With 15 years of experience in public service at the age of 42, Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian has proved throughout the years that he is just more than a man with brilliant ideas.
Although currently known to many as a legislator with over 58,000 scholars, the senatorial aspirant has always been recognized as a dynamic leader and problem solver for successful reforms he implemented in Valenzuela City since 2001 up to present as mayor and congressman.
These reforms led Valenzuela City to be recognized as the Most Business-Friendly Local Government Unit Award in 2012, Best Governed Highly Urbanized City in 2010, and Best Peace and Order Council in the National Capital Region (NCR) in 2008, among others.
His outstanding record on good governance personally earned him awards, such as one of the The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in Public Service in 2011, Best Mayor in CAMANAVA in 2008, just to name a few.
With less than a week left before the 2016 National Elections, let’s look back on major achievements that he introduced in Valenzuela City:
1) Clean and Transparent Government
The see-through glass panel dividing the public offices in Valenzuela City Hall signifies how clean and transparent Gatchalian wrote the success story of his beloved city—from a not-so-developed locality into a developed, highly urbanized city.
During his term as mayor, Gatchalian implemented the Simple, Speed, Service or 3S in Public Service program, which became his primary anti-graft and corruption platform.
His award-winning platform on good governance paved the way for the use of modern technology, automation of public transactions, and eradication of fixers operating within the city hall.
2) Making Business Easy
Automation of public office transactions and removal of fixers in Valenzuela City has made it easy for its residents to apply for permits.
For example, the application business permit that usually took 14-21 days before, now only takes 30 minutes. Also, getting building and occupancy permits now only takes 2-3 days, which before took up to a week.
3) Online and Mobile Payment of Real Property Tax
Introducing modern technology in public offices also paved the way for Valenzuela City to open an online bill and mobile payment option for real property taxpayers.
Real property tax that should be paid to the government is also assessed through the Geographical Information System (GIS). The satellite assessment system operates without any human intervention, which in turn eliminates any form of corruption.
4) More Work and Source of Income
Making public transactions and opening businesses much easier for its resident has also energized its local labor sector in Valenzuela City.
To help job hunters and fill in the vacancy in new businesses in the city, Gatchalian had hosted numerous job fairs during his term as mayor and congressman.
The Valenzuela City government also harnessed the power of technology in helping its constituents in finding work through Public Employment Services Office (PESO) Online, the first ever job-matching online initiative of a local government unit in the country.
From 2005 to 2012, he helped at least 146,184 residents from Valenzuela City to land a job.
5) Doubled Local Revenue in 8 years
The effort of the local government of Valenzuela City to improve public transactions, local businesses, and tax payment has boosted the income generated by the city government over the years.
In 2004, during Gatchalian’s first year as mayor, the local revenue of Valenzuela City was only at P864 million. It gradually increased over the years and in 2012, it reached P2.1 billion or more than double its amount 8 years ago.
6) Major Infrastructure Projects
The increased in local revenue enabled Gatchalian to fund various big-ticket infrastructure and road rehabilitation projects in Valenzuela City.
New public establishments include the new City Hall Building, Justice Hall, City Jail, Central Police Station, Social Hall, Central Warehouse and Motorpool, and City and Training Command Center.
7) More than 2,000 classrooms built and improved
As an education advocate, one of Gatchalian priorities during his mayoral years was the construction of classrooms.
He had over 2,000 built and rehabilitated classrooms in public daycare centers, elementary, high school, and colleges.
Because of the simultaneous classroom construction, public schools in Valenzuela City were able to keep the student-classroom ratio in elementary (1:42) and high school (1:44) level.
8) Free school supplies and worktext to all public school students
Since 2008, local government of Valenzuela also provided free bags, school supplies, notebooks, and worktext to every public elementary school students every school.
From school years between 2008 and 2013, the total number of worktexts distributed reached a total of 582,772.
Currently, all public elementary school students in Valenzuela City continues to receive free school supplies and worktext every school year.
Worktext distributed to public school students were specifically developed by education supervisors, schoolheads and teachers from Valenzuela City schools to improve the performance rating of elementary pupils.
9) K to 6 In-School Feeding Program
Under Gatchalian’s leadership, the local government of Valenzuela City also pioneered the first city-wide feeding program in the country in cooperation with Synergeia Foundation.
Known as the K to 6 In-School Feeding program, a total of 16,000 students in all public daycare and elementary school in Valenzuela City are given free lunch throughout the entire school year.
10) Disiplina Village
Another first in the entire country in Valenzuela City is the opening of Disiplina Village, which is first LGU-initiated resettlement project and currently the biggest in-city low-rise building relocation program in the Philippines.
It was based on a five-year plan to relocate all typhoon victims and information settler families (ISFs) living in danger zones in Valenzuela City.
The project was opened in a 1.9-hectare land at Barangay Ugong in 2012 and gave shelter with an affordable monthly rent of P300 to P944 families that were displaced by Typhoon Ondoy and those families living along Tullahan River, Polo River, and Meycauayan River. (Tim Alcantara)