Education, business reforms, among Mayor Lani’s priority in her 2nd term
More reforms and better services particularly in education and business sectors will be the main focus of Mayor Lani Cayetano’s administration as it goes into its second term in office.
Mayor Lani made this announcement in a speech after taking her oath-of-office as the highest public official of Taguig City last Sunday.
No less than outgoing Sen. Manny Villar, Nacionalista Party president, administered the oath-of-office to Mayor Lani at the NBC Tent in Bonifacio Global City, where most of the elected officials of Taguig also took their respective oaths.
“In Taguig, our first priority is to continue upgrading the quality of education and make our students globally competitive, which is why we invest so much on our schools and students’ improvement and learning,” Mayor Lani said.
To illustrate how her administration prioritizes education, Mayor Lani said Taguig City spends over a billion pesos in the public education sector every year, which translates to new school buildings, teacher trainings and benefits.
“In the same manner, our administration will focus on further improving our business processes and procedures. We intend to foster closer and better relationships with the business sector,” she said.
The lady mayor, who won her re-election bid by a margin of over 50,000 votes against her rival, took the opportunity to thank her supporters and friends who made her first term as Taguig City’s chief executive a success.
“Three years ago, I had an almost impossible dream. But armed only with my strong faith in God, unwavering commitment to serve and a desire to improve the lives of our people – especially the underprivileged, we emerged victorious,” she said during her speech.
“You embraced that dream with me and elected me as the youngest and the first Lady Mayor of this city. To that, I am so honored and grateful,” she added.
Mayor Lani then addressed the business sector, recognizing their part in the city’s progress which, she noted, are being felt by all Taguigeños.
“Today, we are also honored by the presence of our partners in the private sector. Thank you for taking time to share with us this momentous occasion. We invited you not just to witness our oath-taking but more importantly to thank you for your valuable contributions to the city,” Mayor Lani said.
“Without your businesses and your taxes, we cannot fund our various programs for the people,” she added.
She then continued to report on the achievement of the city government during her first term, first and foremost of which is the launch of the Taguig City Integrated Survey System (TCISS), which is a 300-question house to house survey of the entire city.
The TCISS, she said, has been an effective tool in the determination of the actual needs of the residents in the city and works with almost laser precision.
Mayor Lani said that it was through the findings of the TCISS that the city was able to execute key policies such as its programs in education, health, infrastructure and livelihood, among others.
“Pinagpupursigihan din natin na maging globally competitive ang ating mga mag aaral. Kaya sa ating bansa, Taguig ang kauna-unahang lokal na pamahalaan na nagkaroon ng Computer Assisted Learning Program—isang pamamaraan ng pagtuturo na nagmula sa bansang Singapore at ginagamit ng ilang pribadong paaralan sa Pilipinas.”
Mayor Lani reported that because of these reforms in the public education sector, Taguig now ranks 3rd out of the 17 cities in Metro Manila in the National Achievement Test (NAT), from 13th in 2009 and 7th in 2012.
“To the DepEd Division of Taguig, let us work harder and aim to be number one,” she declared.
For three years, during her first term, Cayetano administration provided free ready-to-wear uniforms, school supplies, shoes, text books and health kits to over 120,000 students of public daycare, elementary, and highschool.
“Bukod pa dito, (tayo ay may) pondo na inilalagak natin sa Taguig City University (TCU) kung saan tayo ay nagkakaloob ng libreng edukasyon sa mahigit 15,000 estudyante,” she added.
Also, one of the crown jewels of the reforms she instituted in the education sector is the strengthening of the scholarship program of the city through the Lifeline Assistance for Neighbors In-Need or (LANI) Scholarship Program.
She said that in 2009, the past administration allotted only P5 million for scholarships. She increased it to P100 million in 2011 and to P200 million in 2012. Now, her administration has again increased it to P300 million.
“Sa kasalukuyan, ay nakapamahagi na tayo ng dalawampu’t limang libong (25,000) scholarship grants para sa mga mag-aaral na kumukuha ng certificate courses, technical and vocational courses, kolehiyo, masteral o doctoral degree kabilang ang bar or board review assistance. Ilan na sa ating mga scholars ang pumasok sa top 10 ng kani-kanilang board examinations,” she said.
“We have around 700 scholars in premier universities, both public and private, with close to 200 of them enrolled at the University of the Philippines. They are all receiving 40,000-50,000 pesos in educational assistance per year,” the lady mayor added.
In her speech, Mayor Lani also talked about the reforms in the health, livelihood and infrastructure sectors, but in the end she asked the private sector to help Taguig look forward to more progress.
“…We as public officials must always be ready to account for the trust, support and resources entrusted to us. I would like to believe that we have made them grow, and that the results are well felt by our people,” she said.