million in expenditures.

The lady mayor said that despite its expenditures , the municipality still posted savings of 2016 amounting to more than P45 million without sacrificing any program or project and without neglecting any of our mandatory obligations in utilities, market loan amortizations and contributions to GSIS, BIR, Philhealth and others,” the lady chief executive said.

“Ipanamnamac cadacayo pagraemak nga kakailiak nga haan tayo nga gumastos nu haan nga rumbeng, nu haan nga kasapulan. We will continue to implement sound fiscal management started by the past administration. Iti kwarta ti ili, kwarta iti amin nga umili, para iti pagsayaatan iti ili,” she assured.

The town mayor said that in January, her administration has operationalized its Business One Stop Shop for a simplified, unified and customer-friendly process of obtaining and renewing business licenses and permits and inviting concerned government agencies as DTI, Philhealth, GSIS, SSS, and Pagibig to set up their desks here. The municipality has also recently launched its Balaoan Negosyo Center in partnership with DTI.

Built more infrastructure

The town chief executive reported that some P200 milllion worth of infrastructure projects have already been completed and some P34 million which are ongoing from the time of her assumption to office to the end of May this year consisting mainly of farm to market roads, irrigation canals, health stations, multi-purpose buildings, water impounding structures, riprapping of creeks and many others funded by the municipality’s share in the tobacco excise taxes, bottom up government budgeting (BUB) initiatives and local funds.

Among the that are yet to be  finished are the improvement of the Balaoan Farmers Civic Center, Napaset Farmers Multi-purpose Building and Cabuaan drainage canals. The major funding source for the town’s projects come from its share in the tobacco excise taxes.

“Last year, iti share tayo ket agarup 320 million, the biggest in the entire province. For 2017 met, iti namnamaen tayo nga maala nga 7171 share ket haan nga bumaba ngem 700 million pesos,” mayor Concepcion said.

She said that because of the various infrastructure projects that were completed, the municipality  was ranked first in the entire Region and 79th nationwide under the Infrastructure Category in the 2016 Cities and Municipalities Competitive Index conferred by the National Competitiveness Council.

Supported educational programs and projects

Emphasizing that the people, especially the youth are the town’s greatest assets. The town mayor committed to students and teachers her administration’s 100% support in their undertakings.

She said that her administration has given priority to making classrooms and schools conducive to learning by undertaking repairs in the elementary schools of Ar-arampang, Bungol, Apatut, Nagsabaran Sur Guinaburan and Pantar Sur with funds from the Special Education Fund and constructed a stage for the Butubut National High School. Kindergarten teachers on the other were provided with educational supplies and materials for their pupils.

The town mayor gave emphasis to the municipality’s scholarship endowment under the Balaoan Academic Scholarship Assistance (BASA) program citing success stories like that of Ms. Joy Estela of Bulbulala who as a BASA scholar, graduated Cum Laude with a baccalaureate degree in Industrial Education from the DMMMSU-MLUC and for sometime was employed with the local government till she obtained her licensure in teaching. Ms. Estela is now teaching at the Castor Z. Concepcion Memorial National High School upon the mayor’s recommendation.

She said that the municipality continues to partner with DOLE to employ students under its  Special Program for the Employment of Students or SPES. For 2016, the municipal government has employed 33 students and this year, 36 students. The LGU shoulders 60% of their salary while DOLE shoulders 40%.

Worked for peace and order

The municipality continued to work hand in hand with the local police station for the maintenance of peace and order and supported its different programs like the Anti-Criminality Action Plan, Operation Double Barrel on illegal drugs and Anti-Illegal Gambling campaign and in 2016 its total crime solution efficiency went up to 95%. The municipal government also sponsored a License To Own and Possess Firearm (LTOPF) Caravan here in Balaoan in support of the PNP’s campaign against loose and unregistered firearms.

“Maragsacanac nga ipakaammo cadacayo apo nga all 34 drug-affected barangays have been cleared as of May 2017. 2 apo nga barangay iti haan nga affected. Agdama apo nga ilaklakad iti papeles tayo diay PDEA tapnu madeklara ti ili tayun nga Drug-Free,” the mayor sa

To show how determined her administration is in the fight against drugs, the LGU sponsored the drug test of all municipal officials and employees, barangay officials, tanods, inmates and even PNP and BJMP personnel. It has also donated a lot to the PNP for the construction of its own police station.

“Ipannakel tayo met apo ta iti Balaoan Police Station iti nominee iti Region 1 nga makisalisal para iti Best Municipal Police Station nationwide ,” the municipal mayor said.

Towards the end of her SOMA, the municipal mayor commended the Sangguniang Bayan under the leadership of Municipal Vice Mayor lawyer Al-Fred O. Concepcion for shepherding important legislations during the first year of her term by passing 147 resolutions and 65 ordinances addressing various concerns of the municipality.

Among the notable ones passed by the sangguniang bayan were the grant of death benefits to heirs of indigent amounting to P2,500; regulation in the use of plastic and Styrofoam and the sale and distribution of firecrackers; reclassification of

Lands to their actual use; accreditation of civil society organizations in local special bodies; restoration of traffic order in the public market; installation of free public WIFI and creation of a municipal corporate website and SSS social insurance coverage to non-permanent LGU employees among other things.

“Rest assured that I, as your local chief executive, and the Sangguniang Bayan are working together like a well-oiled machine to ensure that all issues and concerns in the community are addressed,” the municipal chief executive said.

She reported that the municipality has also increased its financial support to Barangay Antonino which has no budget of its own from the P450 thousand to P600 thousand annually. The municipal government has managed to have the provincial government’s financial assistance to the said barangay also increased to P600 thousand per year. It has also invited the Provincial Appraisal Committee to appraise the lots that were idenbtified as possible sited for the construction of its barangay hall .

She said that the computerization of entries in the local civil registry office via the Philcris of the Philippine Statistics Authority and the Free Patent Titling of agricultural lands and Tax Declaration to Free Patent with the DENR are ongoing and so with the appraisal and assessment of machineries like ATMs. Water refilling statins and gas stations.

She added that the municipality is currently implementing the Community Based Monitoring Survey which would be the source of social and economic data to customize the town’s programs and projects.

She said that the health and wellness of the people is being promoted with activities like the ZumBalaoan done on Wednesdays and Fridays at the Balaoan Farmers Civic Center.

Mayor Concepcion ended her SOMA by saying that “we will not rest on our laurels because a lot can still be done to better out beloved town. What is good can still be made better, and what is better can still be made better and better until it becomes the best because the people of Balaoan deserve nothing less.”

Tuloy Ang Aksyon! Aksyon Itan…Balaoan!

Official Website of Municipality of Balaoan