By: Tara Yap
BOXING icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao lauded the P70-million park in Iloilo City overlooking the Iloilo River.
“It’s a job well done for Iloilo City,” said Pacquiao, who was guest during the inauguration of the 1.2-kilometer Iloilo Esplanade last August 18.
Pacquiao said that the Iloilo Esplanade, reminiscent of Singapore Quay, will be another tourist destination and a symbol of the development of the city.
Ilonggo Sen. Franklin Drilon, who funded the river park project through his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), said it will not only serve as a tourist and leisure destination, but it will continue to raise environmental awareness of preserving natural resources.
The Iloilo Esplanade is one of the major development projects initiated to revive the Iloilo and Batiano Rivers.
A public-private partnership (PPP) has been initiated since March 2011 to clean and develop the two rivers passing along Iloilo City and neighboring Oton town.
Designed by renowned Filipino architect Paulo Alcazaren, it is landscaped with different plants and the walkway is made out of bricks. There are also viewing decks where visitors can have a better glimpse of the river.
The inauguration was attended by Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas, Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr., Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio “Bing” Leonardia, members of the city council, the business sector, the academe, and thousands of Ilonggos.