Iloilo City aims to be the Top 3 highly-urbanized city in the country by 2028, and Mayor Jerry Treñas presented a ‘grand roadmap’ to reach this goal in his State of the City Address (SOCA) Wednesday, August 16.
Dubbed as “ILOILO CITY…The Way Forward,” Treñas said that the transitional blueprint banks on the past achievements while envisioning a transformational metamorphosis for the metropolis.
“This blueprint is not just a plan; it is an architectural marvel towards our aimed destination – to position Iloilo City among the Top 3 Most Competitive Highly-urbanized Cities in the Philippines by 2028,” Treñas exclaimed.
With this roadmap, the city’s top executive envisions that Iloilo City will be a model of a livable, sustainable and resilient city of well-governed and empowered Ilonggos that safeguard the environment and preserve the culture while sustaining a robust, inclusive, and innovative economy.
Treñas said that the roadmap for success is rooted in the four pillars: Environmental Sustainability, Resilient Infrastructure, Innovative Economic Development, and Responsive and Inclusive Human Development.
Under Environmental Sustainability, the City Government push for initiatives that foster green spaces, promote waste reduction, and advocate for clean energy alternatives. Treñas cited the Beach Forest, Lanit Tree Park, and the Mangrove eco-park and the redevelopment of plazas as some of the notable green projects that the city has in promoting environmental sustainability.
On Resilient Infrastructure, Treñas vowed to create a city that can weather any storm and emerge stronger than before. He plans to improve the walkability of sidewalks, install the Bike Sharing System through a mobile application, adapt e-vehicles as part of green transport, and implement a comprehensive urban drainage plan that will lessen the flooding.
“In the face of challenges, our city has demonstrated unparalleled resilience. We have not only rebuilt what was lost but have fortified our infrastructure to withstand the tests of time and nature,” he said.
For Innovative Economic Development, Treñas said that the city has embraced innovation as the driving force behind the growth.
“By nurturing local businesses, attracting investments, and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, we have created a dynamic environment that breeds success. The ongoing market developments, digital systems for markets, national and international promotion of investments in Iloilo City, new real estate developments, and the most recent international container shipments continue to drive economic developments,” he said.
Iloilo City continues to hold Uswag Negosyo Academy for the market vendors to upgrade their operations, digitalize their services and equip them with knowledge for financial literacy.
“Our commitment to innovation has transformed Iloilo into a hub of opportunities, propelling us towards our goal,” he added.
Under the Responsive and Inclusive Human Development, Treñas is committed to uplift the lives of every Ilonggos especially in giving shelter through housing projects for the urban poor. Backlogs were fast-tracked to identify those who need and deserve housing units.
His administration is also prioritizing accessible education, quality healthcare, and inclusive social services for the citizens. These strides ensure that no one is left behind, he added.
Aside from these four pillars, Treñas is taking additional steps, such as Strengthening Barangay Engagement, Re-Engineering Organizational Structure and Human Resource System, and Becoming a Technologically Advanced City.
“Through enhanced engagement and collaboration, we are empowering our barangays to actively participate in shaping the future of Iloilo. By ensuring that their voices are heard through feedback mechanisms, needs are met, and aspirations are acknowledged, we are building a city that thrives from the grassroots up,” he said, emphasizing the need for strong engagement in the community.
He also believes that resilient city requires a resilient administration, thus the need to re-engineer our organizational structure.
“By strengthening our human resource system, we are investing in our most valuable asset: our dedicated public servants. With a workforce that is equipped, motivated, and aligned with our goals, we are laying the foundation for excellence,” he explained.
Further, Iloilo City under his administration will fully embrace technology to foster connected and data-driven governance.
“By harnessing the power of data analytics, smart city solutions, and digital platforms, we are improving the quality of life for every Ilonggo. Innovative programs and services like the installation of an intelligent traffic system will become the norm, enhancing accessibility, efficiency, and effectiveness across the board,” he said.
The city mayor will also push for a more efficient and effective and resource management, and aim to become a model city of transparent and excellent governance.
“Our actions will resonate beyond our city limits, inspiring others to embrace the principles of good governance. Through our relentless pursuit of excellence, we are forging a legacy that extends far beyond our term in office,” he added.
Treñas proudly enumerated the awards and accomplishments of his administration, namely:
- CITYNET Executive Committee Member
- 2022 Galing Pook Winner for bike culture
- 1st Place Most Improved Highly-Urbanized City
- 1st Place Government Efficiency Highly-Urbanized City
- 3rd Place Resiliency Highly-Urbanized City
- Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) for Distinguished Local Government Units
- Gawad Kalasag Seal of Excellence for LDRRM
- 1st Place Kaunlarang Pantao Award
- Bayanihan Service Award
- 3rd Place Winner Outstanding LGU
- Highly-Urbanized City 2022 National Literacy Award
- Top 3 Gawad Edukampyon for Early Childhood Care and Development
- Special Citation Most Business-Friendly LGU Awards
He also introduced a tagline for the city’s tourism campaign “My heart beats in Iloilo City” through a music video.
“My fellow Ilonggos, as we stride forward towards our goal of being one of the top three most competitive highly urbanized cities in the Philippines, let us remember that our journey is defined not only by the destination but by the path we carve, the challenges we overcome, and the lives we touch.
We aim to establish the city as a vibrant and attractive destination, engaging the local community, and attracting tourists and investors by highlighting the city’s rich cultural heritage, vibrant lifestyle, and growth opportunities.”
“With strong determination, let’s break through the limits, let’s create a future that echoes through time. Together, we’ll set sail on a journey filled with new ideas and we will achieve the goal we have set for 2028,” he concluded.