Blessing of the 29 newly-acquired heavy equipment vehicles for city infrastructure projects and emergency response operations.

The city government inaugurated and commissioned several projects in five areas in Puerto Princesa on Thursday, most of which are in the barangays of Sta. Monica at the Balayong People’s Park and in the transport and market complex in Irawan.

In Sta. Monica, Mayor Lucilo Bayron led the inauguration of the completed concrete road leading to the city’s molecular laboratory with parking space worth over P34 million; blessing of 29 newly-acquired trucks and heavy equipment vehicles for infrastructure projects worth P168.7 million from savings; inauguration of the recreational park with green parking space worth over P19 million in the Balayong People’s Park; inauguration of underground electrical line/power supply and sports complex indoor court worth over P9.9 million; and inauguration of the concreted Yellow Bell Road worth over P11 million.

“Ang pondong ginamit dito ay savings, hindi namin inutang,” Bayron said, referring to the purchase of the new heavy equipment. “Ang focus ng equipment na ito ay sa rural barangays, pero hindi ibig sabihin na sa rural barangays lang ito magtatrabaho. Puwede rin dito sa kabayanan kasi kung saan siya kailangan, doon natin siya dadalahin.”

“Pang emergency kung saan may sinira ang bagyo gaya ng nangyari sa Odette before, tutugon sa emergency,” he added.

He stated that they will be part of a “special action force” under the City Engineering Office (CEO) to respond to emergencies, particularly during and after catastrophic events.

He added that the sports complex area will be the first location in the city to have underground power cabling.

Bayron said it’s not only for aesthetics, but to also eliminate fire hazards in the place. “Ito ang magiging kauna-unahang lugar na ang electrical lines, underground na.”

A garden complete with a seating area can be found in the Recreational Park of Balayong People’s Park.

He stated that the recreational park with green parking space as well as several other locations in Balayong People’s Park are available for weddings, and that he would even be willing to officiate the ceremony if the couple so desired.

“Open ito sa weddings, at saka yong ibang sites dito. Maski mass wedding puwede na dito, ako na ang magkakasal,” he said, adding that when they plan to get married, they simply need to coordinate with the city government and the park management.

In Irawan, the new terminal for buses and jeepneys was commissioned, with the official opening date set for January 6, 2023.

Bayron is aware that many people are still skeptical about the purpose of relocating the public terminal, but he claims it is a precaution against a future traffic problem.

Mayor Lucilo Bayron (4th from left) with city and barangay officials of Irawan at the new public terminal for buses and jeepneys.

“Bakit kailangan ilapit dito? Kasi hindi na magtatagal, magiging ma-traffic na dyan sa Tagburos hanggang dyan sa San Jose. Kung mapapansin ninyo kasi mas mabilis na umaasenso na papunta doon sa north road kesa dito sa south road,” he said, reiterating if the area becomes a traffic bottleneck in the future, it will be difficult for both motorists and passengers to get around.

Aside from the terminal in Irawan, Bayron said, there will be a retail market, a wholesale producer’s market, and a dormitory for farmers and fishermen from far-flung city barangays and municipalities who need to stay for a day or two to sell their harvests.

A halal slaughterhouse and a livestock training center will also be constructed behind the producer’s market to encourage tourists from the Middle East to visit Puerto Princesa.

“Tulad yong mga turista galing ng Malaysia, ng Indonesia, ayaw nila pumunta dito dahil walang halal food. Wala silang tiwala dahil walang halal restaurant,” he said.

“Maliban sa halal, dyan din natin itatayo yong livestock training center. Yan ay suporta sa mga nag-aalaga ng mga hayop,” he added.

Bayron and other city officials also inaugurated standard daycare centers in Brgy. Napsan, the new building for children in conflict with the law (CICL) in Brgy. Mangingisda, and switched on streetlights also in Mangingisda, and Brgy. Luzviminda. 

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.