Marikina City Mayor Marcelino "Marcy" Teodoro reminded the city council on Wednesday, July 6, that efficiency and effectivity in local governance are the key things that citizens are seeking from them in the next three years.
"We need to be more efficient, and effective in our services. Efficiency and effectivity ang hinihingi sa atin ng mga tao ngayon (Efficiency and effectivity are what the public is asking from us today)," Teodoro said during the inaugural city council meeting.
Teodoro, now serving his third term after winning the May 9 elections, welcomed the new city council roster, consisting of all members of "Team Marcy" who got a historic landslide victory.
The city council is led by re-elected Vice Mayor Marion Andres.
The councilors under Team Marcy include Sam “SF” Ferriol, Kate De Guzman, Manny “Tarangka” Sarmiento, Rommel Kambal Acuña, Cloyd Casimiro, Carl Africa, Joseph “Jojo” Banzon, and Serafin “Bojie” Bernardino for District 1; and Loreto Tolentino, Hilario “Larry” Punzalan, Angelito “Angel” Nuñez, Donn Favis, Levy De Guzman, and Marife Dayao for District 2.
He wished for the council's full support in the city's programs, their cooperation in the next three years, and reminded them of their duties to the people.
"Let us not be subservient to our self-interests. Be subservient to the interests of the public. Matutukoy natin ito sa patuloy na pakikipagusap, pakikipagugnay, pakikiisa sa ating mga kababayan (We can identify these interests by communicating, coordinating, and uniting with our citizens)," the mayor said.
Teodoro highlighted three key issues that he asked the council to immediately attend to -- the business tax amnesty, public-private partnership (PPP), and the rehabilitation of the Marikina River.
In 2021, the previous city council drafted an ordinance that gave a tax amnesty to business owners to alleviate their finances burdened by the costs of the Covid-19 pandemic. Through the ordinance, business owners paid no penalties or surcharges for late payments.
Teodoro encouraged the city council to extend this ordinance or draft one like it since the ordinance lapsed after June 30.
Many businesses still need the amnesty, unable to fulfill their financial obligations, he said. Many small to medium businesses are still struggling with having enough money to duly pay their employees their salaries, and manage their other business expenses.
They have not made full payments or were only able to provide partial payments, he added.
The mayor noted the crafting of a resolution that would strengthen the public-private partnership (PPP) in the city. Teodoro mentioned the partnership between the local government and private entities such as the Marikina Chamber of Commerce, and the Marikina Valley Constructors Association for joint projects on public infrastructure renovation and rehabilitation.
He said it was an initiative made and sponsored by the private groups.
Teodoro remarked that these combined forces and cooperation between stakeholders "show Marikina's resilience in the face of challenges."
Because of the massive scale of the Marikina River rehabilitation project, Teodoro urged the city council to support plans, programs, and draft policies that would contribute to flood control, and disaster response in the city.
In terms of budget allocation for 2023, the mayor also asked the council to focus primarily on enhancing the educational incentives given to students of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina (PLMar) and other public schools in the city. He aims for an increase in enrollees in PLMar in the coming years.
The local government's target, Teodoro said, is universal healthcare, which he urged the city council to cultivate as part of their post-Covid recovery plan.
"Marami pa tayong gagawin, kailangan isaayos. Dahil dito sa Covid, madami tayong tanggapan sa ating Pamahalaang lungsod, mga opisina na nagbago ng sistema, imprastraktura para sa new normal...Rest assured that we will do everything that are available to do para sa tao (There are many things we need to do and fix. Because of Covid, many of our offices in our local government were restructured, and systems were changed for the new normal...Rest assured we will do everything that are available to do for our citizens)," Teodoro said.