Mayor Jerry Treñas Delivers Inspiring State of the City Address

In a stirring address that captured the essence of a city's progress and unity, Mayor Jerry Treñas reflected on the remarkable journey Iloilo City has embarked upon over the past few years. Addressing a captivated audience at the Plaza Libertad Grounds on August 16, Mayor Treñas recounted the city's remarkable achievements and unveiled an ambitious vision for the future.

Achievements That Define Iloilo City's Spirit

As Mayor Trenas began his address, a sense of immense pride and gratitude emanated from his words. He looked back on the achievements of his administration since 2019 and acknowledged the collective efforts that had brought the city to where it stood today.

Among the standout achievements, he recounted Iloilo City's recognition as one of the three cities in the country to receive the prestigious ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award in 2019. This award symbolized the city's dedication to a sustainable and eco-friendly urban environment. Mayor Trenas credited the city employees, community volunteers, and residents for their unwavering commitment to keeping Iloilo clean and preserving its natural beauty.

Screenshot from GMA News

The mayor also highlighted the city's exceptional response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. From healthcare workers on the frontlines to ordinary citizens, Iloilo City stood strong and united against the global crisis. The city's resilience and unity earned it the nickname "Wakanda of the Philippines," showcasing its determination to overcome adversity through compassion and cooperation.

PHOTO by Iloilo Business Park

Furthermore, Mayor Trenas celebrated the success of the city's Public-Private Partnership projects, particularly the flourishing market developments. These collaborative efforts, supported by the business community and investors, played a vital role in driving economic growth and transforming aspirations into tangible realities. The mayor proudly announced remarkable statistics, including a 26.71% growth in new businesses, a 65% increase in total investments, and a staggering 255% surge in tourist arrivals since the pandemic.

With a commitment to livelihood and job opportunities for its citizens, Iloilo City achieved an impressive employment rate of 95.1%, a testament to the city's dedication to the welfare of its residents.

A Blueprint for the Future: ILOILO CITY... The Way Forward

Amidst the city's achievements, Mayor Trenas shared a vision that extended beyond the present. He introduced a transformative blueprint for Iloilo City, aptly named "ILOILO CITY... The Way Forward," with the bold goal of positioning the city among the top three most competitive highly urbanized cities in the Philippines by 2028.

The blueprint outlined the city's vision to become a model of a livable, sustainable, and resilient urban environment, characterized by well-governed and empowered residents. The plan emphasized safeguarding the environment, preserving culture, and fostering a robust, inclusive, and innovative economy.

Four pillars formed the foundation of this vision:

Environmental Sustainability: Iloilo City's commitment to a greener future was evident in its focus on green spaces, waste reduction, and clean energy alternatives. Notable projects included the Beach Forest, Lanit Tree Park, Mangrove eco-park, and plaza redevelopment, all aimed at ensuring a sustainable and vibrant cityscape.

Resilient Infrastructure: Mayor Trenas emphasized the city's resilience in the face of challenges. The plan included improving walkability, introducing a Bike Sharing System, adopting e-vehicles for green transport, and implementing an urban drainage plan to mitigate flooding.

Innovative Economic Development: The heartbeat of the city's growth was innovation. By nurturing local businesses, attracting investments, and promoting entrepreneurship, Iloilo City positioned itself as a hub of opportunities. Ongoing market developments, digital systems, and international investment promotions fueled economic growth.

Responsive and Inclusive Human Development: The city aimed to uplift every resident through accessible education, quality healthcare, and inclusive social services. A highlight was the urban poor housing project, reflecting the city's commitment to leaving no one behind.

A Vision Backed by Action

Mayor Trenas outlined a series of strategic steps that would reinforce the city's commitment to its transformative roadmap:

Strengthening Barangay Engagement: The heart of Iloilo City beats in its barangays, and their active participation was crucial to the city's progress.

Re-Engineering Organizational Structure and Human Resource System: A resilient administration was key to a resilient city. By aligning the organizational structure and investing in human resources, the city aimed to build a dedicated and effective public service.

Becoming a Technologically Advanced City: Embracing technology was essential for progress. Initiatives included data-driven governance, intelligent traffic systems, and digital platforms to enhance accessibility and efficiency.

Effective and Efficient Resource Management: Transparent and excellent governance extended to financial processes, ensuring resources were utilized for citizens' betterment.

Becoming a Model City of Transparent and Excellent Governance: By setting high standards of accountability, openness, and integrity, the city aimed to inspire others to embrace good governance principles.

Awards and Acknowledgments: A Testimony to Success

Mayor Trenas proudly shared a list of awards and recognitions that validated the city's journey toward excellence. From Galing Pook Winner to Most Improved Highly-Urbanized City, Iloilo City's accomplishments spoke volumes about its dedication to progress.

A Bold Future Awaits

PHOTO by Rappler

In closing, Mayor Trenas acknowledged that the journey ahead might hold challenges, but he expressed unwavering confidence in the city's spirit. The transformative roadmap aimed not just for development but for a legacy that would extend far beyond his term in office. With the unwavering support of its people, Iloilo City was poised to achieve its vision, standing as a beacon of hope, unity, and progress for all Ilonggos.
Zach Golez

A lifestyle blogger based in Iloilo City

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