Mayor Jeffrey C. Nalupta Inaugural Address

The Honorable Inducting Officer, Judge Virgilio Macaraig; The Honorable Mayor Jesus R. Nalupta, Sr.; ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

In this eventful day of our oath-taking and assumption into office, as your city officials for the next three years, we are extremely delighted, honoured and thankful of your presence, by your greetings, and your best wishes.

You come today in large numbers, representing the cross-section of our local populace, from the barangays, to NGOs, from NGAs to schools, from the religious to city employees- all of you stakeholders of this ever-evolving and dynamic local government unit of Batac and all of you, proven to be our dependable partners and allies in development.

At the very onset, may I then take this occasion, to also welcome you all here, at the Imelda Cultural Center of our City Hall, venue of all important and historic events of our hometown, now a City.

Before I begin to assume and administer the new City of Batac, let me clarify a few matters, so that when you leave for home after this program, you shall have a better appreciation and understanding of issues of the past, that were products of sick and feeble minds. And so that you will have the confidence, that this local government unit is in good and safe hands for the next 3 years.

Just after I filed my certificate of candidacy on May 7, 2007, as substitute candidate for our out-going mayor, some quarters, or, a few individuals, questioned my competence and ability, to administer the affairs of this town.

To me, I look at these people as pathetic lot, possessed by the demons, prophets of doom, bedevilled by envy. Greed and envy have always been reasons for the fall of man, since the beginning of time.

And if there are some of you here who share with those thoughts, I can only say, that, if there is one individual, who is more than able, ready and competent enough, to administer this local government unit, after Mayor Jesus Nalupta, Sr., who has served for 16 years, and former Mayor Elena Nalupta, who had served for 3 years, I can say with pride, that that person could only be, Me!!!

While other neophytes would still be learning the ABCs of the Mayorship, if they were to assume this position, I would now be in the XYZ of the program, so to speak.

For the almost 6 years that I had served as the secretary to the mayor, I did not master the work of a secretary. I mastered the work of a mayor.

I had the privilege to be delegated with much authority and responsibility by the mayor; such that, today, as I now become your mayor, I only need to learn 2 things:

First, I will now have to sign disbursement vouchers and checks for the city; although I have been signing my own personal checks since 1985. So, I know how to sign checks.

On purpose, the mayor did not delegate signing authority of checks to anyone for control purposes; something I would not also do to my appointed secretary or administrator, this time.

And the other responsibility that I need to learn, which the mayor could not possibly delegate to me then, is, to administer or solemnize marriages.

That is the reason that I find the work of the mayor a little bit boring already, and a little bit unchallenging, because there is not much to learn anymore. Good that the timely conversion of Batac as a new city will bring about a new round of challenges that I could look forward to.

To be frank and honest, though, becoming a mayor was in the lower end of career opportunities I was exploring for myself.

But things have changed in May 7, when the mayor asked and convinced me to do the substitution.

I had to recast my own personal plans and priorities.

Rather than becoming a mayor of LGU Batac with an annual budget of 100 million pesos this year, I would have preferred to be the Leader of INEC, our electric cooperative, with an annual budget of one billion pesos; a position that I know would challenge the limits of my competence.

But I believe, God has chosen for me this position to become your mayor, so that I could serve you, in the way and in the manner, that would maximize benefits to the people.

I did not plan to become a secretary to the mayor. I did not plan either to become a director and vice president of INEC. So with the Mayorship of Batac. Everything that has happened in my life, I attribute it to the will and blessings of God.

Before I forget though, there is one more job that I need to learn, and learn it fast, I suppose. I am sure that I will have more difficulty learning this, than signing checks, and solemnizing marriages.

What could this be? Going to the many padaya in our city. I dont see this in the job description and responsibilities of a mayor; so I pray that the DILG or the Governor, would not issue memoranda to me, if I perform only satisfactorily, and not very good or outstanding.

In the next three years of my stewardship and administration of the new City of Batac, I can say that we shall not realize the full impact of what cityhood brings, to our locality, overnight or instantaneously.

Our new city is like a baby, that need to be nurtured and taken care of. She has her needs that need to be addressed first, and growing pains that come along, until such time that she can be on her own. When that time comes, she will pay back all of the good deeds done to her, more than a hundred fold.

