ILOILO CITY –- President Benigno Aquino III on Friday hailed the Ilonggo people who gathered for the inauguration of several huge projects here in Iloilo City for being instruments in bringing in development right to their own place.
President Aquino, speaking before the crowd gathered during the Esplanade inauguration here, said that they are seeing development projects being realized because of the Ilonggo people themselves who have full confidence on his reform agenda and chose well their political leaders during the 2010 election.
The President further said that whatever development there is, it should be inclusive and no Filipino citizen is left behind.
Meanwhile, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon, who hails from Iloilo and considered by locals as instrumental in bringing in numerous projects to Iloilo City and the Western Visayas region, said that the Ilonggos are a grateful people and they could not ever forget what is being given them.
He said that the inauguration of the four bridges along the Iloilo Circumferential Road today would greatly improve inter-connectivity.
The Circumferential Road project will serve as the most fundamental component of the road network in Metro Iloilo and minimize traffic congestion in the city proper. It will now be diverted to the new road openings, reducing convergence in the downtown area.
Inaugurated by the President today are four bridges with total project cost of P532.13 million. These bridges include the Iloilo Bridge II, 105 lineal meters; Mandurriao Bridge I, 40 lineal meters; and, Mandurriao Bridge II, another 40 lineal meters.
These bridge projects will connect Iloilo City to the second district of Iloilo province as well as Antique province that is separated from Iloilo only by a boundary with Aklan province where Boracay island is found.
The fourth bridge project is the Jaro Bridge II that is 100 lineal meters and would connect Jaro-Tacas, Iloilo city to Sta. Barbara, Iloilo province where the airport is located and then to Capiz province.
Drilon had earlier said that the circumferential road would also interconnect Iloilo City to the Dumangas port in Iloilo province that is being upgraded to become an international port with the Philippine Ports Authority having allocated P100 million for it.
Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, on the other hand, said that the city has changed a lot and it even has metamorphosed to become a premier city. He said that the vision for Iloilo City to become the Queen City of the Philippines is no longer farfetched for it has risen to a high level in the past few years.
The mayor, expressing gratitude to President Aquino and Sen. Drilon, said that the projects attract more giant investors and capitalists to Iloilo City. He added that the intense economic activity generates more employment for the Ilonggos.