Election 2016: Agenda of the Lucena City Mayor
The INQUIRER is coming out today with the 22nd of its series on pressing people’s 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: Lucena City
Lucena City, 135 kilometers south of Metro Manila, is the bustling capital of Quezon province. It has grown rapidly into a major urban community in the center of the province’s coconut-based agricultural economy.
A former barrio of nearby Tayabas town (now a city), then the provincial capital, Lucena was chartered as a city on June 17, 1961. It is wedged between the Dumacaa and the Iyam rivers, which meet on its southern portion and flow out into the Tayabas Bay.
A major part of the land area is devoted to agriculture, but due to urbanization, a sizeable portion has been converted into subdivisions, business and leisure complexes, and educational institutions. A vast industrial park by the Tayabas Bay is also in the pipeline.
Population: 280,427 (2015)
Registered voters: 137,886
Land area: 8,316.90 hectares
Major industries: Agriculture, tourism, fishing, local entrepreneurship
Classification: Highly urbanized city
Sources: Lucena City PIO, Comelec, CDRRMC, PNP
CONCERN 1: TRAFFIC
CITY GRIDLOCK. Despite the passage of local ordinances and national laws to address the problems on transportation and mobility brought about by rapid urbanization, the traffic problem in the city center is getting worse. How do you plan to solve it?
Roderick Alcala (Liberal Party)
- Stringent implementation of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan to ensure that available road space is maximized.
- Ongoing construction of New City Hall of Lucena outside of poblacion area to ease the central district’s traffic volume.
- Strict implementation of traffic rules and regulations such as no-parking zones and one-way streets.
- Installation of stoplights in key intersections.
Ramon Talaga Jr. (United Nationalist Alliance)
- Review all traffic-related ordinances and amend outdated regulations.
- Strict implementation of all traffic rules, such as no parking, no loading and unloading, and truck ban.
- Clearing sidewalks of vendors so pedestrians can use these.
- Full operation of the Lucena Grand Central Terminal.
- Review all tricycle franchising permits and revoke franchise of erring owner.
- Open consultation with the local transport sector.
CONCERN 2: CRIME AND ILLEGAL DRUGS
CITIZEN SAFETY. With rapid economic growth comes the problem on peace and order, especially the proliferation of illegal drugs and rampant crime based on the daily crime journals of the police. What would you do to solve the illegal drug problem and stop crime?
- Close coordination with the police in ensuring residents are kept safe from crime through police visibility, citizen’s awareness and comprehensive implementation of the antidrug campaign … as well as laying down the full wrath of the law on all criminals.
- People empowerment through augmentation of peace and order personnel visibility through barangay tanods and barangay justices.
- Upgrade citywide CCTV system.
- Strengthening the police through incentives for every drug-related apprehension and arrest.
- Setting up of district police detachments in clustered barangays.
- Strict implementation of curfew hours.
- Establish a rehabilitation center for drug victims.
- Reestablish Task Force Lucena.
CONCERN 3: DISASTER PREPAREDNESS
NATURAL HAZARDS. The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Lucena is vulnerable to flash floods from its two major rivers—Dumacaa to the east and the Iyam to the west. What are your plans to address threats from flash floods and natural hazards, and prepare residents to deal with disaster?
- Regular and continuous information and awareness campaigns focused on educating citizens, especially those in low-lying, riverside and coastal areas, on how to act during disasters.
- Barangay empowerment through purchase of emergency rescue vehicles to augment the quick response team from the city government.
- Relocation of settlers along low-lying, riverside and coastal areas to low-cost housing programs away from high-risk areas.
- Maintenance of adequately stockpiled Disaster Operations Center to ensure that needs of residents are met during times of calamities.
- Establish a master plan for the city’s drainage system.
- Strict implementation of ordinance banning plastics.
- Implement waste segregation.
- Provide barangay tanod training in disaster preparedness and continue holding earthquake drills.
- Include budget appropriation for disaster, firefighting and rescue equipment.
CONCERN 4: POVERTY
THE POOR IN A BUSTLING CITY. Despite the surge of investments and growth of businesses, the city government needs to address the issues involving the urban poor sector. What are your programs to alleviate the plight of the poor?
- Establish industrial parks in the city to generate job opportunities.
- Free tertiary education to qualified Lucenahins in Dalubhasaang Panlungsod ng Lucena, as well as vocational training through the Lucena Manpower Skills Training Center.
- Continued coordination with the business sector focused on bringing employment opportunities to residents.
- Establish a registry of certified low-income families per barangay and strengthen the “blue card” system where holders shall have free access to government services.
- Construct more farm-to-market roads.
- Assist urban poor associations and implement livelihood programs.
- Provide electrification and water systems to communities.
- Establish satellite high schools and city colleges in the barangay.
(Interviews by Delfin T. Mallari Jr.)
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