ILOILO CITY — President Benigno Aquino III inaugurated and inspected earlier Friday several multi-million development projects here and said that these will surely improve the connectivity of Iloilo City to other towns and provinces in the region and bring a brighter future to the people.
The President, upon arrival at the New Iloilo Airport at 10:15 a.m., proceeded to inaugurate four bridges along the P1.9-billion Iloilo Circumferential Road which is already 97 percent complete as of June 16.
These bridges are the Iloilo Bridge II, Mandurriao Bridge I and II, and Jaro Bridge.
The circumferential road is a 14.18 kilometer, four lane road around Iloilo City. It is envisioned to be a vital component of the road network in Metro Iloilo area. The project includes the construction of a four-lane concrete carriageway, bicycle lanes (2.5 meter wide), concrete sidewalk, street lights and slope protection works.
The project includes the construction of four bridges with an aggregate length of 285 linear meters.
The President, during the inauguration, was accompanied by Senator President Franklin M. Drilon, Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio L. Singson, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and the congressmen from the different districts of Iloilo .
President Aquino, after the inauguration, also made an ocular inspection of the state-of-the-art convention center that is intended to boost the city’s chances of hosting the side meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Conference summit that the country will be hosting in 2015.
The Iloilo Convention Center is being constructed in the 1.70-hectare lot in the old Iloilo airport in Mandurriao, Iloilo City that has been bought by the Megaworld but donated to the Department of Tourism to become site of the convention center.
Phase 1 construction was started Dec. 9, 2013 with an appropriation of P500 million. Phase 2 construction has an appropriation of P200 million and target completion date is March 2015.
As of June 25, the actual accomplishment is 79 percent or five percent ahead of schedule.
The center has 3,700 guest capacity when completed.
The President also inaugurated today the two-kilometer road section from Gen. Luna street to El 98 street, including Iloilo Bridge and pedestrian overpass amounting to P424.20 million.
The road section inaugurated is considered priority for improvement because of the major commercial centers located in the vicinity.
The road section is part of the Sen. Benigno Aquino (SBA) Avenue road widening project that stretches 15.60 kilometers from Jct. General Luna street up to the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo province.
The SBA project consists of widening to eight lanes the main carriageway and additional two lane service road from Jct. General Luna to Sambag, Jaro and six lanes from Sambag, Jaro to Iloilo International Airport. The remaining total cost requirement to complete the project is P1.38 billion of which P455.945 million had been included under the 2014 budget of the DPWH.
President Aquino also made ocular inspection of the Iloilo bridge along SBA Avenue. The project involves the widening and retrofitting from two lanes to four lanes. The total project cost is P108.2 million and was started March 26, 2014 with completion date March 24, 2014.
The project is a component of the SBA aimed to reduce traffic congestion and provide smooth access to Iloilo airport.
Likewise, Mr. Aquino inaugurated the Esplanade, and there delivered a speech, hailing the completion of the infrastructure projects in the city. He said these development projects would bring about a brighter future to the locals.
The President, this afternoon will turn over housing units to the 1,000 informal settler-beneficiaries of Iloilo city in Barangay Camalig/Lanit Jaro, district.
Sen. Drilon, thanking President Aquino for the projects, said that these informal settlers are those who have been affected by the Iloilo River Plains Development project that have been implemented to clean up the Iloilo river and clear the area along riverbanks.