The biggest benefit the new City of Batac brings, is the increased Internal Revenue Allotment, the fund from which a greater amount of the numerous programs and services of the local government, is being sourced from.

This year, Batac as a municipality, has an IRA share of P49.6 million. In 2008, if we were still a municipality, our estimated IRA would have been just about P54.5 million. But since we are now a city, our IRA share will be in the range of 200 million pesos, which is about 4 times more, than our share as a municipality. Add to that the P50 million pesos locally generated revenues, and we have a budget of about 250 million pesos.

And what would all these money lead us to? Bigger, expanded, better, and more programs, projects and services, for all of the people of Batac.

P1M Commitment to Barangays:

True to the commitment of the entire Team Aramid Pakakitaan, which you have generously and lovingly supported in the May 14 election, I then declare, with the tacit concurrence of Vice Mayor Allan and the Honorable Members of the Sangguniang Panglunsod, that next year, 2008, will be the start of 3 golden years of the 14 urban barangays; and more so, the much acknowledged majority of the 29 rural barangays of Batac, who had worked hard to campaign for the ratification of our cityhood, as evidenced by the very high percentages of Yes votes they delivered during the plebiscite.

We had committed P1million pesos support for each barangay, to fund validated and feasible development projects. Our opponents in the election said, its impossible. We said impossible for you, possible to us.

We will do that, in a City Development Council resolution, of which all of the 43 punong barangays are members of. The 25% Development Fund out of the IRA share, to be incorporated in the Executive Budget for 2008, will include the P43 million pesos, needed to fund that commitment.

With the significant amounts of annual budgets you now have, brought about by your respective barangay IRA shares, complemented by a P1 million development fund, you should now be in a better capacity to bring about progress, improvements, and change for a better way of life, to your respective barangays and constituents.

In the new City of Batac, the only persons who would not benefit of these blessings and opportunities, are the Juan Tamads of the new generation; and those few with eyes that refuse to see, with ears that refuse to listen, and with hearts colder than ice and harder than steel. I hope and I wish, there is no one here today by that description.

To all of you barangay officials, I ask your full cooperation with your city officials. You have learned in the administration of Mayor Jesus, how much you could do for your barangays, if you cooperate.

We shall be there to support you in your barangays; but we shall not do the work for you on matters you could do yourselves, and within your means. I give to you all the autonomy you could handle, to chart the direction and plans for your barangays.

More than any other period in your career as barangay officials, this is the best time to show your constituents what more you could do and offer for your barangays. We need barangay officials who are committed, honest and hardworking, because you are our link to the people in your localities.

I will monitor you. I will come to you, confer with you, discuss with you. I will assess your respective communities as to what projects and services are deemed necessary, and most desired in your localities.

I know that in the new City of Batac, the urban barangays will continue to flourish. That is but expected. But I will make sure as well, that the 29 rural barangays will not be left and far behind in development.

Program on Agricultural Development:

Agriculture remains to be at the receiving end, of a lot of goodwill and priority attention from this administration. That has been so for the 16 years of stewardship by Mayor Jesus. You had witnessed how hardworking and active our employees in-charge of agriculture were.

That will remain so in my administration as well, because no nation has ever industrialized and progressed, without a strong and developed agricultural sector. This program actively supports the thrust of the national leadership for sustainable agricultural development.

Small water impounding projects in validated sites, small farm reservoirs, diversion dams and canals will continue to be built; together with the numerous technical and financial support to the zanjera organizations and farmers.

We will not only help you to become good farmers. Together with our many allies who work and advocate for agricultural development, we shall also train you of the rudiments of marketing and logistics, so that you maximize the benefits of your labours in the farmlands.

Integrated Drainage System of the Urban Brgys.:

To the officials of the poblacion barangays, I know how much you have been pampered and supported by our out-going mayor. You were able to effect the concreting of your barangay roads; and a lot more projects.

We shall sit down together just as soon, to revisit our plans of an honest to goodness integrated drainage system. True enough, you have worked for your respective drainage systems, but can we say that such have considerably taken into consideration, the integration of all of the poblacion barangays drainage systems? That we shall find out in our meetings.

