100 DAYS. Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez gives an update on her first 100 days on Wednesday (Oct. 26, 2022). Fernandez highlighted the reforms on the environment and governance, among others, her administration has implemented. (Photo courtesy of Dagupan City Information Office)

DAGUPAN CITY – Mayor Belen Fernandez has cited in her first 100 days address the environmental and governance reforms being implemented by her administration.
 
Fernandez said the city government is now resolving the problem of overcrowding and pollution in the river with the Task Force Bantay Ilog.
 
“We have strengthened monitoring on the existing and new fish pens and we are implementing the standard size based on the law. We have met with the stakeholders and we are going to resolve the problem and clean our rivers together,” she said.
 
Fernandez said she is considering declaring an environmental emergency after discovering the condition of the river system here through the City Agriculture Office.
 
“I am saddened to announce that there might be a citywide fish kill with the condition of the river like what happened in 2002 and 2006,” she added.
 
There are about 1,460 fish pens in the rivers according to the Task Force Bantay Ilog while there are only 257 that have the permit to operate.
 
“From the 1,460 fish pens, there are estimated 5,000 tons of commercial feeds utilized yearly that remain in the bottom of the rivers. Clearly, we see and experience its cruel impact now. We need to act and we need to act fast,” she said.
 
In 2019, Fernandez enforced the provisions of the city’s Comprehensive Fisheries Ordinance of 2003.
 
Meanwhile, Fernandez said she is looking into grievances in the different areas of the local government, including education, waste management, tourism, infrastructure, and health, among others.
 
She said the city has proposed some PHP384 million as the supplemental budget for the plans and programs this year, which was submitted to the Sangguniang Panlungsod for approval as well as the 2023 annual budget.  
 
Fernandez also vowed transparent governance and to go after those who have committed irregularities, especially with the records of the city. (PNA)