THE MUNICIPALITY’S DEVELOPMENT VISION

“Mercedes is a world class tourism hub and a key player for the production of renewable energy in Camarines Norte and the Center of Excellence for Fisheries in the Bicol Region where god-loving, empowered and health citizenry are living in a preserved and protected natural environment, with well-planned and functional infrastructure, and a vibrant economy under a dynamic and transparent leadership where everyone adheres to the principles of sustainable development.”

ROLE OF MERCEDES IN THE PROVINCE / REGION / NATION

The perceived roles of the municipality of Mercedes as medium town in hierarchy of center of the province are focused on the following functions:

            a.  World-class tourism hub in Camarines Norte

The aesthetic and natural beauty of Mercedes offers great opportunity for tourism development. The municipality is rich both in water and land based attractions which it should capitalize to serve as the center of tourism development in Camarines Norte. The water-based attractions particularly the seven group of islands are ideal for island resort development. All the islands have white sand and beaches and interesting marine life along their fringes. Should the islands be developed into a tourist destination, it could be known as island resort destination offering privacy, full amenities and a whole array of natural attractions and amenities. Moreover, the coastal barangays of Mercedes offers different distinct features, from waterfalls, rich flora and fauna and spring, among others. The socio-cultural and economic activities of the municipality, particularly its fishing industry can be capitalized as eco-tourism attractions.

            b.  Key Player in the Production of Renewable Energy in the Province

It is the thrust of the national government to tap and develop various sources of renewable energy, ranging from solar, hydro, wind and even wave energy. The municipality of Mercedes, being bounded by Pacific Ocean on its North and San Miguel on its East, and with its Colasi Falls has a great potential for all these renewable energy sources, hence it is envisioned that for the coming years, these renewable energy sources will be harness making Mercedes as the major source of energy in Camarines Norte.

            c.  Center of Excellence for Fisheries in the Bicol Region

Ever since, Mercedes is known for its rich and bountiful marine resources. Being a coastal municipality with a coastline of approximately 95 kilometers, where it covers majority of the area of San Miguel Bay, it is envisioned that the municipality will serve as the center for fisheries development in the Bicol Region. This role of the LGU was even identified in the Bicol Strategic Plan and Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan of the Province of Camarines Norte.

VISION ELEMENTS, DESCRIPTORS AND SUCCESS INDICATORS

            Desired Qualities of the Citizenry

a. Mercedes town people are, and will always be God-loving as manifested by honest, law abiding and disciplined citizens. This characteristic can be said to have been attained if there is zero crime rate, there are organized and functional religious organizations, people are advocates of child-friendly movement, there is no users and pushers of dangerous drug and there are no wanted criminals in the municipality.

b. Mercedes residents are empowered. This manifests that people are self-reliant, dynamic, educated, competent, responsible, well-informed, hardworking, productive and vigilant.

c. Mercedes residents are healthy, both physically and mentally. This can be indicated by low incidence of malnutrition, low disease outbreak, low mortality rate; 100% access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities and presence of healthy lifestyle activities, among others.

            Desired Status of the Local Economy

a. Vibrant Economy. It means that the economy of Mercedes is progressive, highly developed, diversified and competitive.This is manifested by the presence of job opportunities, presence of investment, increase per capita income, increase tourist arrivals, low poverty incidence, low unemployment and underemployment, improved agricultural and fishery production, high aquaculture production, high collection of RPT and other taxes, presence of financial institutions and functional cooperatives, optimum use of land resources and presence of legislative support for industry and investment promotion and development.

            Desired Status of Natural Environment

a. Preserved and Protected. This means that the municipality’s natural environment is sustained, well-managed and balanced. This desired state is characterized by the presence of fish sanctuaries, absence of illegal mangrove pickers, full compliance to RA 9003 and RA 8550, protected areas maintained and preserved, reforestation program implemented, mining and quarrying activities regulated, mangrove areas rehabilitated, zero illegal fishing and logging, no illegal conversion of prime agricultural land presence of clean environment.

            Desired Status of Built Environment

a. Well-Planned. Meaning adequate, safe and strategically located infrastructure. This descriptor can be realized if farm to market roads are interconnected, there is proper zoning, irrigation system are in place, presence of post-harvest facilities, presence of proper disposal system, infra projects adhere to the National Building Code, there are adequate infrastructure in support to tourism, adequate infrastructure to reduce vulnerability to disaster, adequate infrastructure support to improve the quality of services, all households are energized, sustained housing project and municipal building and other government facilities are improved, among others.

b. Functional. This condition is achieved if the municipality’s renewable energy sources are tapped and developed, absence of post-harvest losses and return of investment of infrastructure are ensured.