This is an immediate concern of your barangays that shall need a lasting solution.

Ecological Solid Waste Management & Segregation:

We shall also talk and discuss the implementation of the solid waste management program to comply with a national law; and the improvements that need to be undertaken in our controlled dumpsite, which is already lagging in compliances to become a controlled landfill, at the very least. You already had your visits to some places with sanitary landfill, and you have first hand account as to how they manage their waste. But are we doing it in the poblacion?

Alongside with the preservation of our ecology, I intend to distribute about 10,000 mango seedlings and other fruit-bearing trees in the next 3 years, with the hope that we could begin the process of developing our own Batac mango and fruit industries, and not just sell our produce to middlemen at volatile prices.

Our fruit production could not even supply our local consumption, because we do not realize the impact of large scale production.

And finally, we shall continue to effect the greening and reforestation of our lands, harnessing our young environmental advocates through the Sangguniang Kabataan, and other youth organizations.

Program on Philhealth and Health Services:

In the area of health and social services, the Team Aramid Pakakitaan had committed for expanded, for more and for better services to our people; especially the economically underprivileged social classes.

We had announced that the Cityhood of Batac, could make it affordable for the local government, to sponsor for wider enrolment and coverage to the Philhealth para sa Masa; with the end objective that eventually, all residents of Batac will become beneficiaries, not necessarily all to become cardholders, of the Philhealth card.

In the coming days, we shall review our database of existing Philhealth cardholders and their beneficiaries. After which, we shall conduct data gathering for the succession of batches of enrolments to be made beginning next year, to make sure there would be no duplicity of enrolees and beneficiaries.

We shall expedite the completion of the Maternal and Child Care Unit, an expansion project of the Municipal Health Office, to cater to the needs of our people for better health care.

We shall also allocate more funds, for the procurement of more medicines, so that we could resume the conduct, on a more frequent and regular basis, of medical and dental outreach projects in the rural barangays.

Program on Education:

Education is something that will continue to be given much attention. From pre-school, to elementary, from high school to college, your local government will be there for these children and youth. We shall continue to find ways and means to improve the buildings and facilities of our 26 elementary schools, national high schools and day care centers, included.

We shall promote excellence in the quality of education, that necessarily should start in the quality of teachers in our schools. If need be, we have to emphasize to our teachers of their need to be competent, by providing them opportunities for continuing education.

We shall continue with the Municipal Scholarship Program for College, with the hope for further expansion, after reviewing and fine-tuning the implementing rules and regulations of the program, to make sure all the safeguards are there, that only the economically underprivileged but deserving students should be in the program.

This school year, our local government has commenced scholarship program for the top 5 graduates in the elementary schools, for their high school education as well.

The conversion of Batac into a city means so much for the education sector, primarily because, the Special Education Fund that used to be shared equally, by the municipal and provincial governments on a 50-50% sharing, will now be retained 100% by our city. That translates to more or less P5 million in a year, which could be used to better the quality of education and facilities in our schools.

It is worth mentioning as well, that the City Charter of Batac mandates for the establishment of our own City Schools Division, to be manned of course, by a competent superintendent and supervisors.

Such creation of our own city schools division, shall be good reason enough for our schoolchildren, to be the best, not only in the second district, but hopefully in the entire province, or in Region I.

I must emphasize again to our teachers, of your enormous responsibility to give the best education for the children and youth of Batac. The young minds of these children and youth await to be harnessed and developed. Your failure to give them the best, is a failure on them as well. And you cannot by conscience allow that to happen.

I can assure you, that this administration shall be responsive, and attuned to the justifiable needs of the schools. As always and forever, spendings out of the SEF shall be made judicious and justifiable.

Program on Peace & Order:

The maintenance of peace and order in our surroundings is something that needs a lot of review and improvement.

We the people of Batac are generally peaceful. But it appears and it is evident to me, that people from outside are disturbing this peace which we cherish and hold dear. We cannot allow for thieves to steal our hard-earned possessions in the cloak of darkness; nor snatch our celphones or handbags in broad daylight.

This may be a tall order to Police Superintendent Rayco and his PNP force in Batac, but we have to deal with this problem head on.

I shall be requiring them to present an operational peace and order plan for the entire city, especially in the urban barangays.

