Press Release
May 31, 2015

'Tuwid na daan' to take center stage in Independence Day rites in Iloilo - Drilon

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today said that the commemoration of the Philippine Independence Day in Iloilo on June 12 will showcase the fruits and successes of President Aquino's good governance initiatives.

"Iloilo is an affirmation that the 'daang matuwid' leadership of President Aquino has worked well, and should therefore be continued," said Drilon.

Drilon said that the celebration of the 117th Independence Day in Iloilo is an opportunity for the whole nation to witness how the "daang matuwid" of President Aquino was implemented in the province and yielded positive results.

"It has resulted to positive changes we thought were impossible to achieve. It is therefore important that there be continuity in policies that caused these developments and changes to happen," said Drilon.

President Aquino will lead the 117th Independence Day celebration in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo on June 12. Afterwards, the traditional "vin d honneur" will be held at the old Iloilo capitol.

Drilon stressed that Iloilo's rise as a progressive and developing center in the Visayas was primarily due to the effective and honest implementation of projects under the present administration.

For instance, said Drilon, the rehabilitation of the Iloilo River would not have been successful without the national government's support. He said the successful cleaning of the Iloilo River became possible due to the tremendous support extended by President Aquino, who provided and approved funds for the construction of resettlement area for 1,000 families living along riverbanks, an Esplanade, a modernized fish port complex, a slaughterhouse, and a ferry terminal, among others.

"In Iloilo, projects are executed without corruption. People actively and earnestly backed them because they knew that every peso of their money is properly accounted for, and that it's peso well spent, as seen in the quality of roads and bridges we built in Iloilo," Drilon underscored.

"We do not let bureaucratic processes slow down our efforts to uplift the condition of our province," he added.

Drilon also pointed to a number of projects which only became possible during the present administration. These include the P11.2-billion Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project (JRMP), the P740-million Iloilo Convention Center (ICC), and various roads and bridges projects.

He said the JRMP was first conceptualized in 1960, but was only realized during the term of President Aquino. The JRMP, Drilon noted, will address irrigation problem in Western Visayas, which is primarily an agricultural region. It will provide year-round irrigation to 32,000 hectares, benefit more than 783,000 farmers, and increase rice production from 142,000 tons to 300,000 tons annually.

The Senate leader also mentioned the Iloilo Convention Center, which is being constructed to position Iloilo as a prime convention destination in the Visayas. Just recently, the Ombudsman junked the plunder and graft cases filed against Drilon, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez in connection with the construction of the ICC.

He said all projects in Iloilo followed international standards, citing, for instance, the three-lined, 10-lane Benigno Aquino Avenue complete with red-tiled bicycle and pedestrian lanes; and the four-lane, 14-kilometer Iloilo Circumferential Road.

Drilon further said, "We are eager to show to the Filipino people how Iloilo has recaptured its position as the 'Queen City of the South' chiefly because of the effective implementation of good governance policies of President Aquino."

"With leaders following the 'daang matuwid' form of governance where the old ways of corruption, redtape and patronage has no place, change is indeed possible," he added.

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