QUEZON CITY – Expect better and expanded services and more projects for city residents from the Quezon City government.
This was assured by reelected Mayor Josefina Joy Belmonte during her inauguration speech following oath taking before Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo.
In her speech, she assured constituents that the city’s social services program will be further expanded to guarantee assistance for all those in need.

Belmonte committed to further expand and hasten the delivery of social services to address the needs of residents, saying she would aim to surpass that achievement of her administration in her first term when it comes to social services.

Many Quezon City residents welcomed the mayor’s announcement, saying Belmonte’s goals are doable and achievable considering that the city government has maintained its position as the country’s richest city and local government unit not only in Metro Manila but in the entire country.

Under Mayor Belmonte’s leadership, the city government’s annual revenues soared to P30 billion or thereabout from more than P20 billion when she started as the city’s Chief Executive.

Mayor Belmonte’s victory in the May 9 elections was an expression of trust and confidence of the city’s more than one million voters just as the city residents and businessmen paid the highest collective taxes and fees to City Hall during her first three-year term.

“Hindi po sapat ang mga pasasalamat, kaya susubukan na lamang po naming tumbasan ng tapat ng paglilingkod ang inyong ipinahiram na tiwala sa amin,” she added during her inaugural speech.

“Every  year, we progressively increase the budget dedicated to social services. Nagsimula tayo sa P9.8 billion na budget nong 2019. Ngayong 2022, halos doble ng budget na yan ang inilaan natin para sa mga programang direktang sumasagot sa mga pangangailangan ng mga mamamayan,” she said.
She added the P16.1-billion budget for social services which the city intends to keep on increasing in the next three years “promises to be an inclusive social safety net for all marginalized and underprivileged sectors”.
Among the programs that will be funded under the budget are the “Alagang QC” program, the Social Amelioration Program for QC residents (SAP QC), and the “Kalingang QC” program which started during the height of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), among others.

Belmonte said the local government will provide vulnerable Quezon City residents like indigent seniors, solo parents and persons with disability who are not receiving any other support, with monthly financial assistance under its Social Welfare Program.

“This will help the most seriously disadvantaged members of our community secure rice and other basic goods that they need,” she said.

After providing safe and comfortable security of tenure to more than 17,000 families in the past three years under her housing program, Belmonte said the acquisition of 36 hectares of real property for distribution and the construction of more housing projects are underway.

Aside from boosting the city’s health care services through renovation and upgrading of health centers and the hir

Belmonte said the city’s acquisition of 36 hectares of real property for distribution to eligible residents and the construction of more housing projects are currently underway, as more health centers are being renovated and upgraded, and essential medicines are being made available for free through health centers and LGU pharmacies.
Malapit na tayong magkaroon ng ospital sa District 6. May sistema na ang pag aasikaso ng mga pasyente dahil magkakaroon na ng single patient record system sa ating public hospitals at health centers. Sa tulong ng information technology, matutukan ang bawat pasyente,” she said.
 Belmonte also committed to undertaking more infrastructure projects, rehabilitating more parks, expanding the bike lane network from 93-kilometer to 174 kilometers by 2025, and adding more green pedestrian walkways.
She added the Quezon Memorial Circle will undergo extensive redevelopment to restore more green spaces, and build an elevated green promenade connecting the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife to the Quezon Memorial Circle for easy access to both parks.
For transportation, she said high-caliber infrastructure projects will be undertaken.

In terms of education, Belmonte said the local government is set to establish more QCU branches and will roll out a comprehensive scholarship program for all students in grade levels senior high school, tertiary or college, master, and doctorate degrees, as well as for athletes and those taking vocational courses.

In her second term, Belmonte said Quezon City will be the nation’s capital for people’s participation and inclusive governance with the creation of the QC People’s Council.

“Our Quezon City People’s Council will push for the right of every individual to participate in policy-formulation, hands-on implementation and vigilant oversight, regardless of age, gender, or industry,” she pointed out.

The Mayor also promised to continue her aim to automate and digitalize all transactions with the city government, such as permits, taxes and social services, and the establishment of essential infrastructure projects that would improve the standard of living in the city, including transportation, internet and tourism.

She then called on QCitizens to unite and help the city government achieve its mission to boost the delivery of quality service to each and every resident.

“Kailangang maging iisa ang ating isip, puso at mga kamay, sa paghahatid ng pinakamataas na kalidad ng serbisyo para sa bawat QCitizen,” Belmonte said.

 Belmonte proudly shared that the city once again received an unqualified opinion for 2021, for two straight years now, from the Commission on Audit (COA).
Ibig sabihin, naging malinis at walang bahid ng katiwalian ang ating pamamahala (Meaning, our administration has been transparent and free of corruption),” she said.

“Tayo ay muling tumanggap ng unqualified opinion sa ikalawang sunod na taon. Ibig sabihin, naging masinop ang ating paggastos ng pondo ng bayan alinsunod sa mga reglamento,” she said.

“Good governance is not something that you achieve and are done with. It is a continuing process that requires will and determination. We stay alert and stand firm, here and now, in our commitment, and will exert every effort in the days to come to improve upon our hard-won gains,” she added.

It was the second straight unqualified opinion received by the Quezon City government, which also earned its first “unqualified opinion” from the COA for its annual audit report for the year 2020.

The report was handed by COA Supervising Auditor Joseph Perez, who informed Belmonte in a letter last Jan. 31 that his office has examined and evaluated pertinent details submitted in various letters by resident auditors in 2021.

Belmonte was reelected for her second term after garnering a total of 662,611 votes over rival former Congressman Mike Defensor who got 419,064 votes. (Claire Morales True/philippinestodayusa@gmail.com)