Press Release
June 12, 2015

Drilon challenges Filipinos to unite under good governance in honoring country's heroes

On Independence Day, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said that the best way for modern Filipinos to honor the sacrifices and legacies of past heroes is to unite under good governance and bring the nation to its development goals.

"One hundred seventeen years ago, our country gained its independence. Our gratitude to our forefathers - our heroes - who gave their lives to make this possible, has no bounds," said Drilon in a speech during the celebration of the Philippine's 117th Independence in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo.

"However, the best way to honor their legacy is to unite and bring our beloved country to its development goals on the wings of good governance," he stressed.

Drilon said he believes that "good governance" is key to a successful and progressive nation, pointing to Iloilo's remarkable developments as a proof that the country needs to continue the reforms implemented by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

"The seeds of good governance were planted by the Aquino administration more than four years ago. In Iloilo, we have seen how these seeds have grown into trees of development, and of hope, not only for Ilonggos, but for the rest of the country," Drilon underscored. "What you now see in Iloilo now is an affirmation that the 'daang matuwid' leadership of President Aquino has worked well, and should therefore be continued," Drilon emphasized.

Drilon, who is credited for transforming Iloilo into a progressive province, said that "Iloilo is an excellent model of good governance."

The Senate leader said the developments in Iloilo can be applied in other parts of the country: "I am confident that if it can be done in Iloilo, it can be done in other parts of the country for as long as there is unity, political will and strong commitment to pursue good governance."

Drilon added: "In Iloilo, we have proven that if we are united, and put our collective interest before individual interest, we can create change. In Iloilo, we are nurturing big dreams, and are working hard to realize these dreams."

Drilon said that the various projects that brought Iloilo to economic and social heights were only made possible due to President Aquino's "full and complete support." These include the multi-billion peso Jalaur River Multipurpose Project Phase II (JRMP II), the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC), and the Iloilo International Airport.

Drilon said that the JRMP II, once completed, will irrigate 32,000 hectares of land, benefit 783,000 farmers, increase annual rice production to over 300,000 tons, produce 6.6MW of electricity, and provide up to 86,000 cubic meters per day of good quality potable water.

The ICC, which will be the venue of the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Conference meeting in October, is being built to position Iloilo as prime convention destination, Drilon concluded

Lastly, Drilon also noted how they transformed Iloilo River from a dying river to a vibrant river that has become the pride of Iloilo.

Drilon attributed all these positive developments and the transformation of Iloilo into a model community to President Aquino's full and complete support, as well as the united political leadership exercised by its leaders.

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