What is 50 yearsâ€™ worth? For Tagbilaran City, it is a picture of a lot of things. From almost 11,000 registered voters in 1970, Tagbilaran City has grown steadily with almost 60,000 registered voters this year. With only 1,507 business establishments 46 years ago, the City has indeed traveled the beaten path, with 4,000 registered businesses this 2016.
Five decades passed and the city has, indeed, metamorphosed into a butterfly vivid with vibrant colors amidst the challenges of the times.
The local income of the City Government four years after it was chartered amounted to Php525,315.43 as reported by the City Treasurer and Assessor Atty. Jesus Olandria. This year, City Revenue Generation Consultant PrimitivaOntong proudly shares the 2015 local income of Tagbilaran City amounting to Php326,267,600.01.
With this accomplishment in sound fiscal management of the city government, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) singled out Tagbilaran as one of the recipients of the Citiesâ€™ Development Initiative (CDI) under the Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity or SURGE program, which aims to transform secondary cities into engines of growth. SURGE is now supporting Tagbilaran for inclusive and sustainable economic progress and one of the resilient growth centers outside the urban core of Metro Manila.
On the other hand, Tagbilaran is set to become an interesting destination and not just a mere gateway for tourists to Bohol with the Bohol Friendship Park Development Project in Barangay Bool. It may be noted that tourists continue to include the Sandugo Shrine in their itinerary as first stop of the Bohol Countryside Tour. Napoleon Abuevaâ€™s bronze sculptor depiction of the international treaty of friendship will be elevated to amore distinctive stature as the Bohol Friendship Parkstarts its construction this year. The park is envisioned as a public and private collaboration between the City Government under Mayor John Geesnell â€œBABAâ€ Yap and with the private sector.The Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) saw promise in the tourism project and shelled out Php54 million pesos as counterpart. The Technical Working Group has finalized the details of the components covered by the TIEZA grant and with the approval of the program of works; bidding is expected to follow soon.
Indeed, there is so much to look forward to in Tagbilaran, in another fifty years or so. (Jeanette Laila-Busano)