Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte (Screengrab from QC government Facebook page)

MANILA – Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has assured constituents that the city’s social services program will be further expanded to guarantee assistance for all those in need.
 
Belmonte detailed her plans for the city for the next three years during her inauguration speech after she took her oath as the reelected city mayor on Wednesday.
 
“Every  year, we progressively increase the budget dedicated to social services. Nagsimula tayo sa PHP9.8 billion na budget nong 2019. Ngayong 2022, halos doble ng budget na yan ang inilaan natin para sa mga programang direktang sumasagot sa mga pangangailangan ng mga mamamayan (We started with a PHP9.8 billion budget in 2019, and now in 2022, we have almost doubled the budget for programs that will directly address the needs of our citizen),” she said.
 
She added the PHP16.1-billion budget for social services which the city intends to keep on increasing in the next three years “promises to be an inclusive social safety net for all marginalized and underprivileged sectors”.
 
Among the programs that will be funded under this budget are the “Alagang QC” program, the Social Amelioration Program for QC residents (SAP QC), and the “Kalingang QC” program which started during the height of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), among others.
 
Belmonte said the city’s acquisition of 36 hectares of real property for distribution to eligible residents and the construction of more housing projects are currently underway, as more health centers are being renovated and upgraded, and essential medicines are being made available for free through health centers and LGU pharmacies.
 
Malapit na tayong magkaroon ng ospital sa District 6. May sistema na ang pag aasikaso ng mga pasyente dahil magkakaroon na ng single patient record system sa ating public hospitals at health centers. Sa tulong ng information technology, matutukan ang bawat pasyente (District 6 will soon have a hospital. We have also put in place a system called ‘single patients record system’ in our public hospitals and health centers. With the help of information technology, we will be able to focus on every patient, personalized,)” she said.
 
Meanwhile, Belmonte also committed to undertaking more infrastructure projects, rehabilitating more parks, expanding the bike lane network from 93-kilometer to 174 kilometers by 2025, and adding more green pedestrian walkways.
 
She added the Quezon Memorial Circle will undergo extensive redevelopment to restore more green spaces, and build an elevated green promenade connecting the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife to the Quezon Memorial Circle for easy access to both parks.
 
For transportation, she said high-caliber infrastructure projects will be undertaken.
 
Before ending her speech, Belmonte proudly shared that the city once again received an unqualified opinion for 2021, for two straight years now, from the Commission on Audit (COA).
 
Ibig sabihin, naging malinis at walang bahid ng katiwalian ang ating pamamahala (Meaning, our administration has been transparent and free of corruption),” she said.
 
Belmonte was reelected for her second term after garnering a total of 662,611 votes over rival former Congressman Mike Defensor who got 419,064 votes. (PNA)