Countdown

Day 1 of the New Year and I guess I need to start the countdown to the end of my 3rd term in the City Council.

2009 would be my last full year in the City Council. My 9-year, 3-term stint at the local legsilative body ends on June 30, 2010.

There are still plenty of work to do and this year would indeed be a busy one. After taking it slow the past year to help me recover from my stomach ailment, I must now take extra effort to work harder and try to complete my legislative agenda.

January 6 is the resumption of the City Council session and I have already lined up three measures, namely, the extension up to January 31 the period for the renewal of business licenses, which is set by law during the first 20 days of the month; preparations for the Chinese New Year and inauguration of the second arch at Chinatown; and release of the balance of the city government Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) as a result of the Supreme Court decision declaring the conversion of 16 towns into new cities last year as illegal.

On the last issue, the city is supposed to receive P2.055 billion in IRA shares last year. But because of the creation of new cities, this was reduced to P1.861 billion. Instead of an increase of P263 million from the previous year, the city got only an additional P69 million, thereby losing about P194 million.

With the High Court ruling, the city rightfully deserves to receive the full share of the IRA. We need this money to help pump prime the local economy and provide more social services as we face the effects of the global recession in our city.

Thank you to the Christmas cheers from Franklyn Ong of Pasajero Motors, Johnny Martinez of Mantex and DCWD.

Dec 15 City Council Agenda

Here’s the Calendar of Business of the regular session of the City Council for today:

Invocation by Councilor Edgar R. Ibuyan (1st District);

National Anthem; City March

Roll Call

Privilege Hour

First Reading – 6 Items (Nos. 1623 – 1628)

Third & Final Reading – 3 Items – Item No. 1556 Amusement tax exemption for Gary Valenciano concert for a cause on December 22; Item No. 1591 Amusement tax exemption for Barney show on December 16; Item No. 1074 reclassification of 12,649 square meters from protected light industrual zone to heavy industrial zone at Barangay Binugao

Committee of the Whole – 5 Items – Item Nos. 1257, 399, 400, 379, 386 all pertaining to application of cell sites of various telecom companies;

Second Reading (Deferred Items) – 22 Items, e.g. Item No. 1044-A investigation of the kiling of Datu Dominador Diarog, chieftain of the K’lata Tribe at Barangay Manuel Guianga on april 29, 2008; Item Nos. 984-B and 1126 on the plans of Hedcor, Inc. to tap the Tamugan, Panigan and Suawan Rivers for a hydro-electric power project;

Second Reading (New Committee Reports) – 6 Items, e.g. Item No. 1539 Deed of Donation by the Shelter Development Cooperative involving road lots, open spaces and community facilities at Concorde Village at Barangay Tugbok and Centennial Village at Barangay Ula; Item No. 1596 Application for Preliminary Approval & Locational Clearance for Northcrest Expansion by Alsons Development & Investment Corp. with an area of 40.8 hectares at Barangay Cabantian; Item No. 1581 – request for favorable endorsement for the application of Special Economic Zone of Legaspi Oil Co. Inc. located at Barangay Sasa

Interaction with students

I am happy that more and more college instructors are sending their students to do research work at the City Council.

During the past two weeks, I received three groups of students from Ateneo de Davao University, Holy Cross of Davao College and MATS College of Technology.

They were interested in what the City Council is doing and in my programs and projects. One group was particularly following up developments with my proposed Ordinance promoting the use of bicycles as alternative mode of transportation in the city.

I now maintain contact with them through emails.

I hope to see more students doing this interaction with their elected officials, not just to fulfill requirements in their schools but as acts of responsible citizens.

6:28 a.m.

City Council OKs Ayala Mall

The City Council finally approved the application for reclassification of the Floirendo property, site for the Ayala Center Davao project.

Local media reported the voting as unanimous. Actually here are the tallies – Approval of the Committee Report – 23-0; Approval of the Resolution – 24-0; Approval of the Ordinance on Second Reading – 25-0. Only Councilor Angging Librado-Trinidad was not present. She just gave birth to her second child, a son, last Sunday.

Councilors who expressed concerns about the drainage and traffic issues were convinced to support our committee’s favorable report after no less than Ricky Floirendo presented the following plans:

Drainage measures would include tapping and expanding existing drainage systems inside the property as well as those leading to the Bacaca, Dacudao Ave. and Veloso St. outlets.

Traffic plans include three private and public utility entrance/exit points from JP Laurel with plenty of loading/unloading bays inside the property; no public utility vehicle loading and unloading infront of Redemptorist Church, and opening of N. Torres St. Extension as new ingress/engress point leading to Bo. Obrero and Agdao.

The measure will go for a final Third Reading next session. However, I noticed ground prep work is now going on at the site. The Ayala-Foirendo Group must really be in a hurry.

Goodluck!

See related posts and comments at – Ayala Center Davao; and Ayala Center Davao fotos

5:52 a.m.

July 22 City Council Agenda

The City Council will continue to deliberate tomorrow on the application for reclassification of the Floirendo property for the planned Ayala Center Davao. Invited resource persons include the City Engineer, the District Engineer and the head of the Traffic Management Board.

Our post on the Ayala Center Davao has received many comments, particularly on the traffic that the new mall would generate in the JP Laurel area which is already a heavy traffic zone. The City Council sessions are open to the public and I encourage those interested to air their views to come join us tomorrow.

Other items in the City Council agenda include the World Bank/IFC Report on business permit processing, 11 items for First Reading, and eight items for Committee Reports notably the “Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan for 2008-2017.”

5:53 a.m.

July 15 City Council Agenda

Here are the Items up for discussion at today’s Regular Session of the City Council:

First Reading – 30 Items including an application for poker gaming operations at the casino( No. 1237); reclassification of a property for a softdrink bottling plant (No. 1247); legislative authority for the Metro Davao Overlay Fiber Optic Project (No. 1257); and endorsement for the “Call to Save the Mountains of the World” to the United Nations (No. 1265);

3rd & Final Reading – 2 Items – No. 875-E tax exemption for the concert “Los Suenos a estan compliendo/ Dreams fulfilling;” No. 1067 – deed of donation of Alsons Development Corporation of parcel of land located at Barangay Lasang;

Committee of the Whole – 2007 Philippine Cities Competitiveness Ranking Project;

Unfinished Business – Item No. 1184-B – IFC Report on Business Permit Processing;

Second Reading (Deferred Items) – 4 Items

Second Reading (New Items) – 9 Items including Ordinance on the mandatory ear-screening for newborn babies (Item 251); Barangay boundary disputes (Item Nos. 477, 642 and 759);  reclassification of property for the  Ayala Center Davao.

6:11 a.m.

New police chief

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, still recuperating from his recent gall bladder operation, made his first public appearance Monday to receive the city’s new police chief, PSupt. Ramon Apolinario.

Apolinario paid a courtesy call at the City Council yesterday and vowed to maintain or even “surpass” the performance of his predecessor, PSupt. Jaime Morente, who is now assigned in Region XII.

Our new police chief has a very impressive academic and service background. He hails from Manila and graduated from the Philippine Military Academy Batch 1985. He has an MBA from Ateneo and also studied at the Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge.

Prior to his posting in the city, he headed the Human Resource Department of the Philippine National Police in Region XI.

We expect him to lead the Davao City Police Office as one of the best in the country.

6:03 a.m.