            Desired Qualities of Local Leadership

The people of Mercedes would like to be led and guided by local leaders who are dynamic and transparent.

            a. Dynamic in the sense that local leaders are dedicated, persistent, strong willed but fair, productive, hard working, resourceful, vigilant, sincere, committed, systematic and development oriented. Success indicators of these qualities are the following: Presence of responsive Executive-Legislative Agenda, presence of mandated development plans, awards and recognition received by LGU, and presence of functional employees association.

b. Transparent. Meaning accountable and approachable local leaders. This is achieved if there is the presence of functional local special bodies, absence of cases filed against municipal officials and employees, presence of strong linkages between and among LGUs, NGOs/POs and NGAs, regular conduct of assembly and consultation with constituents, active involvement of all sectors and quarterly reporting of accomplishment.

GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND TARGETS

The vision statement embodies the perceived role of Mercedes in the development of the province and of the region and the end state scenario of five (5) major vision elements: the quality of the citizenry, the character of the local economy, the state of the natural and built environment and the capabilities of local leadership. Attainment of these roles and the attainment of the desired qualities constitute the long term goals of development of Mercedes.

Presented below are the sectoral goals and objectives.

            SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Goal: A peaceful municipality with healthy citizenry that advocates child friendly movement, and encourages participation of Civil Society Organization in community development

Specific Objectives are:

1) Zero crime rate
2) Reduce by at least 80% the number of drug pushers/users.
3) Zero wanted criminals in the municipality
4) Sustain the participation and involvement of NGOs/POs in local governance
5) Improvement of literacy rate
6) Reduce financial dependency of people to government by at least 20%.
7) All children 3-5 years old are attending pre-school.
8) 85% of school aged 6-12 years old completed elementary education
9) 80% of school aged children 13-16 years old completed secondary education
10) 90% survival rate in elementary education
11) 85% survival rate in secondary education
12) Reduce by at least 80% the number of children 18 years old and below who are engaged in hazardous occupation
13) 80% of the identified Out-of-School Youth provided with technical capability training program
14) Reduce the number of Out-of-School Youth
15) 100% coverage to Philhealth
16) Increase the number of health personnel
17) At least 85% of households have access to sanitation facilities
18) Reduce mortality rate by at least 10%
19) Zero malnutrition
20) Increase by at least 10% the number of households with access to safe drinking water
21) At least 60% of households are practicing proper waste segregation

            ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Goal:A progressive municipality where its comparative advantage on agriculture, fishery, tourism industries and as source of renewable energy were fully tapped and developed

Specific Objectives are:

1) Increase job generation by at least 20%
2) Increase local investment by at least 60%
3) Increase family income by at least 30%
4) Increase tourist arrival by 20%
5) Increase the purchasing power of the people by at least 25%
6) Increase agricultural and fishery production by 25%
7) Improve aquaculture production by 30%
8) Increase local tax collection by 30%
9) Increase number of financial institutions in the municipality
10) Optimize the use of land resources
11) Passage of Local ordinances in support to industry and investment development

            ENVIRONMENTAL DEVELOPMENT

Goal: A municipality with sound and sustainable natural environment brought about by active people’s concerns and involvement for its protection and conservation

Specific Objectives are:

1) All potential areas for fish sanctuaries are declared and protected
2) 80% of mangrove areas rehabilitated and protected
3) Strict and full implementation of RA 8550
4) Full compliance to RA9003 or Solidwaste Management Act
5) Protected areas (NIPAS and Non-NIPAS) maintained and preserve
6) 80% of the forest areas of Mercedes reforested
7) Mining and quarrying activities controlled and regulated
8) Reduced and/or eliminate illegal logging activities
9) 100% eradication of illegal fishing activities
10) Zero conversion of prime agricultural land to other uses

            INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

Goal: An accessible and developed municipality that provides high quality services and facilities

Specific Objectives are:

1) All farm to market roads are concreted/asphalted and interconnected
2) The LGU has an approved zoning ordinance
3) 50% of potential areas for irrigation developed
4) All needed post harvest facilities in the barangays/cluster of barangays established
5) Improved waste disposal facilities
6) Infrastructure facilities in support to tourism development established/constructed
7) Infrastructure facilities needed to reduce vulnerability to disaster constructed/established
8) Adequate infrastructure support to improve the quality of services
9) The three island barangays are fully energized
10) All the 26 barangays, particularly the coastal and island barangays have access to safe drinking water
11) All families living in disaster prone area relocated
12) Potential renewable resources tapped and developed

            INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Goal: A dynamic local governance characterized by transparent and accountable leadership that promote, support and encourage people’s involvement in all facets of development

Specific Objectives are:

1) Come up with a concrete/responsive Executive-Legislative Agenda
2) Come up with the mandated plan (CLUP/CDP)
3) Organize a functional and active employees’ association
4) Eliminate cases filed against employees
5) Facilitate wider CSO participation in various development undertakings
6) Activate Regional Project Monitoring System