ILOILO City – Help change the negative impression on Iloilo City.
Without explicitly mentioning illegal drugs, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog rallied Ilonggos to “help one another” as he kicked off yesterday this city’s 40-day celebration of its 80th Charter Day.
“Being responsible and caring, Ilonggos can help change other people’s bad perception about Iloilo City,” said Mabilog.
President Rodrigo Duterte branded Iloilo “most shabu-lized” and a “bedrock” of illegal drugs. Despite this, he declared Aug. 25, 2017 a special non-working day in this city to give Ilonggos “full opportunity to celebrate.”
July 16, 1937 was when Commonwealth Act No. 57 became a law converting Iloilo into a city. The inauguration, however, happened on Aug. 25, 1937.
“I am quite sure that our beloved city and the Ilonggos have nowhere to go but up,” said Mabilog.
The mayor was himself tagged as an illegal drugs coddler by the President, a charge that the city’s chief executive vehemently denied.
“Our strong commitment to good governance and exemplary public service will be our greatest contribution to the sustained development of our city,” said Mabilog.
He previously appealed to the press to spread the “real picture” about Iloilo to the “outside world.” He said the national government may not be getting the correct information about the illegal drugs situation in Iloilo.
This year’s Charter Day theme is “Celebrating 80 Years of Ilonggo Culture and Pride.”
Mabilog urged Ilonggos to support the city government’s programs and projects geared at making Iloilo a “SMART” city or a leader in “services, manufacturing and agri-business, arts and culture, research and technology, and tourism.”
He expressed hopes to provide opportunities to the poor to raise their standard of living.
“The impoverished who have no opportunity in the city, we will give them opportunity so that every family will be improved,” said Mabilog.
The city government has been stepping up its support to the President’s war on drugs by providing law enforcement agencies with funds. The Iloilo City Peace and Order Council (ICPOC) recently approved the release of P2 million to boost the intelligence gathering of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The ICPO also approved the release of P2.34 million for the drug rehabilitation program of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO06 in Camp Delgado.
Dubbed “SOBER IT”, the camp-based rehabilitation program caters to drug surrenderers not able to attend the city government-funded drug rehabilitation program dubbed “Crossroads.”
“SOBER IT”, or Sobering Our Barangay and Empowering Recovery (SOBER) Intervention Team, is held from Monday to Friday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Camp Delgado Chapel and every whole day of Saturday.
“Crossroads”, on the other hand, offers morning and afternoon treatment sessions for drug surrenderers, and the centers are located in the seven districts of the metro.
CHARTER DAY ACTIVITIES
A 7 a.m. mass was held at the San Jose de Placer Church across Plaza Libertad yesterday, followed by a parade of city government employees, barangay officials and students among others.
The City Tourism and Development Office (CTDO) has lined up activities. These include a pulong-pulong on real property taxation and coastal cleanup on Aug. 11 and 12, respectively.
The City Health Office, on the other hand, will have blood sugar screening, blood pressure readings, screening for hypertension, cholesterol testing, healthy lifestyle counselling, medical consultation, distribution of initial treatment packs, bloodletting, distribution of eyeglasses, and bulk sampling for diabetic cases on Aug. 15 at Robinsons Place Iloilo Activity Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Aug. 17, the CTDO will hold poster-making and essay writing contests and on Aug. 19 there will be an inter-school age group chess tournament at Robinsons Place Jaro, and dragon boat race at the Iloilo Esplanade.
On Aug. 20, a binalaybay contest will be held while on Aug. 20 to 21, an endurance run, inter-public school arnis tournament, and general coaching course for basketball will be held.
The Department of Trade and Industry will hold a Charter Day Diskwento Sale from Aug. 21 to 27.
From Aug. 21 to 23 De La Salle University’s Green Archers will hold a “game clinic” at the Iloilo Sports Complex Gym while the Vice Mayor’s Debate Cup is slated on Aug. 22, 23 and 25 at Iloilo City Hall.
On Aug. 23, the city government will honor the Top 5 taxpayers in the metropolis at Grand Xing Hotel and on Aug. 24 there will be a Neon Lights Night Run, mangrove planting, launching of Gulayan sa Paaralan, Library for every Juan, mass wedding, mayor’s ball and job fair.
On Aug. 25, there will an open air cinema for Hiligaynon movies, Sara Geronimo’s concert, and Danzz Dish XII: Ethereal.
The Charter Day Parade will highlight the celebration on Aug. 25.
The Iloilo City Sports Division will lead the 80th Charter Day Shoot Fest from Aug. 25 to 27 at the Iloilo Gun Club while the Philharmonic Orchestra will perform at the Iloilo Convention Center on Aug. 26./PN