by Lydia C. Pendon
ILOILO CITY – The year 2012 is a good and great year for Iloilo City as the southern city here has accomplished several “womb-to-tomb” development projects worth more than P2 billion .
But many more things and projects are coming in 2013 as the city races to become a Premier City of the country by 2015, according to city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.
“This year, there are many proactive changes and the city government is enjoying a high level of confidence by the people,” Mabilog said.
Reporting his year-end accomplishments “Sustaining the Momentum for Progress”, Mabilog said his ten- point-agenda when he became city mayor in middle of 2010, speaks of his commitment of service to the city.
“Actually, I have only 22 months to finish all these projects before midterm elections in May 2013. I have to work fast to lay down the foundation and give the city what it truly deserves in the past several years,” Mabilog said.
The city mayor focuses his attention on the Education Development as human capital with the newly constructed city community college as banner project for education, additional day care, elementary and high school buildings, summer sports, summer jobs and computer literacy training.
Business Development showcases the influx of business investors and priming up of P850 million actual investments. The Iloilo City convention center will be constructed in 2013 as a signal for the city’s capability to host big international conventions and meetings.
Tourism Development will showcase the ability of senior citizens as tour guides, Dinagyang Festival, heritage building restoration, partnership with USAID and JICA, participation in world environmental forum in Italy and Indonesia, and sisterhood agreement with China, Guam and Daly City
Housing Development for the homeless has given hope to the poor resident along the riverbank and dwellers in danger zones. The first 1,000 housing units will be completed in the first quarter of 2013 for riverbank dwellers and another 1,300 within the year in Lanit relocation site and in Sooc, Arevalo.
In 2013, hopefully, the city will be declared as a flood-free city with the drainage system project already in place.
In Health Development, the city is institutionalizing the “womb-to-tomb” health program for the poor with the completion of the city hospital, free prenatal, immunization, child delivery, medical and dental services.
Financial assistance to the indigents is ongoing with free embalming, coffin and funeral services. Similarly, Philhealth coverage is expanded to 52,000 beneficiaries with an additional 12, 000 from the NHTS and the city will become the second largest Philhealth coverage in the entire country.
The La Paz maternity clinic is also being expanded and the daily supplemental feeding program is expanded in 135 daycare center feeding 6,750 children every day.
Infrastructure Development takes centerstage as the city is proud f its imposing eight storey new cityhall, the Double A slaughterhouse, P22,2million drainage projects, P28.2 million barangay projects, and P24.4 million road construction projects, including the PDEA detention center.
In Crisis Management, the Iloilo City Emergency Response (ICER) team is back-to-back champion and second to Makati City in emergency response.
For Environmental Management, Iloilo City is proud of its River Esplanade project. The city is also the first runner-up for environment management in the DILG Excel Awards, participated in the LIVCOM forum in South Korea, purchase a new declogging machine, develop nature sanctuaries, plaza enhancement and the newest sanitary landfill project.
Public Safety, the city is Number One in the region for Crime Cleared and Crime solution efficiency, being the best performance in crime reduction volume.
For Consumer Protection, the city is operating a regular and intensified check on commercial establishments.
In Good Governance, the city garnered the highly coveted Excel Awards in four categories and a back-to-back champion for Best Practice in the implementation of the 4Ps program.
Mabilog admitted that are existing challenges and intentions for 2013 that include the construction of the Parola ferry terminal, roro terminal in Lapuz, comprehensive drainage system and the implementation of closed circuit television camera (CCTV) system in city streets.
The city mayor was also challenged by the water shortage which he said the water district is currently working on it. The solution of the water problem is just a matter of time, he said. Other challenges include the natural calamities brought by typhoons and the upgrading of facilities of the Iloilo City Emergency Response ICER) team.
by Lydia C. Pendon