MANILA - President Aquino leads today the unveiling of the newly restored Iloilo provincial capitol (Casa Real de Iloilo) as well as the inspection of other major infrastructure projects in the province.
According to Edilberto Tayao, regional director of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the President will also unveil the markers of two national highways named after his parents – the late former senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and the late former President Corazon Aquino.
Aquino will also inaugurate the P93-million Dungon IV Bridge along Sen. Benigno Aquino Ave. in Barangay Taft Norte, Mandurriao. The bridge, which has service and bike lanes, is undergoing widening works.
He is also expected to inspect the P60-million Dungon III Bridge in Barangay Sambag, Jaro.
Tayao added that the President may also inspect the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) before proceeding to the P150-million Muelle Loney Bridge.
Aquino will unveil the marker at the provincial capitol around 2 p.m. He will be accompanied by his Cabinet secretaries and Senate President Franklin Drilon, who was dragged into a controversy for allocating his funds for the allegedly overpriced construction of the ICC.
The President will lead the flag-raising ceremony in Sta. Barbara town tomorrow, the first time in 117 years that Independence Day ceremonies will be held outside Luzon.
The town was chosen as the site of this year’s celebration because it was where the Philippine flag was first raised outside of Luzon on Nov. 17, 1898.
After the ceremony, Aquino will proceed to the provincial capital for the vin d’honneur (wine of honor).
Around 90 members of the diplomatic corps, 29 Cabinet members, four senators and four congressmen are expected to attend the event, said Ludovico Badoy, executive director of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
However, Vice President Jejomar Binay will not be able to attend the annual reception in Iloilo, as he will lead the Independence Day rites in Rizal Park in Manila tomorrow.
He will be joined by former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
About 2,760 policemen would be deployed by the Iloilo Police Provincial Office and the Iloilo City Police Office for the two-day event.– With Helen Flores
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