ILOILO City – This city’s cleanliness and the Ilonggos’ friendliness impressed the thousands of lawyers who attended the 17th National Convention of Lawyers from March 28 to 31 at the Iloilo Convention Center, according to Mayor Jose Espinosa III, himself a lawyer.
No less than Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin and three Associate Justices graced the big event.
In a welcome dinner that the city mayor hosted for the Justices of the Supreme Court and officials of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Espinosa said the Chief Justice and his wife likened Iloilo City to Singapore.
They especially noted how the city has maintained the cleanliness of the Iloilo River, said Espinosa.
It was the first time for Iloilo City to host IBP’s national convention that gathered some 3,000 lawyers across the country.
“We hosted lawyers from all over the Philippines and they were impressed by the local leadership. They praised the city for being clean and its people who are friendly,” said Espinosa.
The Chief Justice also affably referred to all Ilonggos as “lovers” because of the city’s moniker, “City of Love”, according to the mayor.
“First impressions are good but we don’t want to stop there. We likewise want our guests to realize that Iloilo City is a champion of environmental protection,” said Espinosa.
While the convention was ongoing, the city government initiated on Saturday a big coastal cleanup with the end goal of making the city’s beaches swimmable again.
“We want to show our guests that the city’s cleanliness is not just lip-service; that we have continuing efforts to clean the Iloilo River, and to rid our coastlines of plastic and other trash,” said Espinosa.
The city government-initiated coastal cleanup is hoped to become another “best practice” of the city and benchmark for other local government units to follow.
With its adequate facilities and services for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE), Iloilo City is capable of hosting giant gatherings and conferences, and accommodating thousands of attendees.
In addition, under Mayor Espinosa’s leadership, the city’s environment-friendly initiatives and practices leave good lasting impressions to tourists making the metropolis a choice destination./PN