Tagaytay Financial Engineering Program
The Tagaytay Financial Engineering Program (TFEP) intends to provide the city with financial autonomy and independence to pursue its development objectives. The major components of TFEP included; (1) City Centrum Project, patterned after the German town center idea, and the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) financing scheme. It seeks to develop a 15-hectare idle government property through a Joint Venture Agreement with the private sector. The minimum total equity to be raised by the project is P760 Million Pesos; (2) People's Park in the Sky; (3) Expansion of the Mahogany Complex to include wet and dry market, Mahogany Hotel, Tagaytay Plants and Flowers Center and a double "AA" slaughterhouse; (4) Implementation of the Development Levy which followed the Bavarian tax system, imposed additional charges on real estate projects as follows: 0.7% for a project costing below 2 Billion Pesos; 0.5% for a project costing over 2 Billion pesos; and 0.3% for a single detached residential building.
Because it is a weekend residence area, the city government had to serve both permanent and weekend residents. The levy took care of the additional funding for increased demand for services on weekends such as peace keeping, sewerage and environmental management, traffic management, recreational, cultural and health services. The Green Card System was established for identification and protection purposes as well as an entitlement card for migrant workers whose numbers increased as a result of the city's construction boom. This system ensured that the budget for basic services originally allocated for Tagaytay City's main constituents was not strained beyond limits by the influx of migrant workers. From 1995 to 1997, Tagaytay's income rose steadily.
Mayor Francis N. Tolentino shared with pride that he had; (1) served a unique constituency base that rises from 35,000 residents on regular days to 150,000 on weekends; (2) implemented the development mandate without allowing the encroachment of the industrial sector which was the easier route taken by the neighboring areas such as the provinces of Cavite and Laguna; and lastly, (3) gave back to Tagaytayeños their self-esteem and pride for their city.
This program is recognized as a Trailblazing Program, a finalist for the 1998 Galing Pook Awards.