RESIDENTS of Daanbantayan in northern Cebu can look forward to improved income and employment opportunities with the town’s anticipated spending on some P333 million worth of projects.
Mayor Sun Shimuara revealed this in his State of the Municipality Address (Soma) 2023 summarizing the local government’s achievements from November 2022 to December 2023.
The P300 million Daanbantayan Astrodome topped the list of big-ticket projects of the town for the benefit of tourism and sports, while the agriculture sector would also see some P33.5 million worth of projects, a video presentation of Shimura’s Dec. 21, 2023 Soma delivered at the Lamberto R. Te Sr. Cultural Center revealed.
The Municipal Agriculture Office is looking at the following projects to develop to bring benefits to many in the town: a Triple A slaughterhouse worth P15 million from the Provincial Government of Cebu, and a P2.85 million Community Fish Landing Center from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 7.
The Department of Agriculture 7 is expected to provide P300,000 for the rehabilitation of the town’s greenhouse, P700,000 for the construction of a seed bodega, and P200,000 for the municipal plant nursery, while the Department of Labor and Employment’s (Dole) Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (Dileep) worth P14,534,665, is expected to support incomes, according to the presentation.
Dileep provides employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to displaced, disadvantaged and unemployed workers, according to the Dole.
The mayor’s report revealed that Phase 1 of the construction of the Daanbantayan Astrodome began last June in Barangay Agujo. Phase 1 costs P39,147,752.83 and is funded by Rep. Janice Salimbangon (Cebu, 4th district) through the Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas.
Duros Development Corp. is building the 2,000-square-meter astrodome that can seat 5,700 people.
The astrodome will be used for big events like regional and national sports meet, and it will also double as an evacuation center during calamities, such as typhoons, which Daanbantayan is no stranger to.
Shimura is still seeking help from the Senate for additional funding for the completion of the astrodome, which is expected to boost employment and tourism in the town.
Daanbantayan was the second most visited local government unit (LGU) by local and foreign tourists in the year 2022 in Cebu Province, and ranked number five in the entire Cebu island, according to the Department of Tourism, the mayor’s presentation showed.
The mayor said a further increase in tourism in 2023 had boosted the number of accredited facilities in the town to 58 accredited resorts and home-stays in the mainland barangays and the island of Malapascua. No comparable figures were given for the year 2022.
He said the Daanbantayan Tourism Code had also been crafted as a guide for tourism stakeholders.
For improved accessibility, the mayor reported that road concreting had been undertaken, particularly in Tagasa, Maya, the barangay road going to the slaughterhouse, the road in Pajo Norte, the barangay road in Paypay, and the Agujo road beside the Cebu Technological University, among others.
For improved road safety, solar lights were also installed along the streets.
For infrastructure, the mayor also touted among the LGU’s accomplishments the building of the two-story Malapascua port and a covered court in Poblacion, the establishment of the Maya Food Park, improvement of the quadrangle in Tagasa, Maya, the development of the municipal plaza extension for senior citizens, and the expansion to Phase 2 of the Municipal Cemetery.
For improved communications, he cited the installation of a repeater tower in Barangay Lanao.
The mayor reminded the residents that the wet market had been improved and that the town had put up a wastewater treatment facility, operationalized the passenger waiting area in Sitio Mahayahay Poblacion, and fenced the Balay Silangan Rehabilitation and Reformation Center, the temporary shelter for drug offenders.
In the area of environmental protection, the northern Cebu town has also not been left
Through the efforts of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (Menro), the town’s forest land use plan (FLUP) was legitimized with the signing by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Menro and the Daanbantayan LGU of a joint memorandum of agreement on July 28, 2022. All applicants for building permits for land in the forestland are now endorsed to the FLUP steering committee.
Mangrove planting was done in the forestland areas, and two tree planting activities were undertaken inside the watershed areas, according to Shimura.
All 20 barangays have drafted a Barangay Ecological Solid Waste Management plan with the help of the Menro, which has been able to install new solid waste management machines funded by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office.
During this period, nearly two tons of residual plastics were gathered from Barangay Carnaza, which were exchanged for the same quantity of rice under the incentives and rewards program of Menro.
Daanbantayan was selected as the pilot site for the official development assistance project in reducing marine plastics, and some of its officials have attended training toward the attainment of this goal, the mayor reported.
In the area of agriculture, in line with its partnership with rural-based organizations (RBO) in the implementation of agricultural and fishery development projects, the LGU provided assistance to 62 associations with 2,921 members comprising farmers, fishermen and rural women.
Farm mechanization support services were expanded, with the LGU giving free tractor services and farm machinery to RBOs, while insurance coverage was extended to commodity and farm product producers.
Through extension services, techno-demo farms were also formed, and production and technical services were expanded, like the crop production program, fisheries development program, and poultry and livestock program.
The mayor added that two councils were formed—the Municipal Agricultural and Fishery Council and the Municipal Fishery and Aquatic Resources Management Council, that have become the bridge for public-private partnerships in crafting policy and advancements in the sector.
In the area of health, the mayor reported that a new birthing center was opened on April 3, 2023 and that the town’s animal bite treatment center became functional from July 2023, helping 194 clients.
The town also acquired an ultrasound machine which, since June 1, 2023, has helped 293 people. Eighty people have also benefited from the TB-Lamp the town acquired in May 2022 for the detection of bacteria that can cause tuberculosis.
Shimura’s presentation closed with the revelation that the town harbors dreams of one day becoming a city. Population, income and land size are considered for the conversion of towns into cities.