I shall expect them to come up with a plan, that ensures and assures our people, of their visibility in public places and around town, to discourage and prevent the commission of crimes.

I know that our local police force are not mobile enough, and fast-reacting enough, because of very limited and dilapidated vehicles that they use.

We cannot be at the mercy of their higher-ups, to attend to this pressing need for police mobility and visibility. We cannot wait for more crimes to be committed, before we provide what they need to be mobile.

I will find ways to source funds for the acquisition of patrol vehicles for our police force, at the soonest opportunity, and we shall request our Sangguniang Panglunsod to appropriate amounts for the same.

Our Barangay Tanods are truly a force in number. But they would be more of a force, if we could instil in them more commitment to preserve the peace in their jurisdiction; and to closely coordinate with the local police, our radio base, and our city officials.

You may not be commensurately remunerated for your sacrifices, but certainly, you are doing this as your civic duty. As the financial position of our city and barangays shall warrant, we shall device ways and means, to add up to your very limited benefits. I ask of you to please remain committed in your work, so that our families would feel safe always.

We have other volunteer organizations like the Guardians, the Filipino Alliance Movement, and radio groups that may be asked to help us in our efforts to maintain the peace of our city.

Program on Jobs Generation and Skills Empowerment:

In our continuing desire to help our people find places of employment and work opportunities, we shall develop our human resources that can be harnessed for productive work and gainful employment, especially those out-of-school youth.

The new City of Batac is expected to pave the way for investments to pour in; investments that would necessarily come along with employment opportunities for the qualified workforce. Your city government is not an employment agency, or a source of employment; but we will help our constituents to become employable.

Alongside with the process of coming up with an investors incentive act to entice investors to come to our city, we shall empower our people with the right employable skills, by way of seminars and trainings that will be conducted whole-year round, on a regular basis. We shall empower our people with the skills that they could use, not only for local employment, but as well for overseas employment.

Mayor Jesus has gotten in principle the approval of President GMA for the turn-over of the old NIA compound in Brgy. Payao to our local government, to be used as a training center. Mayor Jesus has also gotten the nod and approval of GMA for the upgrading of the Batac-Pinili and Batac-Sarrat Roads, both of which are multi-million projects, with huge social and economic impacts.

I just wish that the President will not take it against us, of the glaring fact that the people of Batac did not give enough mandate to the Team Unity senatorial candidates.

I am thus contemplating to appoint until the end of the year, our out-going mayor as my consultant on barangay affairs and special projects, so that all the pre-approved projects that he had requested from the president and other national officials would be delivered. The position comes with P1 a year basic consultancy fee, payable monthly, once formalized and accepted.

With or without the NIA compound nevertheless, we could still undertake trainings and seminars as planned in the almost completed Kalipi Womens Training Center, which could also handle simultaneous trainings.

However, losing the Batac-Sarrat and Batac-Pinili Roads would mean a lot of opportunity loses for our city.

Entrepreneurship & Investments:

In the area of business and investments, we shall continue to encourage and support entrepreneurship amongst our local businessmen, because they have been contributors to the steady stream of revenues, and are active participants in the mercurial development of Batac, which is the envy of all other towns in the province.

The people of Ilocos Norte are generally averse or allergic to risks, and that is the reason that they just park their lifes savings in low earning deposits in banks. Good enough that this is no longer the mindset of the younger generations, and that they are more open-minded, to go into entrepreneurship.

We want to encourage them to do business, so that there would be more of us locals, who could take advantage of the many business opportunities that abound in this new city.

We also encourage and welcome investments in manufacturing, distribution and the many service industries to include the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry in our town.

Infrastructure Development & Tourism:

In the area of infrastructure and tourism development, we shall see the completion of the many projects that are in various stages of completion, like the Maternal & Child Health Care Unit of the RHU, the Kalipi Training Center, the Central Terminal in the Government Center, and our Riverside Empanadaan. After which, we shall start with other equally important projects that will benefit our people.

In my conversation with Governor Keon some weeks ago, he had intimated to me of his commitment to Mayor Nalupta for the transfer of administration to our local government of the Batac Fish Farm, which is envisioned to be re-engineered into an eco-tourism park. We need projects like these to make our place worth interesting to our visitors and tourists.

