DAGUPAN CITY–Mayor Belen Fernandez revealed that Dagupan is now one of the leading and celebrated stars among cities in the Philippines that are now seeking to break into the league of the top 10 cities in the country.
“No one could have imagined Dagupan would get to where we are now in a short span of time,” she said, citing the latest Philippine Competitiveness Index, where the city has been adjudged as the most improved among all cities in Region 1.
Noticeably, in this competitive index, Dagupan advanced in ranking while its neighbors declined, she added.
From 2013 to 2016, Dagupan made a big leap by landing in the number 15 spot among cities throughout the country in the Philippine Competitiveness Index.
The city for four straight years has closed the books with an actual revenue growth from P512 million in 2010 to P756 million in 2016.
Fernandez started her term in 2013 and was reelected for another three years in office in 2016.
“I am happy to report that we have consistently posted exponential cash surplus for four straight years, capped by our strongest showing in 2016 by an all time high of more than 120 million pesos,” said Fernandez.
The aggressive tax mapping, collection efficiency strategies and issuance of notice of delinquencies also resulted in improved collections in business taxes and license fees from P37 million in 2010 to P67 million in 2016.
The operation of the city’s renovated restrooms continues to be impressive, notching a spike in earnings from P650,000 in 2010 to more than P7 million in one year.
“Our strong finance has made it possible for us to grant full productivity and performance-based incentives and hefty 13th and 14th month bonuses to our 583-strong personnel of the Dagupan City government, and saved enough to meet the incremental increases to the base pay of our employees pursuant to the provisions of the Salary Standardization Law IV,” said Fernandez.
Under her term, Dagupan was only among a few LGUs granting 14th pay to its workers.
Overtime pay has also gone down to its historic lowest level and prevented waste of government resources by rationalizing work implementation from P10 million in 2010 to P3.6 million in 2016.
Mayor Fernandez also managed to bring allocation of resources for donation down to its lowest levels in the city’s history from P53 million in 2011 to P9 million in 2016.
She adopted reasonable austerity measures and brought down the city’s foreign travel spending from P885 million in 2011 to zero in 2016, “because I am spending my own money”.
She also instilled discipline in repair and maintenance of the city’s equipment, fuel expenses and supplies.
In the repair and maintenance of construction and heavy equipment the city incurred only P469,000 expenses in 2016 from P2 million in 2011 while in the repair and maintenance of the city’s motor vehicles, the city incurred only P2 million expenses in 2016 from P3 million in 2011.
Fuel expenses went down from P10 million in 2011 to P5 million in 2016 and office supplies from P7 million in 2011 to P5 million in 2016.
“We ended the era of wanton waste of government resources, which has been abused for so many years without sacrificing quality public service,” she added.
In the middle of 2013, the past city administration left a negative P34 million budget but through belt-tightening and moderation of expenses, this turned into a P1.2 million surplus for the next six months