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Mayor Codilla makes SOCA

E is for the New Ormoc City Hall. This is how the new city hall looks like from above, shaped like the letter “E”. Image taken via screen capture of a Google Earth image.

ORMOC CITY – Mayor Eric Codilla delivered his “State of the City Address” (SOCA) this Thursday, at the Sangguniang Panlungsod session hall during the council’s regular session, reiterating his accomplishments from his first term and what he plans to do in the next two years on his last term of office.
Like his SOCA before, the mayor boasted of how he has made Ormoc City a premier agricultural city with his Rice Production Enhancement Program, noting that the program has not only increased the yield of the farmers from an average of 80 cavans per hectare during harvest, but as much as 220 cavans per cropping season.
He has likewise launched an intensive vegetable growing program, which he said has made Ormoc an exporter of rice and vegetables.
In between, he said, he has undertaken major infrastructure projects like the city’s P400-million waterworks project and the new city hall, which he emphasized were constructed “without a loan”.
He said these feats were achieved with the brand of fiscal management he introduced, adopting innovative ways which has improved tax collection.
He said that because of the improved revenue generation, the city had poured around P219-million into street-lighting projects in the city and some barangays.
He also has constructed 145 classrooms and school facilities all over the city, aside from putting up 11 e-learning centers in strategic locations for out-of-school youth interested to have IT knowledge, including improving the existing manpower training center which has seen almost a thousand graduates already. He added they are going to construct a 16-classroom manpower training center to accommodate the students of various TESDA-accredited courses being offered.
The mayor added he has been very supportive of the Alternative Learning System.
“This administration aims to eradicate illiteracy”, as he showed pictures of him distributing school supplies to grade school pupil, the notebooks of which has his picture on the cover. He said that they have given the city’s 22,815 grade one to five students four notebooks, two pad papers and two pencils per month.
Proud to have been chosen as an investment destination
Mayor Codilla also told his audience, which included his brother Mayor Elmer Codilla of Kananga town, Mayor Saturnino Medina Jr. of Isabel, and vice mayor Kumar Dumagsa of Meria, that he is proud to reveal Ormoc was chosen as a possible investment area of an American investor whose identity he did not disclose.
He said that he was surprised to know that the investor chose Ormoc as a potential area of all the places in the country. Ormoc’s competition to the investor’s decision were other countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, not any other place in the country.
He said that even if the investor’s intention will not materialize, it was comforting to know that Ormoc caught their attention.
“Like a beauty contest”, he said, “usa ka sa pinakagwapa … kay nakit-an ka”.
In the offing
The mayor also said that among his near future plans for Ormoc is to acquire the management and supervision of the Ormoc District Hospital.
He said that having “decentralized” the city’s health services, his direction is now towards “curative medicine”.
He said that with his six “three-in-one” buildings, which is home to a health center, the social services department and a police station, he has decentralized preventive medicine as barrio folks need not go into the city anymore to see a city health doctor.
They were already planning to put up a city hospital, when during P-Noy’s stopover to the city last month, Leyte governor Carlos Jericho Petilla revived his offer to give Ormoc the supervision of ODH when he heard about it.
He said that a committee headed by vice-mayor Nepomuceno P. Aparis I had been created to study the viability of ODH’s transfer.
As for the province, he said, “Gov. Icot just wants the assurance that Ormoc is capable to manage the hospital and we have given him our assurance”.
As for the vacated twin buildings and the old city hall at the downtown proper, the mayor said that twin buildings have been bidded out for commercial use.
The old city hall, on the other hand, will house the public library and a cultural and heritage center on the second floor. The city police station, on the other hand, will be transferred to the ground floor.
He also plans on improving connectivity between the city’s 110 barangays and make them wi-fi enabled.
Tax increases
The mayor, during his SOCA, also said that it had been asked during a recent public hearing what the city plans to do with the revenue it raises with the move to increase revenue rates.
He said that he plans to embark on massive road concreting down to the barrios and this is where their taxes would go to.
He said that “we have done so much for ormoc in agriculture, improved business climate, and institutionalized good governance”. However, he wants to do more like “better health and economic services”. ,
He added that for a province that is known to be one of the country’s poorest, Ormoc has proven “is far from the bottom” and that it is “region 8’s shining light in multimillion projects without barely resorting to loans” and assistance from the national government.
In ending, the mayor said, “I firmly believe tht Ormoc can be the center of progress and become world competitive”
The powerpoint presentation that flashed while the mayor gave his SOCA also flashed on screen the city’s new slogan “Ormoc, the gateway to economic opportunities”.

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