And to further put Batac in the map of interesting places for visitors and tourists to flock to, we shall now commence planning and research for the staging of the Batac Empanada Festival; with the premiere staging of this festival set for summer of next year, or during our June 23 City Charter Day.

Can you do it?

With all these programs of government that were committed by your city officials during the campaign season, you may wish to pose the question: Can you do it? My honest and firm answer to you is that: I cannot do it. But, We can do it.

That is the very reason, that you have been invited to attend the ceremonies this morning, more important than the celebration tonight.

We, your city officials, had asked you to be here this morning, so that we could appeal to all of you for your support and cooperation, in our three years of administration and stewardship of our local government.

You are all important stakeholders of this new city. You cannot allow us to fail, because if we fail, everybody, and all of us, would fail, and suffer the consequences. We are very much confident, though, that we shall rise above the expectations. We are confident, that we could fulfil the promise, of a great future brought about by this new city.

To the NGAs:

To all of the national agencies of the national government stationed in Batac, I know that you have been witnesses to the very exciting and speedy phase of development of Batac.

You have given our people and our officials valuable inputs, and you have introduced new technologies and breakthroughs out of your expertise, be it in rice, in tobacco, in cotton, or carabao research, and for other agricultural products. You invite our employees to attend seminars and symposia, so that you could share important discoveries that could be adopted locally, to enhance productivity and efficiency.

We very much value your presence in our place, and we hope that we continue to strengthen the linkages and cooperation, that we have nurtured all throughout the years.

In particular, the Mariano Marcos State University has been a very active partner and collaborator of our local government in many areas of common and beneficial interests. We hope and we intend to continue and to further expand our cooperation that would ensure the productive co-existence of our institutions.

The Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital & Medical Center has also been very responsive to the concerns raised from time to time by our local government. Our hospital which used to cater primarily to the people of Batac has already transformed itself to be the premiere place to avail of best medical attention, and we are very much proud of that stature.

Nevertheless, we shall continue to appeal to the hospital management, to also look at better ways and means of giving preferential rates and discounts to the locals of Batac, this hospital being the gift of the late President Marcos to the people of Batac.

For all the other national agencies that extend various services to our people, we also thank you for being here, and for bringing your services within easy reach by our constituents. I look forward to your continuing presence here.

To the NGOs:

The dynamism of Batac is really infectious, to the point that our NGOs are carried of this energy. Good enough that our accredited NGOs are very vibrant, participatory, and very active in the projects and affairs of our local government.

We have well organized womens organizations that delivers different services but united under one umbrella organization, the Kalipi. We shall continue to harness the hardwork and commitment of all the women of our city as key partners in development. At the same time, we shall continue to find ways and means for you to be able to help your families for a better quality of life.

Just as good and functioning are the different zanjera organizations of farmers, which ensure faster and better delivery of services. Just this year, 29 zanjera organizations have been awarded by our mayor with farm tractors that they could use. We shall not stop from there, but rather, in the coming year, we shall endeavour to award more units to the other organizations that have not been given their units yet.

Our senior citizens have always shown how active they are in the affairs of our city. They had again manifested that in the plebiscite we had last June 23. We are inspired by your activeness and dedication to social and civic duties.

I commend you all, and your officers in the Federation of Senior Citizens of the Phils. Batac Chapter. I also congratulate your OSCA Chairman Dr. Francisca Caluya for a job well done to advance and promote the welfare and rights of our senior citizens.

But please, dont plan yet for your next Lakbay-Aral because its already the rainy season. Not good and timely for your precarious states of well-being and health.

To all the officers and members of the other NGOs in Batac, I also call upon your support in this new administration. We can always tap your organizations for the delivery and transmission of up-to-date and important developments; with the hope that you continue to exercise your civic duties as partners in development.

When all of us work together, when all of us do our roles in our communities, and in our organizations, everything would be easy, and everything could be done swiftly.

To the Religious Sector:

To our leaders in the faith, there may be differences and diversities in the practice of our faith. But I know that we speak the same language, we deliver the same communications to the Lord, and we pray to the same Supreme Being.

More than that, I know, that as respected and responsible members of our communities, people listen to you, people look up to you for inspiration and advice, and people look up to you for spiritual enlightenment.

