May 17, 2017 – Established newspaper The Manila Times on May 11 recognized several key cities for their outstanding performances in different issues, including peace and order, environment, business, senior citizen accommodation, education, social services, health, employment, tourism, disaster-readiness, and infrastructure, in its competition dubbed “Philippine Model Cities: Beyond the Most Livable Urban Centers”, a forum-cum-awards event aimed on finding the most livable urban centers across the Philippines.
At the event held at the New World Manila Bay Hotel in Manila, General Santos City Vice Mayor Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles, along with City Economic Management and Cooperative Development Office (CEMCDO) Acting Department Head Engr. Riza Marie Paches received “The Road & Home Award” which recognized the city for its public infrastructure and public housing achievements.
Gensan, known for its marine resources and strategic location in the SOCSKSARGEN region and the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asia Growth Area or BIMP-EAGA, was awarded for its energies in creating “projects that transformed the city into a highly-urbanized area, becoming one of the regional centers and gateways of commerce and industry in the South.”
As per the Manila Times, the event also recognized other major cities for different categories: Sta. Rosa City, the Safe Haven Award; Batangas City, Environment Friendly Award; Business Friendly Award, San Fernando City, Pampanga; Tagaytay City, Retirement Haven Award; Parañaque City, Education Hub Award; Quezon City, Programs for Youth Development and Empowerment; Zamboanga City, Programs for Health and the Elderly; Mandaluyong City, Wealth Center Award; Naga City, Livelihood and Employment Haven Award; Laoag City, Emergency and Disaster Management Award; and, Davao City, Tourism Hub Award. The winning city, given the Top Model City Award, is Bacolod City.
Despite not winning the highest award during the event, the Vice Mayor is adamant. In a speech during the 18th Sanggunian’s May 16 regular session, she remains confident that the city is more than able to nail the Top Model City award in the next Philippine Model City competition.
“Kayang-kaya natin,” the Vice Mayor said.
The competition’s panel of judges consisted of some of the country’s biggest names. According to the Manila Times, the panel consisted of: Convergys Philippines Services Corporation Chairwoman Marife Zamora, Wilcon Depot Director Rosemarie Bosch-Ong, P&A Grant Thornton Tax Advisory and Compliance Division Head Eleanor Roque, and Architect Felino Palafox.
- Hezekiah Kit Canlas