SOCA ni Mayor Ferdinand C. Medina (Last part)

IN THE coming weeks, we shall witness another milestone when the Vigan slaughterhouse shall take on an added role as the “Eskwela de Mataderos”. My friends, the source of the Vigan Bagnet and longganiza will soon be the training ground for world class butchers. This innovative practice is another joint undertaking with TESDA.

Another task of ours is to ensure the effective and smooth delivery of basic services. We are happy to report that for the past year, we have assisted more than seven hundred families in crisis and allocating almost a million pesos from our development fund to immediately address their urgent needs. Our pre-school children are in good hands. We have thirty-nine Day Care Centers manned by efficient and warmhearted teachers. Women’s organizations remain strong supporters of city government programs and also the men especially with the formal convening of the ERPAT or empowerment reaffirmation of paternal abilities. The shelterville is now home to almost one hundred fifty families. We have also held skills training on dressmaking, tailoring, cosmetology, appliance repair, driving, and bartending for women and out of school youth in the different barangays. With these efforts, we have effectively established a wide pool of skilled service providers who can already earn a living with their training. It is my pride to present Mr. Reynaldo Real of Barangay Pantay Daya, an out of school youth, a graduate of the City Skills Training on driving, now employed as a family driver, an empowered Bigueño, a proud Bigueño!

In the tradition of fortifying food security in the city and in partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform, we maintain the farmers’ information tech-nology services or the FITS center at Brgy. Ayusan Norte. The FITS center has become a useful tool in the inception of new techniques in farming. The fresh knowledge enabled our farmers to garner for the Ilocos Agricultural Research Development Center the top recognition for producing high breed tomatoes. The center is equipped with computers, mobile phones and a digital camera. We have also installed internet services in this FITS center to facilitate a higher level of learning. It is also worth mentioning that the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization (ARBO) of Brgy. Ayusan Norte, Brgy. Pantay Fatima and Brgy. Pantay Laud is the Most Outstanding ARB Organization in the Region and is vying for the Most Outstanding ARBO in the Country. The Agrarian Reform Community (ARC) composed of these three barangays is also the Most Outstanding Agrarian Community in the Region and is also being considered for the national award. With these developments, we are assured that our hard working Bigueños in the farms are gearing up for the challenges of the times. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Mr. Marino Pajarillo of the Region’s Most Outstanding ARC, an empowered Bigueño farmer, a proud Bigueño!

We also set our sights on a more extensive participation of all sectors in the planning process. If in recent years they had a hand in policy making through our city development council, in August and September 2005 we reached out to the barangay level and reinforced their planning capabilities through the SPARK or Strategic Planning Approach For Rural & Urban Communities. In cooperation with the DILG, the UNP graduate school and the barangays of Vigan, we gathered all members of the 39 barangay development councils to undertake a strategic planning workshop that yielded functional investment and development plans and their annual budget. Every barangay likewise crafted its very own vision and mission. Ladies and gentlemen, we also have with us the Punong Barangays of Vigan, empowered community leaders, proud Bigueños!

It has been a hectic yet fulfilling year of service.

With all the time, effort and sacrifices that we have shared our outstanding performances in governance, environment management, administration, economic development and social services made us stand above the other seven cities in the Ilocos Region. What could be more rewarding than our Vigan recognized as the BEST PERFORMING LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT in REGION I.

As I mark my second year as your mayor, let me thank former Mayor Eva, my wife and my eternal inspiration, for having laid the foundation of the best governance that Vigan can ever have;

Let me thank you, my fellow Bigueños. I remain overwhelmed by the faith that you have bestowed upon me. Your immense cooperation in the various programs of the city has made all the difference. The leadership of a city can only be as good as its people. All honors, all awards, all recognition that our city have received are vivid testaments to the excellence of the Bigueño.

Ladies and gentlemen, be with me in the next 339 days of my term. Let us take the road towards greater heights, let us conquer the odds.

For we are an enduring people with faith in God and in ourselves, let us succeed and be proud of what we have, what we can do and most of all what we are.

Yes, we did very well but because we are Bigueños we can do better. Our achievements should make each of us proud to be a citizen of this great city.

Let us all be proud to be Bigueños.

Dios ti agngina, naimbag nga orastayo amin.