Parañaque perfectly embodies the characteristics of a livable progressive urban center—that is, since Mayor Edwin Olivarez took the reins of leadership of this pulsating city, situated along the coast of Manila Bay.
Working on programs and advocacies that spell development for the whole city and upliftment of the lives of almost one million residents, the good mayor goes by the acronym “Bagong” Parañaque to outline his priorities.
B-Business and Environment Friendly. The city government’s Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) has put up a Business One Stop Shop (BOSS) to expedite business processing for new application or renewal of licenses. There are more than 21,000 establishments now operating in the city, with no increase in taxes the last four years and beyond. The City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) makes sure that cleaning and greening of the surroundings, waste segregation, and waterways drainage are done all year-round. The city is equipped with a waste depository container, 50 dump trucks with compactor, several six-wheeler and 10-wheeler dump trucks for construction debris collection, trash boat, boom truck, payloader and amphibious backhoe. Leading the beautification drive around the city is First Lady Janet Olivarez under the city’s Cleanliness, Beautification and Sanitation Committee (CBS).
A-Academic Excellence for Education and Culture. In just two years since Olivarez assumed office, 26 public elementary schools and 16 secondary schools have been built in all of the barangays comprising the city. The Parañaque City College, opened in 2014, produced its first batch of graduates in 2015. The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Parañaque is expected to open its doors next school year. Parañaque hosted Palarong Pambansa in 2015. It also holds the Lambat Festival every second week of February.
G-Good governance and public order. Upon assumption of office, Mayor Olivarez renovated and fixed the City Hall, as the edifice symbolizes the city. It’s now more beautiful and cleaner, with every employee happy to respond to the needs of constituents and those doing business with the local government. Multipurpose halls and gymnasiums have also been built, and the city public market renovated. The police force has been doubled to keep peace and order in the city. Crime rate went down by as much as 40-percent the previous year. For disaster preparedness, the government put up the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO) Rescue Center at Sucat Road, San Isidro. The group One Parañaque Volunteer Corps is always ready to assist in rescue operations.
O-Opportunities for Livelihood and Housing. PESO (Public Employment Service Office) is in the center of job generating initiatives. Among the agency’s programs include Dole’s Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP), Tulong Alalay sa Taong may Kapansanan (TULAY 2000), Kabataan 2000, Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES), Local Government Internship Progam (LGIP) for nurses and teachers, Workers Hiring for Infrastructure Projects (WHIP), Labor Market Information (LMI) and TUPAD Emergency Employment Program. It also has OJT (on-the-job training) and Senior Citizen job placement programs. Partnering with Rotary Club, Habitat for Humanity, Couples for Christ, ANCOP Tekton Foundation, I Homes, Maynilad and DMCI, the government had been building socialized housing units for its lower strata constituents along C-5 Extension, La Huerta; Sto. NiÒo; San Dionisio; San Antonio; and Sun Valley.
N – Nutrition, Health and Senior Citizens’ Welfare and Social Services. For Health and Nutrition, the city has built the Ospital ng Parañaque (OsPar), with another one in the works to serve the second district. The government also has Expanded Program on Immunization, Maternal and Child Health, Family Planning, Control of Diarrhea Diseases, Local Health Response in Emergencies and Disasters among others. Under the auspices of the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA), every senior citizen of the city has been issued their individual PhilHealth card and allotted social pension to make sure their health concerns are immediately addressed when needed. They are also given cash gifts during Christmas and special occasions and can watch movies for free at SM Cinemas. The city also has a search for Outstanding Seniors and Gandang Mamita. For its many programs benefiting the elderly, the national government awarded Parañaque as the “Most Age-Friendly City of the Philippines” in 2014; Dangal Award; and recognized during the 6th Global Conference of the Alliance of Healthy Cities in Hong Kong.
G-God-centered Leadership. The government regularly holds Kasalang Bayan to make sure that couples are living in one roof with the blessings of God. More than 2,000 couples have been married since the inception of the program. Mayor Olivarez said that it’s the Lord who’s guiding him in this calling, that’s why all the programs under his administration is geared for the celebration of faith and in praise of the Omnipotent’s goodness in sanction to earthly affairs.