The Iloilo City Government has spent the restoration of plazas to bring back the open spaces for people to enjoy, relax, bond, and do their get-together activities.
City Hall has initially funded P257 million for a major makeover of Jaro Plaza P90 million, La Paz Plaza P75 million, Arevalo Plaza P46 million, Plaza Libertad in City Proper P30 million, and Mandurriao P10 million.
Read also: Plaza Libertad Heritage Zone
“The plazas are being restored by the city because we want to make public spaces available to our constituents; which are very important as it gives people a place to rethink and recharge,” Mayor Jerry Treñas stressed.
The Ilonggos can proudly see where their taxes are going, he added.
Plaza Libertad also got P19 million and Mandurriao Plaza with P17 million or a total of P36 million from the Green, Green, Green Program of the Department of Budget and Management and Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Jaro Plaza Bandstand, Belfry, and Lopez Jaena Shrine as well as Molo Plaza were funded by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
Read also: Molo Plaza Complex, Restored
The plazas are now attracting crowds, particularly from late afternoon to evening as they become the favorite hangout places for both Ilonggos and visitors alike.
Statues of Ilonggo heroes and history icons were also installed to instill a sense of pride and for the young generation to know the rich heritage.
Landscaping and lighting as well as speakers and fountain were set up to make a laidback yet modern vibe.
Plaza Libertad has paved the way for an assembly area now being used for Monday’s flag-raising ceremony and other programs organized by offices.
The plazas’ perimeters have been opened for easy access, except for La Paz which will be installed with a grilled fence to secure the facilities inside.
A retention pond and improved drainage system have transformed the area into flood-free by catching rainwater which can be utilized for watering plants.
The football field will be provided with lights so that the players can still play at night.
The development of La Paz Plaza has been added with features including Koi Lagoon and the proposed Butterfly Garden, in partnership with the private sector.
Meanwhile, as the improvements are leading to completion, concerns were raised regarding Jaro Gym as an eyesore, thus, it will be relocated to the Alta Tierra Subdivision.
The Liga ng mga Barangay office will be replaced by a community center cum library in front of the church.
These development projects contribute to the improvement of the whole city and always benefit the welfare of every Ilonggo. (Iloilo City PIO)