ILOILO City is celebrating its 82nd Charter Day celebration which climaxes on Aug. 25.
This year’s theme, “Responsive and Responsible Governance”, highlights the efficient and effective delivery of public service to address the needs of the people.
“I ask everyone’s help for the city to level up. Let us make it easier for the people to avail themselves of the city government’s services,” said Mayor Jerry Treñas.
On Aug. 25, 1937 Iloilo was formally inaugurated as a chartered city after the municipalities of La Paz, Mandurriao, Molo, and Arevalo were merged on July 16, 1937 by virtue of Commonwealth Act No.158.
This edition of Charter Day will be modest but meaningful as the metropolis looks back to its glorious days and looks forward to a vibrant future.
The mayor wants Ilonggos to be proud of their rich heritage and colorful culture.
The City Gallery will be refurbished at Ker & Co. heritage building. The city’s cultural excellence is fit to be showcased in the age-old structure situated beside the Elizalde Building which houses the Museum of Economic History of the Philippines.
A multimillion-peso major facelift for Mandurriao Plaza in now in the drawing board to rehabilitate the public park that seemed to have been forgotten for quite some time.
The rehabilitation plan is being coordinated by City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) and Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Conservation Council (ICCHCC).
The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Authority (Tieza) has also started a P15-million rehabilitation work at La Paz Plaza.
Treñas talked to Ilonggo senator Franklin Drilon as the latter wanted to improve Molo Plaza.
The city’s chief executive also wants to landscape Plaza Libertad.
Treñas also sought the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority’s (Tieza) help for some P40-million fund to bring back the old glory of Jaro Plaza.
“We want to have the best plazas in Western Visayas,” he stressed.
Treñas has prioritized heritage conservation since he was congressman.
He authored Republic Act 10555 or “An Act Declaring the Jaro Cathedral, Molo Church, Iloilo City Central Business District, Fort San Pedro, Jaro Plaza Complex, Molo Plaza Complex and Plaza Libertad Complex, as Cultural Heritage Tourism Zone.”
Such law provides that these heritage and tourist spots shall be accorded priority development by the Department of Tourism through Tieza.
Heritage tours are vital components of Iloilo MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibits) Tourism Marketing Plan.
The goal is to make Iloilo the next MICE destination, not only a livable city but a destination for tourism and investments.
Senator Drilon wants to restore Calle Real to its original grandeur. He has enjoined Treñas to regulate signages in the heritage Central Business District and maintain its cleanliness.
Plans are also underway to make the newly-restored Aduana Building along Muelle Loney Street, City Proper into a museum of maritime history featuring Iloilo’s rich seafaring culture and traditions, and into a war veteran museum./PN