Quezon City

Belmonte boasts of Quezon City’s exceptional growth, resilience months into 2nd term

Michelle Abad

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Belmonte boasts of Quezon City’s exceptional growth, resilience months into 2nd term

4th SOCA. In this file photo, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte gives her fourth State of the City Address at Quezon City Hall on November 7, 2022.

Quezon City Government Facebook page

'Patunay ito sa malinis at tapat ang paggasta sa bawat piso sa QC,' Mayor Joy Belmonte says in her fourth State of the City Address

MANILA, Philippines – Months into her second term, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte had plenty to boast in her city across various sectors – from education, health, social services, and agriculture, among others.

Belmonte enumerated these milestones in her fourth State of the City Address (SOCA) on Monday, November 7, at the Legislative Building of Quezon City Hall.

Before getting into the sectors of the city, Belmonte highlighted the record-high P22 billion in taxes that the local government unit was able to collect in 2020 and 2021. This highlights a 66.3% increase of efficiency from 2018, when the LGU collected P15.2 billion.

The LGU of the Philippines’ most populous city also enjoys the Commission on Audit’s highest rating of an unqualified opinion for the second straight year, the mayor reported.

Patunay ito sa malinis at tapat ang paggasta sa bawat piso sa QC,” said Belmonte. (This is proof that the way we spend every peso in Quezon City is clean and honest.)


As of Monday, all public school learners in Quezon City from Kinder to Grade 12 had been given school supplies by the LGU. Meanwhile, all public school students from Grade 4 to Grade 12 had been given tablets for their school work.

At ang maganda pa, hindi na kailangang isauli ang tablet kapag nagtapos ng Grade 6, Grade 10, at Grade 12. Iyan ang gantimpala natin sa mga estudyanteng nagsisikap na maka-graduate,” said Belmonte. (And the good thing is, they do not need to return the tablets when they graduate from Grade 6, Grade 10, and Grade 12. That is our reward to students who work hard to graduate.)

Public school teachers in the city have also received 6,593 laptops from the LGU, and have been benefiting from a free annual medical check-up since 2019.

From 2021 to 2022, the LGU has awarded 16,890 scholarships not only to basic education, tertiary, and post-graduate students, but also to youth leaders, athletes, artists, indigents, and vocational course students.

The city government also allotted P495 million for 68 construction projects in public schools ranging from electrical systems repair, plumbing, handwashing stations, isolation and quarantine facilities, restrooms, and fire exits, among others.

Quezon City has also launched its tertiary education program for persons deprived of liberty. As of the November 7 speech, there were 52 PDLs in the QC Jail Female Dormitory who are enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship program, which comes with a livelihood skills program.

More children with disabilities are also receiving educational assistance – from 300 children beneficiaries in 2019, to 700 in 2022.

Social services

On Belmonte’s watch, Quezon City has been able to provide social housing to informal settler families at a faster rate. From 1986 to 2019, the city supplied housing to 58,124 informal settler families – or around 1,561 families a year.

From 2019 to 2022, the LGU has given housing to 17,124 informal settler families – an average of 5,708 per year. This represents a 365% increase in the annual average compared to the last 33 years.

The city has also allotted P50 million in fuel subsidies for tricycle drivers and operators. Drivers in Quezon City may also avail themselves of e-fuel cards, which allow them ease in receiving subsidies.


Despite being a highly urbanized city, Quezon City has developed local efforts to uphold food security through urban farming and aquaculture. Under the city’s GrowQC program, there are now at least 381,650 square meters of food-productive land area.

Urban farms in the city have doubled from 357 in 2021 to 635 in 2022. Urban farmers have increased from 4,119 to 15,875. Belmonte said that urban food producers now also have representation in the Quezon City People’s Council to help form policies in the city’s food security.

Noong 2019, nosebleed kapag narinig ang mga salitang ‘aquaculture’ at ‘aquaponics.’ Ngayon, marami nang gumagawa niyan sa QC…. Mayroon na tayong 168 fish growers, na kumikita sa pag-aalaga ng hito at tilapia. Mayroon na ring mahigit 784 square meters ng earthen, concrete, at canvass fishponds,” said Belmonte.

(In 2019, hearing the words “aquaculture” and “aquaponics” made people’s noses bleed [figuratively]. Now, there are many doing that in QC… We have 168 fish growers who earn from raising catfish and tilapia. We also have 784 square meters of earthen, concrete, and canvass fishponds.)

GrowQC was also a finalist in the 2022 C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards.


According to Belmonte, the city was able to achieve a 1:1 ratio of doctors to health centers.

As of November 5, the Quezon City LGU had fully vaccinated 2.6 million of its residents against COVID-19, around a million more vaccinated individuals than in last year’s SOCA in October 2021. Then, it was 1.67 million individuals, or 98% of the LGU’s target population.

More than 6,000 QC residents are now beneficiaries of the city’s free maintenance medicine program. Residents with mental health conditions are also entitled to free medication.

The city council is also close to passing its Mental Health Code, which proponents claim to be the most comprehensive mental health ordinance in the country. It is expected to be approved on third reading on November 14.

In the speech of over 7,300 words, the mayor also boasted achievements in ease of doing business, climate change action, and livelihood programs, among others.

“When QCitizens were looking up to us to provide a way forward, there was no time to waste. There was no time to hesitate. Our eyes and ears were focused on the needs of our people. Our resilience is the product of that singular focus,” said Belmonte.

In the May 2022 election, reelectionist Belmonte won by over 200,000 votes in Quezon City against her closest challenger, former Anakalusugan representative Mike Defensor. – Rappler.com

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Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a multimedia reporter at Rappler. She covers the rights of women and children, migrant Filipinos, and labor.