DAGUPAN CITY – Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, through an executive order, declared the year 2018 as the Year of the Family in the city.

In her first message during the first day of work for the year 2018, which started with the celebration of a Holy Mass at the city plaza on January 3, Mayor Fernandez called on all city hall employees to be the model of all families in the city by fostering love, care and discipline in their workplace and in their own homes.

The mayor disclosed that from the day she assumed office as the city mayor she has learned to embrace city hall employees and the people of Dagupan as her family and for being the head of the city she has learned to forgive and forget the misgivings done unto her by some employees when she assumed office.

“Let’s start a new one and do away with the misunderstandings and let’s work together as one big family,” said Fernandez.

This is why it is important, said Fernandez, that when the social services departments like the City Social Welfare and Development Office, the Civil Registry, City Legal Office, Population Office, the City Health Office and the Nutrition Office work together “they should work as a family in serving our people”.

When the finance management teams of the city like the budget office, the accounting office, city treasurer office, the market, the One- Stop Business Center work they should work as a family with teamwork and cooperation.

“When we want to give livelihood and jobs to the people, the city agriculture office, the human resources office and the Public Employment and Services Office must work together as a family,” she said.

In terms of peace and order, the Dagupan City Police, the Public Order and Safety Office, the Public Alert Response Monitoring Center, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) must work together as one family, she added.

“I know that when you think of your family, you think of earning more for their education, food, shelter and health. And this is what we have been doing in our city,” said Fernandez.

We have been providing livelihood to the city’s small fisherfolks, who will soon be a recipient of nets and bamboos for their fishcages from the city, because behind them are their families.

We are also making sure that the city hall employees get their salary on time because we know that their families are dependent on them for their needs.

We allowed the vendors to occupy our streets even if it’s against our policy because behind them are their families waiting for them for food during the Holiday season. We allowed them because of compassion.

We are building bridges in the remote barangays like in Carael, Tokok and Watak because the family is crossing the bridge.

We are looking after the problems of our city in flooding by elevating the roads, building new drainage system, dikes to protect our rivers in partnership with national government agencies because we wanted to protect our family.

We are building a diagnostic center because we wanted to look after the health of our children and our family as a whole.

“This year (2018) expect more events for you and your families,” said Fernandez.

The mayor also expressed her gratitude to the Sangguniang Panlungsod especially to those whom she referred to as the “super majority” for approving important legislations before the year ends like  the city’s budget on time, by passing an ordinance exempting indigent families for paying fees for late registration of births in support of the “Lehitimo Ako, Batang Dagupeño” program, for amending the fishery code of the city particularly on the allowed size of fish cages from 5×5 to 7×10 measurement for the sake of small fisherfolks in the city and for approving the budget for the procurement of big trucks for fire and rescue operations of the CDRRMO.

She also thanked the volunteer workers of the city whom she said will play a great role this year in the city’s “Lehitimo Ako, Batang Dagupeño” program.

Even our department heads are already extending their personal services to our people, the mayor added as she mentioned that various projects and programs are being undertaken by the different department heads like the Project Bulilit of the accounting office which teaches the school children on value of money and money management; good governance, accountability and transparency to school organizations being undertaken by the budget office; the Young Health Advocate Leaders of the city health office and livelihood trainings for out of school youths being undertaken by the Human Resource Department, among others.

In the end, Fernandez urged city hall employees to spend more time with their families by going home early.

“Let’s work efficiently and go home with our families early except for those who need to work overtime. If you are not done with your work, come to office very early and finish it. Spend more time with your family,” said Fernandez.

Fernandez disclosed that regular employees of the city hall will soon receive the third tranche of their salary increase on their next payday. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Jan. 3, 2018)