ILOILO CITY, Sept 24 (PNA) — What is the secret of this city for being adjudged as the most livable city in the Philippines?
According to Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, they have several pillars of good governance that has brought and made Iloilo City livable.
First, Mayor Mabilog revealed during a media briefing in the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings held here this week, is unity. This has enabled the local government to conduct and implement programs without any hurdles.
“Everybody in the local scene, the leadership especially the mayor, vice mayor, congressmen has the support of the provincial government of iloilo,” he said.
“It is not difficult to implement whatever programs there are, that is before a political season,” the mayor added. “We do strategic developmental plans, we have a very comprehensive land use plan we are implementing.”
Second is political will to implement “what is morally right rather than what is politically correct.”
“We have a cradle of great programs, meaning that this city government has plans and has a program that would be for the start from the time a child is conceived by the mother until the time this person dies there is complete social, education and even housing program that is already in place,” said Mabilog. “All they have to do is fit into the program of the city government of Iloilo.”
After the city’s hosting of several APEC related meetings, Mabilog said the global strategies that they will learn and which will be formulated, “we, as host city, should maintain same status, we should adopt whatever policy that will be agreed upon.”
With regards to the best practices during natural disaster that Iloilo City can share with APEC member economies, the mayor proudly shared them with APEC delegates.
“We have learned from experience during the devastation of typhoon Frank (international name: Fengshen) in 2008 that within 15 minutes time, water rose 10 feet and covered almost the entire half of the city,” he said.
Out of the city’s expereince, the city created a floodway that would handle the volume of water and bring it down the mountains and out to the sea .
Second, said Mabilog, they have observed most causes of flood is because of man himself throwing garbage everywhere.
“We have to do regular cleanups like every Saturday. we do weekly volunteer cleanups,” he disclosed. “One of the biggest chalenge is a clogged river full of informal settlers. There were also fish cages that impeded the flow of water.”
Mayor Mabilog said they “seriously went into the removal and relocation of informal settlers plus these illegal fish cages.”
“Now we have free flowing river,” he said. “Each time when there’s heavy rain, within an hour water will subside because of clean drainage and waterways including a structure-free river.”
Iloilo City is currently hosting APEC meetings on disaster risk reduction, small and medium enterprises, food security and agriculture. (PNA)