Despite our diversities in the faith, I know that you all agree with me that we all want the best for this city and our people. Please pray for us your city officials, that we shall always have the strength and the fortitude to do what are supposed to be done, and to do all that is right and pleasing to our God.

When the time comes that your city officials come to you for spiritual enlightenment, and as citizens of good judgement of our new city, especially on critical issues that concern us all, I hope that your doors will be open for us.

To the Municipal Employees:

To the employees of the city government, you should be proud of your new status as city employees. But alongside that pride are the responsibilities that go with it. The implementation of all programs, projects and services of the city government rests on the Executive Department that I lead, and of which all of you employees are part of.

In the almost 6 years that I had been working with you, you must have already learned of my work ethic, and my desire for excellence and perfection.

To me, I do not settle for the 2nd best if we could have the best. I want you to have that work attitude from now on, and show to our people that you all deserve to be called city employees and public servants.

Efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of services, and in the implementation of programs and projects, is what will be expected of you and me.

To achieve this in our house, the city hall, we shall work to maximize the use of information technology in our processes, and in our systems and procedures.

The seamless integration of information in the major departments of our local government for better service, cost effectiveness, and as timely tools for decision-making, shall be undertaken. This will entail huge investments in software, hardware and training in the short term, but the benefits will more than cover the costs in the long run. This is a top priority program under my administration.

I believe in your abilities and capacities, especially our department heads. But sometimes, we need to push you some more to maximize your potentials. I am bent to use your energies, your expertise, and your knowledge, to make sure that we succeed in our mandate.

To the Team Aramid Pakakitaan:

And to my teammates in the Team Aramid Pakakitaan, I say this to you: Practically everything I said in outlining our program of government in the next three years, were our commitments during the campaign period, majority of which came from your campaign speeches.

We presented a clear and doable program of government that impacts to all people, and to all sectors of society. And that probably is the reason that for the 1st time in the history of Batac, an entire line-up of candidates coming from the same political grouping wins.

We owe so much to the people of Batac for supporting us, and for giving us their trust. You are as much as duty-bound as I am, to honor and to deliver those commitments.For the many programs, projects and services I had mentioned, most of them will need their corresponding appropriations ordinances.

I will therefore solicit your speedy passage of such appropriations when the time will come for such to be sponsored and deliberated upon.

I have always believed in the dichotomous relationship between the Executive Department of which I am part of, and the Legislative Department which you comprise as a body.

We come from the same political group, but you will not see me encroaching in the affairs of your department, nor influencing the thinking of your august chamber. I do not only respect your individual persons, but I more than respect you as independent-minded and very rational public servants and legislators.

We shall work in our respective roles as chief executive and legislators, as explicitly defined by our laws. And we shall work to attain our common objectives for the good of our people.

There is so much work to do at so little time. We shall get down to work at once; so that when we shall face our constituents three years after, our commitments shall have been delivered, our credibilities remain intact.

With the grace of God, and with the prayers of our people, we shall remain true and committed to our oaths of office, and we shall be guided by the Vision of Team Aramid Pakakitaan which says:

Ushering the new City of Batac to a development oriented on agriculture, entrepreneurship and industry; and a commitment to create and expand socially responsive programs and services to enhance the quality of life for the people of Batac.

Before I end my message this morning, I am reminded of 2 persons who thought and believed so much in me. As early as 2002, my friend and fellow director in Inec, Dr. Florentino Carpio of Paoay, told me that someday I will be a mayor of Batac. And I would say to him that I am not interested. He would insist that I would be one, and he was even promising to campaign for me because he had many patients from Batac.

The other person who shared those thoughts of Dr. Carpio of me that seemed prophetic enough, is a very true and loyal bestfriend of mine, Charlie, who today is represented by his wife and two sons.

Very unfortunate, though, that both of them did not live long enough to see their forecast of me come through. Probably, they made representations, appeal, and campaign to God for this to happen; and I know that they are very happy for me now.

Ladies and gentleman, this is going to be the first and the last time that I will be speaking lengthily before you in my three years of administration.

Thank you very much and good day to all of you.

30 June 2007

From Batac City Govt. Official Website

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