Northbound Philippines News

Dagupan mayor to focus on flooding, waste management, jobs

DAGUPAN CITY — Mayor Brian Lim has vowed to focus on addressing three major problems of the city, which are flooding, waste management, and employment for Dagupeños.

In his first flag-raising ceremony as the newly-elected mayor Monday, Lim said he will put “every single bit” of dedication to his first 100 days of work.

He earlier approached the city government of Navotas in Metro Manila, headed by now Mayor Tobias Tiangco, to gain more insight on how to address the perennial flooding plaguing the city.

Navotas, much like Dagupan City, has a low-lying terrain and surrounded by bodies of water — the coast of Manila Bay and other interconnected rivers on the other side of the city.

“Hindi nakakahiyang humingi ng tulong sa ibang bayan na may expertise sa pagresolba sa problema na naranasan din nila. Hindi tayo nagsasabing eksperto tayo sa baha kaya kailangang humingi ng tulong sa kanila maging sa Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the near future (It is not embarrassing to ask help from other cities which have expertise in resolving the problem they too encountered. We are not saying we are experts in flooding so we need to ask for help from them even to the DPWH in the future,” he noted.

Lim said the city has a complex flood problem, which requires a comprehensive planning in order to identify the root cause.

“We have to study, we have to be humble enough to know that there are possible causes, and number of solutions we can implement,” he emphasized.

Lim ordered city administrator Vladimir Mata to conduct a comprehensive drainage audit to determine if both old and new drainages in the city are still structurally sound, connected, and functioning well.

He also stressed the need for the closure of the city dumpsite located in Bonuan area.

“This would be possible by searching for a feasible sanitary landfill in order to temporarily dispose of the city’s waste, while searching for new ways of waste management,” he added.

Lim underscored the importance of proper waste segregation which should begin within Dagupan’s households.

As for then mayor Belen Fernandez’s waste-to-worth project, Lim said he would still determine if the project is the best and most cost-efficient solution.

“We only need to answer two questions on whether we should push through with the said project. If we see that waste-to-worth (project) is not the most effective way (to manage wastes), then why should we continue it? It’s this simple, if the project of our predecessor is good, then we will continue it. But if it is wrong, we will not continue it especially if it is illegal,” he added.

Waste-to-worth project aims to convert solid wastes into diesel fuel and methane gas, which will be processed in a facility conceptualized with the help of Procter and Gamble Philippines to be funded by Sure Global Company.

Lim also promised to provide job opportunities, giving focus on marginalized communities in the city.

“We want to move them away from traditional income sources. If we can give them more stable jobs, better so we can give them a stable income,” he said.

Lim further said he will invite both domestic and foreign investors in the city to put up businesses and provide jobs.

Meanwhile, the city mayor asked for the cooperation of every city hall employee in order to achieve its goals towards progress and development of the city.

“(Sensitivity simply means that one) you must really truly care for your work. And if you truly care for your work, it means you are willing to do it without being recognized, without being thanked simply because you know what you do is important and what you do can benefit a great number of people,” Lim explained.

In an interview with reporters, Lim said he will spend his first week by getting to know city hall employees, plus reviewing the various departments’ reports, pending projects, and future initiatives.

“There are things I couldn’t do that others can, while there are also things others couldn’t do, but I can. The bottom line is that we need to cooperate, regardless of our political affiliation, to get things done,” Lim added.

Lim is also set to attend schooling for newly-elected mayors, hosted by the Department of Interior and Local Government, in order to learn strategies to effectively lead the city. Ahikam Pasion and Liwayway Yparraguirre / PNA –

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