DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 03 Oct) – More local government-funded projects will come with the growth of revenues from private investments, City Mayor Sara Duterte said during her second State of the Nation Address at the city council on Tuesday.
Duterte noted the business climate has been bullish for the past four years with more businesses choosing to locate here.
She said the local government has been aggressively conducting promotion activities to attract prospective foreign and domestic investors.
The mayor is optimistic the city will continue the high growth it attained in 2017 which saw its gross regional domestic product at double digit figure of 10.9%.
“With the increased interest in Davao City from potential investors, both local and foreign, we expect that this trend will continue in the coming years,” she said.
She said the city registered business capitalization of P272 billion for the entire 2017, which grew by 25.3% from the P203.1 billion recorded in 2016.
Duterte said the number of business establishments also increased to 43,010 as of first semester of 2018 from 36,950 in 2015.
She said the City Treasurer’s Office collected P4.9 billion in taxes as of first semester of this year and that they are optimistic the office will surpass the P7.2 billion collections for 2017.
She said the local government has lined up infrastructure projects, from upgrading the existing government facilities to expanding the government’s social services to address poverty incidence.
Among the infrastructure projects that have started are the Davao City Investment and Tourism building, City Library and Information Center, 18-classroom alternative learning system facility, City Social Services and Development Office Building, and Archives building.
Projects in the pipeline are the new buildings for Davao Museum, City Health Office, City Engineer’s Office, extension of Pasalubong Center Building, and eight-story extension of the decades-old City Hall Building, she said.
Duterte said she hopes to get these projects started during her term as the mayor revealed she would seek reelection in May 2019 elections dismissing speculations she would run for the Senate.
She said the city has already expanded its social services strengthening its scholarship program, supporting government academic institutions, and pouring in more funds for health care and construction of health centers.
She said the city government allotted P675.36 million for Special Education Fund (SEF) in 2018 for the key areas of school supervision, construction of classrooms and other infrastructure projects, manpower development and sports development
The mayor said the city constructed 116 classrooms since 2016 with SEF but added at least 1,006 more classrooms must be constructed due to the increasing number of enrollees.
“We are endeavoring to construct more and we have received help from partners like the Aboitiz Foundation, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Philippines and the group whose school building projects will definitely address the shortages,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)