By Felipe V Celino
ROXAS CITY, Capiz – The province of Capiz marked a historic moment on January 18 with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Capiz Provincial Capitol building located within the thriving Pueblo de Panay Township in Roxas City.
Led by Capiz Gov. Fredenil Oto Castro, the event celebrated the commencement of a transformative project poised to elevate the province’s infrastructure and services.
The ceremony began with a warm welcome from Jose Nery “Bub” Ong, president and chief executive officer of Pueblo de Panay, Inc. who underscored the significance of the collaborative effort between Pueblo de Panay and Capiz provincial government and expressed enthusiasm for the positive impact the new capitol will have on the community.
In his speech, Castro shared the vision behind the grand venture.
The move from the provincial capitol at the Roxas City plaza to the expansive Pueblo de Panay Township signifies a commitment to progress, as the new structure is expected to be significantly larger, nestled in the township’s sprawling grounds.
This strategic relocation along a 6-lane-wide main road close to the Roxas City Integrated Transport Terminal makes it more accessible to those coming from other municipalities of Capiz and aims to better accommodate the growing population of the province, ensuring the efficient delivery of essential services to its residents.
The new building in this 3-hectare lot will have 15,000 square meters of floor area spread across five levels, which is more than double the 6,000 square meters of floor area of the current capitol building.
While the current one is challenged when it comes to parking slots with only 50 available, the new site with its expansive grounds will have over 200 slots available for the use of officials, employees, and visitors.
The ceremony also witnessed the unveiling of the architectural renderings for the proposed building, showcasing an elegant design that blends modern functionality with timeless aesthetics.
Government officials, alongside Castro, participated in this symbolic moment, emphasizing their dedication to ushering in a new era for Capiz.
Closing the ceremony with reflections on the day’s significance was Atty. Arthur John Biñas, the provincial administrator. His remarks encapsulated the collective excitement and optimism surrounding this monumental project, reinforcing the Capiz government’s commitment to progress and development.
Provincial budget officer Antonio Arbis said earlier that the total budget for the new capitol building would be P1.3 billion wherein the P800-M will be taken from the coffers of the provincial government.
Arbis said that the governor will look for the remaining P500-M from the different national government agencies.
He clarified that the provincial government will not borrow money from banks.
“The governor doesn’t want to get a loan just to build this ambitious edifice,” he stressed.
The old capitol building was constructed about 100 years ago and underwent several rehabilitations since then. It will be transformed into a Tourism Office and historical hub.