Election 2016: Agenda of the Tagum City mayor | Inquirer News

Election 2016: Agenda of the Tagum City mayor

/ 06:10 AM April 10, 2016

THE INQUIRER is coming out today with the eighth in its series on people’s  pressing concerns that should be high on the agenda of candidates for representative, governor or mayor in the May 9 elections. The series should help voters in the provinces choose their leaders wisely. In line with our “ThINQ. Vote.” advocacy, we have asked candidates in certain provinces, cities and congressional districts to outline their concrete plans of action in dealing with specific issues in their areas.

Profile: Tagum City

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TAGUM CITY is a highly urbanized first-class component city (annual income: over P400 million) and capital of Davao del Norte province. It has a total population of 242,801, with 112,831 registered voters, as of the 2010 census.

Largely dependent on agriculture, Tagum has vast plantations of Cavendish banana for export. The city is also dependent on the service sector. It has three shopping malls now and two more, including one owned by the Robinsons Group, are due to open within the next few years.

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Strategically located where Mindanao’s busiest arteries intersect, Tagum is a melting pot of the cultures of the lumad (indigenous) from the hinterlands of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley provinces and those of settlers from the Visayas. It has 23 barangay with a total area of 195.80 square kilometers (19,580 hectares).

According to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), Tagum posted a poverty incidence rate of 15 percent in 2009, fourth lowest among cities and municipalities in the Davao Region, and way below the national average of 26.3 percent.

CRIMINALITY

A recent spate of violent incidents in Tagum such as car theft, robbery and killings, particularly that of a Compostela Valley town police chief in March, has raised questions about the capability of local authorities to  curb crime.

Allan Rellon (PDP-Laban)

Strengthen force multipliers such as communication groups and other civil organizations to augment the shortage of policemen.

Provide training and logistical support to the city police such as additional pedicab patrols and Rouser motorcycles and unlimited rice and fuel subsidies, as well as marksmanship training for local Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) operators.

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Extend support to and strengthen linkages with the Philippine Army in the fight against insurgency.

Recruit additional police informants through “Hugpong Tagumenyo”

Rey Uy (Liberal Party)

Hire more barangay policemen who will be armed and paid by the city government to augment the city police force. Increase their pay from the current P300 monthly honorarium.

Secure the city through a barangay-based system. Village police applicants will be properly screened. A one-strike policy for erring barangay policemen will be adopted to instill discipline.

Equip barangay police with radios, motorcycles or four-wheeled vehicles so they can operate 24 hours in their communities.

ILLEGAL DRUGS

Recent drug operations by police and antinarcotic agents in different areas of the city that yielded large volumes of illegal drugs have validated concerns that Tagum has become a major market for illicit drugs, not just a transit point.

Allan Rellon (PDP-Laban)

Give monetary incentives and rewards to police involved in buy-bust operations.

Use intelligence funds to support the city police’s pre-operation activities, such as surveillance operations.

Support interagency antidrug operations.

Subsidize drug dependents who opt to undergo rehabilitation and treatment at Luntiang Paraiso Regional Rehabilitation Center in New Corella, Davao del Norte.

Rey Uy (Liberal Party)

Involve the community in monitoring drug activities.

Convince drug peddlers and users to stop and go into drug rehabilitation, with the city paying for it.

Intensify drug symposia in schools and undertake other antidrug information campaigns.

Construct more well-lighted basketball and volleyball courts in communities to provide residents an alternative to illegal drugs and other vices. The city will foot the electric bills for these sports venues.

Order police to conduct daily buy-bust operations.

CORRUPTION

The present administration has been drawing flak from critics and political rivals for not doing much about alleged corruption by some City Hall officials and employees.

Allan Rellon (PDP-Laban)

Strengthen a monitoring group composed of different departments to check on project implementations.

Comply strictly with Commission on Audit (COA) guidelines for government purchases in procurements.

Monitor closely agencies prone to corruption, like the engineering office in the issuance of building permits, the business and licenses bureau.

Use special bodies and civil society to check transactions.

Pursue cases against corruption.

Rey Uy (Liberal Party)

Lead by example. Do all projects by administration so the city can save at least 30 percent on costs.

Tap civil society organizations to do the canvassing for  government purchases to eliminate overpricing.

EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS

Killings by motorcycle-riding gunmen allegedly persisted even during the present administration.

Allan Rellon (PDP-Laban)

Stop killings. Order the police to go after those allegedly involved in summary executions.

Rey Uy (Liberal Party)

Provide support and logistics to law enforcers such as vehicles, communication equipment and firearms so they can fight motorcycle-riding killers and other heavily armed criminals.

EMPLOYMENT

Tagum residents compete for employment opportunities with job-seekers from neighboring towns and the provinces of Compostela Valley and even Davao Oriental.

Allan Rellon (PDP-Laban)

Continue to entice investors to come to Tagum through the city incentive code, which is  designed to attract businesses and generate employment.

Institutionalize barangay employment desks to help more job-seekers.

Provide opportunities for the creation of more jobs through fiscal and nonfiscal incentives to investors.

Upgrade the public employment service office (PESO) to a department to create more offices and hire additional personnel who will assist job applicants through career guidance, facilitation and training.

Connect with international employers, like those in Australia and New Zealand.

Rey Uy (Liberal Party)

Put up a heavy equipment operation training center to train highly skilled heavy equipment operators.

Continue skills training of Tagum job-seekers for foreign employment by providing free English-proficiency training.

Create a livelihood council that will study appropriate livelihood programs to be implemented by the city government in barangays.

Provide additional equipment and materials to Tagum City Trade School and other public high schools in the city that have skills training as K to 12 component.

ENVIRONMENT

The need for a “breathing space” has become a major concern as Tagum pursues expansion and development that have crept even to rural areas.

Allan Rellon (PDP-Laban)

Continue shoreline protection, as well as preservation of coral reefs.

Develop the city’s parks and create new separate departments to handle this.

Sustain tree-planting activities in the accretion area, as well as highway beautification, by planting more palm trees.

Push for the establishment of a waste-to-energy facility to replace the city’s controlled dump.

Organize village-based “Bantay Kalikasan” (Environment Watchers), who will report environment abuses.

Rey Uy (Liberal Party)

Plant more trees.

Develop the ecotourism parks in San Agustin and New Balamban villages, as well as the Energy Park in Apokon village.

Continue and sustain the protection of the city’s mangrove forest along its coastlines, as well as its river accretion area.

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TAGS: Allan Rellon, Cavendish banana, Elections 2016, key local races, Local key races, Rey Uy, Tagum City
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