Mayor says 2019 a banner year for safer, more resilient Iloilo City

(Ricky Alejo photo)

Mayor Jerry P. Treñas has rated 2019 as a “very good year” for Iloilo City in becoming a safer and more resilient metropolis.

“The city ensured that Ilonggos and visitors alike will have a community that is safe and secure for everyone, with disaster preparedness and resiliency at its core,” Treñas said in a press statement.

It was recognized as Most Resilient Highly Urbanized City in the country by the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index Awards of Department of Trade Industry.

Through the city’s active partnership with the National Resilience Council (NRC), a Memorandum of Understanding was signed together with NRC, Carlos P. Romulo Foundation and Alliance Global. Inc. for Adopt-a-City Initiative.

Iloilo City was the recipient of P-alert system quake rapid damage assessment devices and rain gauges stationed in 20 locations in the city.

It subsequently signed the Implementation Agreement with NRC, National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR)-Taiwan, Manila Observatory, four city schools, Megaworld, and SM City for the installation of Smart Sensor Network.

It also entered into a Memorandum of Cooperation concerning Joint Effort on Improving Regional Resilience against Natural Hazards with NRC and NCDR-Taiwan.

“Even though we are strengthening our own capabilities and overcoming our vulnerabilities, we never fail to help those who were victims of disasters. In fact, we gave a total of P2.7-million financial assistance to nine local government units in Mindanao badly hit by earthquake in October 2019,” Treñas said.

Likewise, the City Government played a prominent role during the Iloilo-Guimaras sea tragedy that claimed a total of 31 lives in August 2019. The City Government gave a total of P485,000 financial assistance to families of casualties and survivors.

“Our efforts have not gone unnoticed. The whole country watched as we were featured in CNN Philippines as model city for resilience. We are proud to be the Gawad KALASAG winner in the whole of Western Visayas and a top three finalist in the national level,” he added.

Gawad KALASAG is the country’s premier annual awards for outstanding contribution in the fields of disaster risk reduction and management and humanitarian assistance.

To enhance emergency response and disaster preparedness both structural and non-structural, the city will put up this year the Iloilo City Action and Response or ICARE Command center to house the emergency operations center, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, PSTMO, police and fire station.

This will be complemented by ICARE satellite centers, initially in Calumpang and Sambag.

Similarly, peace and order situation remain manageable and under control in a report submitted by Police Col. Martin Defensor Jr., from July 1, 2019 to November 22, 2019.

An online survey placed Iloilo City in the top eight safest cities in Southeast Asia.

Iloilo City Police Office or ICPO was hailed as best in police community relations in the country.

City Government turned over nine patrol cars and 36 motorcycles for the use of our city cops. Eleven bike patrols were also purchased for Esplanade. This year, nine more patrol cars will be added, as well as vehicle and firearms for Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT).

For brighter city streets and as crime deterrent, Task Force Boltahe installed 290 LED streetlights; 67 LED floodlights; 38 sets mercury with mogul; and 1,373 sets of 15-watt LED lights with receptacle from July 2019 to November 2019. (PIO)